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Apples: Fun Facts and Health Benefits

 

 

It’s that time of year again, when the leaves start to turn, sweater bins come down from storage, and spiced fall scents fill the air. Plump orange pumpkins fill our Instagram feeds and the invites for apple-picking at your local farm roll in. And there are a number of reasons why you’ll want to fill up your basket. Here’s a few reasons why the people of America love apples, their top 5 varieties, and ways operators can incorporate apples into their menu.

Benefits

Seasonal or year-round apples penetrate 58.2% of all US menus and there’s various reasons why. Not only do apples taste delicious, but they come loaded with health benefits. Jessica Levinson, a culinary nutrition expert, says that apples have been linked to numerous benefits, including improved gut health and reduced risk of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some cancers.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a medium-sized apple is a good source of fiber: It contains 4.4 grams of fiber, covering 16 percent of the daily value (DV). Also, the same apple offers 8.4 milligrams of vitamin C, providing more than 9 percent of your DV, along with other vitamins and minerals.

Heart & Gut Health

High fiber has been shown to improve cholesterol (lowering bad LDL cholesterol and increasing good HDL cholesterol) and according to Harvard Health Publishing, both types of fiber are important to digestive health. Research also shows that those who eat apples are less likely to develop high blood pressure.

Soluble fiber helps slow down digestion, allowing you to feel full, and also slows the digestion of glucose, which helps control your blood sugar. Meanwhile, insoluble fiber can help move food through your system and aid with constipation and regularity, per Harvard.

Healthy Immune System

Who doesn’t want a stronger immune system going into fall? Apples might be an important tool in your immune support. According to research, a diet filled with soluble fiber helped convert immune cells that were pro-inflammatory into anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting ones. In another study, researchers found that a diet high in dietary fiber protected mice against the flu. Whether these effects would be seen in humans is unclear until there are more studies.

Still, there’s reason to believe that apples may bolster immunity, in part because they contain immune-boosting vitamin C. A review published in 2017 in the journal Nutrients found that vitamin C plays many roles in helping the immune system function, such as by strengthening the epithelial (a type of tissue) barrier against pathogens and guarding against environmental oxidative stress, such as pollution to radiation, according to research.

Varieties & Seasonality

There are up to 100 apple varieties available worldwide, but US supermarkets sell a dozen of the country’s favorites. Local farmers may offer more unusual heirloom varieties. Some varieties are better for cooking and baking, while others are enjoyed raw for snacking. Ranging from sweet to tart, apples can produce a hearty crunch or a light crispy bite. Most apple varieties are ready for picking from late July through early November.

The following are America’s top 5 most popular varieties and make up 90% of America’s apple output.

#1 Gala

Coming in at first place, we have the Gala, with its mild, sweet and juicy flesh it’s currently America’s favorite apple according to the U.S. Apple Association. Galas were introduced to the United States in the 1970s and are a cross between Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious apples.

#2 Red Delicious

For decades the Red Delicious was the most popular American apple. But today’s consumer is looking for apples that are sweeter and crunchier and the market is flooded with plenty of interesting varieties that fit the bill, bumping red delicious down to second best.

#3 Granny Smith

One of our personal favorites and the third most popular apple in America, the Granny Smith is an Australian native with a tart and mildly sweet flavor that makes it a staple for baking. Our Caramel Apple Granny is made with buttery caramel and toffee-studded custard hugging fresh Granny Smith apples piled high in our melt-in-the-mouth shortbread crust.

 

 

#4 Fuji

This popular snacking apple is sweet and juicy and comes in at fourth as America’s favorite apple. In many ways similar to America’s history, apples were some of the earliest crops planted by colonists. Named for Japan’s Mt. Fuji, the Fuji was developed in Japan in the 1930s but didn’t make its way to America until the 1980s. It’s a cross between a Red Delicious and a Ralls Janet, and features a distinctive yellow and red color.

#5 Honeycrisp

Released in 1991, the Honeycrisp is a rising contender for favorite American apple. It has a juicy and frim crisp flesh combined with a sweet and balanced bite. The apples ripen in early fall, but store like a late season variety, keeping for up to 7 months.

 

Menu Additions:

Here’s how you can incorporate apples into your regular menu and specials. Sarah Gold Anzlovar, RDN, the Boston-based owner of Sarah Gold Nutrition, suggests adding them to salads or to a grilled cheese, making baked apples for a healthy dessert, or cooking up some pulled chicken with apples in the slow cooker for an easy lunch or dinner.

Restaurants can add Caramel Apple Granny to their seasonal dessert menu or top an already existing NY Cheesecake with a fall-inspired apple topping.

 

Resources: Harvard | Medical News Today | WebMD | Heatlh Line | Everyday Health | Eating Well




Fashionably luscious: how to build a spring dessert collection

The changing of seasons always brings a perfect opportunity to dazzle people with something new. And just as fashion designers debut new collections in the spring, you can make a similar splash with offerings on your dessert menu.

Sweet Street is ready to help you pull everything together without a hitch. Just keep a few smart strategies in mind, and your efforts are sure to be met with glowing reviews.

Go with textures perfect for the season

The feeling of springtime is light and fresh. So it makes sense to keep this in mind as you plan your dessert menu. Why not start things off with our delightful Vanilla Bean Cupcake, featuring the finest Madagascar vanilla on a moist, buttery cake. You also can’t go wrong with Sweet Street’s New York Cheesecake. Like a classic cocktail dress, its creamy smooth goodness is always in style. And if you’re planning an outdoor catered event, our Luscious Lemon Squares® are a natural fit.

Captivate them with color

Nothing inspires quite like all the wonderful colors of spring’s blooming flowers. Patrons will appreciate new colors on your dessert menu as well. You can go all in and make a dramatic statement with our Blueberry White Chocolate Cheese Brulée™. Or, try enticing them with the bright, multicolored tones of our festive Summerberry Stack®.

