Apples are amazing. Tasty? Totally. Nutrient-dense? Heck yes. Versatile? Very. In fact, there are thousands of apple varieties to pick from. Here’s a quick guide to the 10 most popular varieties you can (probably) find at your local grocery store or market.
We also have the deets on the potential health perks of eating apples, plus some apple-tizing recipes.
1. Red Delicious
Red Delicious apples are iconic. But TBH, their taste doesn’t match their vibrant color. They have a mild flavor and sometimes have a slight grassy vibe. And yet, they’re one of the most popular apples ever. They usually don’t hold up well in baked goods, but we love them sliced and dipped in nut butter.
2. Granny Smith
These jack-of-all-trades apples are known for their tart taste. Granny Smiths a terrific addition to tons of recipes thanks to their firm flesh and tangy flavor profile. They’re the bomb when baked and super in seasonal salads.
Fun fact: Granny Smith apples are named after a real person! Maria Ann Smith first cultivated them in the 1860s in Australia.
3. Golden Delicious
Mildly sweet and delightfully crisp, Gala apples are taller and thinner than most other apples. They’re usually a pale red with distinct yellow streaks. FYI: A large Gala apple has 4.6 grams of fiber — not too shabby!
Honeycrisp apples are crunchy and hella juicy. They offer a balanced mix of sweet and acidic flavors, with subtle notes of honey. Bonus: You can roast, press, bake, dry, or juice them.
Fuji apples are one of the sweetest apples around. They have a floral aroma and very little acidity. The flesh is juicy and gets fizzy when you bite into it. Yum.
7. Pink Lady
These beauties are a blend of tangy, tart, and sweet. Spoiler: They’re not actually pink. But they do have a pretty, pale red color. They’re fantastic thinly sliced and thrown into a salad with spinach, walnuts, feta, and cranberries.
Slightly sweet with a hint of tartness, Jonathans are an excellent choice for caramel apples. Their skin is smooth, albeit a bit tough, and they have a light crunch. They’re small in size and have a long shelf life, making them the perfect lunchbox snack.
Can an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Probably not. But you should def eat them anyway. Apples are chock full of vital vitamins and nutrients like:
- Vitamin C. Oranges get all the credit. But apples are also a sweet source of vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid). This essential nutrient is involved in loads of body functions like wound healing and the maintenance of your bone, teeth, skin, and joints. It also plays a major role in your immune system.
- Potassium. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one medium apple offers 4% of your daily recommended intake (RDI) of potassium. Potassium is needed to maintain sufficient fluid levels inside your body’s cells. Not getting enough potassium can negatively impact your health, including increasing blood pressure levels.
- Quercetin. Apples are a decent source of quercetin, a compound that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A diet high in quercetin may help protect heart health.
- Copper. A cup of apple slices contains about 4% of the RDI of copper. Along with iron, this nutrient helps your body form red blood cells. It also helps you maintain healthy blood vessels, nerves, and bones.
- Catechins. Apples are a solid source of catechins. These phytochemicals are known for their strong antioxidant powers.
Here are some fantastic recipes to help you make the most out of your apples.
This amazing applesauce is a bountiful blend of Gala and Granny Smiths. It’s super easy to make and the final product is 10/10 comforting. You can serve it chilled or warm, and it’ll last in the fridge for up to a week.
Pro tip: Use an immersion blender for a smoother sauce or a potato masher if you like it chunky.
This cake is moist, buttery, and delicious. The splash of dark rum gives it a deep and sultry flavor. The recipe works best with tart apples like Honey Crisp or Granny Smiths. You can also combine varieties for a unique flavor.
These mini galettes are the perfect treat for the fall. The buttery crust pairs perfectly with the tender, tart apple filling. We also love that they look fancy AF, but they’re actually a breeze to make.
This recipe is the perfect example of apple versatility. The dish combines savory onions with sweet-tart apples. The creamy dreamy Dijon sauce is so good served on mashed potatoes or next to a side of green beans. But the best part? You only need one skillet.
5. Apple cider
This fragrant, flavorful fall fave is very easy to make at home. All you need are the ingredients and a slow cooker. The recipe calls for fresh apples, oranges, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice. But feel free to give it your own spin.
Apples are a delicious and nutritious addition to your daily diet. They’re packed with good-for-you nutrients and work well in tons of tasty dishes.
And though we’ve gotten you started with 10 top varieties, keep in mind, there are literally thousands of apple options to pick from. So don’t be afraid to try one that isn’t on our list.