With its signature green color and tart flavor, the Granny Smith apple is one of the most popular apple varieties in the US. Find out all you need to know in this ingredient guide!
Granny Smith apples are said to have been discovered in Australia by a woman named Maria Ann (Granny) Smith.
While there are many versions of the story, one popular legend is that she was testing French crab apple varieties for cooking, throwing the cores and seeds out her kitchen window. As a result, a new cultivar of apple began to grow that would become what we now know as Granny Smith Apples.
These apples have a signature green color that will start to turn a greenish-yellow when it gets too ripe. Flavor-wise, it’s quite tart with a subtle sweetness. Texturally, these apples are very firm and hold their shape well when baked.
Due to their thick skin, Granny Smith apples tend to last longer than others and don’t bruise quite as easily.
As with all apples, Granny Smiths are a good source of fiber.
One medium Granny Smith apple provides:
As with other apples, Granny Smiths are also high in polyphenols — plant compounds that have antioxidant effects.
In fact, it’s thought that many of the health benefits of apples, such as protection against heart disease and type 2 diabetes, may be due to the combination of fiber and polyphenols in them.
Look for apples that have a deep green color and no bruising. They should feel heavy for their size when picked up.
As with all apples, keep Granny Smiths in the crisper drawer of your fridge for up to 1 month.
For apples that you plan on eating within a few days, you can keep them out on the counter or in a fruit basket. Just try to avoid piling too many on top of each other as it can cause bruising.
Thanks to their tart flavor, high acidity, and firm texture, Granny Smith apples are perfect for baking (think pies, galettes, tarts, hand pies, and cobblers).
Their bright flavor also works well in savory dishes and sauces.
Of course, they’re also juicy enough to enjoy fresh. I personally love pairing them with cheese or dipped into peanut butter.
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