Play up the themes of spring

The wholesome, clean-ingredient goodness of Sweet Street’s Manifesto™ offerings is as refreshing as a breezy spring day. And there are occasions on the calendar that set up nicely for a dessert tie in as well. For instance, Sweet Street’s Four High Carrot Cake is tailor made for Easter celebrations.

However you choose to style your spring dessert menu, Sweet Street is ready to help you bring it to life.




Welcome summertime with luscious fruit-based desserts from Sweet Street

It’s no secret that fruits are at their best when enjoyed at the peak of ripeness. The vibrant colors captivate you, the fresh aromas intoxicate, and the flavors burst with the full promise of their tanginess, tartness or sweetness.

Of course fruit is a seasonal food, which means capturing that peak of ripeness largely depends on the time of year the fruit is grown. Fortunately, summertime is perhaps the best season to enjoy a wide variety of flavorful fruits—from raspberries, to blueberries, to mangos.

With all this in mind, now is the perfect time to explore the many refreshing fruit-based desserts available from Sweet Street. Truth be told, these offerings are ideal at any time of year because they’re made with fruits that are frozen at the peak of freshness. But what better time to celebrate and enjoy them than when the temperatures outside are hot and everyone is searching for a little cool refreshment.

Sweet Street’s luscious Lemon Manifesto™ Bar is a great place to start. Its zesty lemon freshness makes your mouth come alive and quenches your thirst, while the buttery smoothness of its melt-in-your-mouth curd and subtle crunch of the shortbread crust further satiate the senses.

Passion Mango Cheesecake Slice

Passion Mango Cheesecake

Another refreshing favorite is our Passion Mango Cheesecake. It features layers of creamy, smooth passion fruit- and mango-infused buttermilk cheesecake topped with tart passion fruit curd. All that zesty goodness is finished with a shimmering glaze of passion fruit and mango.

Searching for an unexpected raspberry treat? You’ll find it in Sweet Street’s Raspberry Sammies, made with ride red raspberry jam in golden buttery shortbread. And don’t forget the king of all summertime treats—our Summerberry Stack®. It features bright berries strewn across citrus-flecked cake aswirl with cool, tart key lime and creamy white chocolate cheese—all on a buttery crunch layered with vibrant raspberry.




Desserts with fruits: one more reason to love summer.

It only makes sense that desserts with fruits are most popular during the summertime. For starters, favorite dessert fruits such as lemons and berries are at their peak of freshness in the favorable warm weather. What’s more, their zest and tanginess add a refreshingly light flavor profile that perfectly complements the season.

Lemon Manifesto Bar

Lemon Manifesto Bar

So what’s the best way to highlight fruit on your dessert menu? Let’s start with lemons. Sweet Street offers several products that entice dessert lovers with the allure of this citrus superstar. Our Lemon Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd uses lemonade as its inspiration, layering cool lemon mousseline between the lemon cake and Meyer lemon curd.

Meanwhile, our new Manifesto™ line of cookies and bars also includes offerings that lead with refreshing lemon flavor. Take our Lemon Blueberry Manifesto™ Cookie and Lemon Manifesto™ Bar for example. In addition to their lemony lusciousness, these products offer the added benefits of wholesome, clean-ingredient sourcing—with no GMO’s or additives.

Now let’s bring berries into the mix. Sweet Street’s ever-popular Summerberry Stack® features bright berries strewn across citrus-flecked cake aswirl with cool, tart key lime and creamy white chocolate cheese. There’s no better way to let your patrons celebrate all that is good about summertime.

Fruit remains the third most popular dessert ingredient overall, according to Mintel.1 And when you add the timeliness of the warm summer season, featuring desserts with fruits is a natural.

Get your dessert menu set for summertime with luscious offerings from Sweet Street.

Source:                   1Mintel Foodservice Menu Category Report: Desserts, July 2015

 

 




Desserts with Berries! Bursting with Possibilities!

Just how popular are berries in American households? Well, consider the fact that they’ve now surpassed both apples and bananas in grocery sales as reported by the Global Berry Congress 2015.

The growing consumer demand for strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and other “soft fruits” creates a huge opportunity for restaurant operators as well. Not surprisingly, desserts are at the top of the list when it comes to leveraging the popularity of berries, as their fresh tartness makes a natural complement to traditional sweet dessert flavors.

“Fruit” is already the third most popular dessert flavor mentioned on menus today,1 and Sweet Street offers many exciting new ways to tempt your patrons with a burst of berry goodness.

Our Strawberry Cream Cheesecake is made with just-picked strawberry compote that adds a tart contrast to the creamy flavor. And our Summerberry Stack® is a veritable celebration of berries!

Bright raspberry filling in our moist vanilla cupcake, its top aswirl with our raspberry fluff icing. colorfully dressed in a magenta paper to enliven your case, this all natural sweetie is garnished with a naughty raspberry jelly candy.

Bright raspberry filling in our moist vanilla cupcake, its top aswirl with our raspberry fluff icing. colorfully dressed in a magenta paper to enliven your case, this all natural sweetie is garnished with a naughty raspberry jelly candy.

You can also offer a tasty and just a bit quirky take on berries with our Jelly Roll Cupcakes. They’re made with a bright raspberry filling in our moist vanilla cupcake and topped with raspberry fluff icing. This festive treat gives patrons a lighthearted wink with its raspberry jelly candy on top.

There are many more ways to delight dessert lovers with the refreshing goodness of berries. Explore the Sweet Street website to get inspired and discover all of the luscious and colorful possibilities.

1Mintel Menu Insights (Q1 2012-15)