We don’t give it too much thought when we see a large display of apples at the front of the store. So it may surprise you to find out that there are more than 7500 species of apples grown worldwide. So when it comes to juicing at home, are all apples created equal?
As a humble home juicer, you have a lot of freedom in your choice of apples. Don’t feel like you need to stick to the same few that you grew up with. The purple colored ‘star apple’ orchards of the West Indies are actually terrible for juicing, as their skin is heavy in not-so-delicious latex. So exotic isn’t always better, but that’s what this article is all about.
Let’s have a look at the different types of apples that are available to you, and why you might want to choose these various apples over the others.
The red delicious apple is the go-to for many home juicers, especially here in the United States. The ‘natural’ flavor of apples is tart. Some apples produce more sugar than others, which gives them a sweeter taste to mask the tartness.
The red delicious is an example of an apple that produces a lot of sugar naturally. As you would expect, this makes it one of the sweetest and best tasting apples for juicing.
The red delicious is also one of the species of apple that is highest in nutrients, such as fiber and antioxidants. This leads to an interesting debate for many juicers, as most of the nutritional value of an apple is contained in its skin.
To get the highest amount of nutrition from your apples, it makes sense to leave the skin on for the juicing process. (This produces ‘cloudy juice’, which is darker in color, and tastes different to what you may be used to).
The other side of the great apple skin debate is that most apples are heavily treated with pesticides, which may linger in the skin. So by leaving the skin on during juicing, you may also be introducing lead and arsenic in to your juice!
Of course, you can avoid the whole problem by taking a little bit more time and money to source organic apples for your juice. But not everybody is willing to do this, so leave the skin on at your peril!
As a last tip with the red delicious apple; you will get considerably more, and better, juice from apples that are closer to being perfectly ripe. It’s worth investing a bit of time into learning how to tell the perfectly ripe apples from the rest of the bunch here.
Gala apples hail from the land of New Zealand, but have become a huge hit in the united states, ranking at number two for popularity behind the good old Red Delicious. Gala apples that you would purchase from the supermarket are a bit hit or miss. About half the time they will be floury, or less sweet than they should be.
Where the gala apple really shines is on home grown trees. A home grown gala apple will be much sweeter and juicier than its brethren from the supermarket. No one has ever been able to provide me with an answer for why this is the case.
Maybe gala apples just don’t travel as well as other apples, or maybe it has to do with the pesticides that the commercial orchards use, but home grown gala apples are the way to go for juicing or just snacking on.
If you think you might stick with home juicing for a long time, you might consider growing a gala apple tree in your yard.
The Yellow Delicious is actually the parent apple to the two above varieties. I can just picture old Grampa Yellow delicious sitting on his rocking chair, lecturing on about how “In our day, we didn’t need no danged sugar”. Yes, the yellow delicious apple is a lot less sweet than the red delicious or gala apples.
Don’t get too excited if you’re looking for a lower sugar juicing apple though. The yellow delicious has about the same sugar content as its sweeter offspring, but it has a much higher acid content, which masks the sweetness.
The yellow delicious is a good choice if you like your juice tart tasting, but otherwise be prepared to add plenty of sweetener to this juice.
This is the apple for those of you who are looking for a low-sugar juicing apple. If you’ve ever taken a bite of one of these green apples, you will already be well aware of how bitter and acidic their flavor is. If deeply unsweet apple juice is your cup of tea, then the granny smith is going to be the correct choice for you.
If you’re looking for nutritional benefits, the granny smith is also higher than most species in potassium, and has an antioxidant level high enough to rival the red delicious.
This apple hails from jolly old England and, like everything in the UK, is a little bit older and a little bit more refined than its counterparts. The Ashmead’s Kernel has been around since the 1700s and has been sought out for its sweet and slightly different flavor. Although it is an apple, its taste is more like that of a pear.
Traditionally, the Ashmead’s apple has been a dessert apple, but recently it has become more popular as a juicing apple. Juice made from the Ashmead’s Kernel has a surprisingly different taste, while still retaining all of the nutritional value that you expect from your apple juice. The odd flavor is not for everyone, but it is definitely worth trying once or twice.
So those are a few of the more common varieties of juicing apple. You will most likely be able to find all of these at your local supermarket or greengrocer. But as I said above, don’t be afraid to branch out a bit into the stranger varieties. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Whatever type of apple you are using, always remember to remove the pips before juicing. The pips contain the poison cyanide and will make your juice taste awful.