Apples 101 – About Ambrosia Apples

Apples 101 – About Ambrosia Apples

Ambrosia apples were discovered as a very young stray tree in an apple orchard in British Columbia, Canada in the 1990s. They are believed to be a cross between Jonagold and Golden Delicious apples. The tree was allowed to grow and develop fruit so it could be tested. The original owners of the tree found the apples to be of exceptional flavor and characteristics, so they decided to grow them commercially. They chose the name “Ambrosia,” which in Greek mythology means “Food of the Gods.” Today, Ambrosia apples are grown according to strict guidelines in licensed orchards in the United States, Canada, Chile, Europe, and New Zealand.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Ambrosia apples have a lot to offer nutritionally. They supply a lot of fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium. They also contain phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron, Vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, biotin, pantothenic acid, and Vitamin E. They also contain a lot of water, which is important in helping to hydrate us, improving digestion, and maintaining healthy skin. In addition to the list of vitamins and minerals, Ambrosia apples also contain a variety of antioxidants that help to boost our health and fight disease. Many of the nutrients found in apples are in the skin, so it is important to eat the whole apple with the skin, if at all possible.

Brain Health and Cognitive Function. Focus, concentration and memory all benefit from eating an apple a day. The fiber and Vitamin B6 found in Ambrosia apples, can help support brain function. Magnesium, as found in Ambrosia apples, helps us to concentrate and retain information more effectively. Studies have even found that drinking apple juice may help keep neurotransmitters working optimally while slowing the aging of the brain.

Better Digestion and Heart Health. Like other apples, Ambrosia apples are also a good source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Insoluble fiber is notable for moving the contents of the intestinal tract forward, preventing constipation. The water in apples works with their fiber to help prevent constipation, and make us feel full longer, providing greater satiety. This also helps to reduce the risk of assorted bowel diseases, including cancer. Soluble fiber is known for helping to keep blood cholesterol managed by binding with bile and removing it from the body through the feces. This forces the liver to make more bile from existing cholesterol, in turn reducing blood cholesterol. This helps to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Immune System Support. Ambrosia apples contain a variety of antioxidants, such as quercetin, that help to boost the immune system. This helps the body fight viruses, bacteria, inflammation, and various diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Studies have shown that obtaining antioxidants from whole foods is more effective than obtaining them from processed foods or isolated supplements. So, eating a whole, fresh apple each day is a valuable and easy way to help maintain your health.

Other Health Benefits. Apples (in general, including Ambrosia apples) have been attributed to a variety of health benefits, in addition to the ones mentioned above. These include blood sugar regulation, cancer prevention, weight management, mood control, dental health, and sustained energy. It is important to remember that a lot of the nutrients in apples are found in the peel, so eat the skin if you possibly can!

Characteristics of Ambrosia Apples
Appearance. Ambrosia apples are medium to large, with a conical shape. The skin is smooth and glossy with a golden yellow base covered with a red to pink blush. The flesh is light yellow to cream color. The apple has a small fibrous core with a few small seeds. Unlike most apples, Ambrosia apples are very slow to turn brown or oxidize, which makes them an excellent choice for any fresh fruit application. They are low in enzymes that promote oxidation after being cut.

Flavor and Texture. Ambrosia apples are firm, crisp, and juicy with a sweet, honey-like flavor. They are very low in acid, so they are sweet with only a hint of tartness. They are sweeter than many other apples, which can allow you to use less sugar in baking or cooking applications when using Ambrosias. The dense flesh holds up well in any cooking or baking application. The skin of Ambrosia apples is not thick nor tough, like some apples. Instead, it is thin, tender, and easy to bite into, so there is little need to peel Ambrosias. Since the skin of an apple contains a lot of nutrients, this makes Ambrosia apples advantageous for people who have a hard time chewing apple peels.

Storage/Shelf-Life.  Ambrosia apples have a long storage life when kept cold, like in the refrigerator. In fact, they can still taste crispy and fresh months after harvest when kept in cold storage. Ambrosia apples are excellent options if they are available to buy in bulk, as long as you can keep them in cold storage. Ambrosia apples are harvested in the Fall, but since they store so well, they can be found in many grocery stores through Springtime.

Best Uses for Ambrosia Apples
Fresh. Ambrosia apples are an excellent choice for eating fresh. They stay fresh tasting, crispy, sweet, and juicy for months after harvest, as long as they were kept in cold storage. They are also very slow to oxidize or turn brown after being cut, so they can be cut early when served on appetizer trays or included in salads or slaws. There is no need to treat them with lemon water when used in this way. Thin slices of fresh Ambrosia apples can be added to burgers or sandwiches. They also pair well with sharp cheeses.

Baking. Ambrosia apples hold their shape well when baked, so they are also a perfect apple for any baking application. They are excellent when roasted with root vegetables. They will add sweetness and moisture to baked goods like cakes, muffins, and dough nuts. Because they are so sweet, added sugar in a recipe can often be reduced (sometimes by up to one-half) when Ambrosia apples are included in the recipe. Since they hold their shape well when baked, they are excellent to include in pies, tarts, and served as baked apples.

Cooking. Ambrosia apples will compliment any sweet or savory food preparation. They hold their shape and flavor well when cooked, so they can be used in any recipe calling for apples, whether sweet or savory. Try adding diced Ambrosias to polenta, couscous, or rice. Ambrosia apples can even be made into applesauce.

Drying.  Ambrosia apples can be dehydrated or baked into chips. Because Ambrosia apples are so slow to brown, they can even be dehydrated without being treated with lemon water. Here is a link from the website, giving detailed instructions on how to dehydrate Ambrosia apples without using special treatment to preserve color, while retaining the natural flavor of these special apples…

Here is a link to a page on the website, giving a detailed recipe on how to make baked Ambrosia Apple Cinnamon Chips…

Recipe Links
Ambrosia Apple Pico De Gallo

Ambrosia Apple Upside Down Cake (Gluten Free)

Healthy Ambrosia Apple Dessert Nachos

Fish Tacos with Ambrosia Apple Slaw

Cinnamon-Spiced Quinoa with Apples and Sweet Potato

Ambrosia Apple Granola Bar

Roasted Cauliflower and Ambrosia Apples

Slow-Cooker Apple Maple Pork Tenderloin

Ambrosia Apple Kale Salad

Dips for Ambrosia Apples

Ambrosia Apple Muffins

Vegan Ambrosia Apple Slaw

3 Ambrosia Apple Smoothies Perfect for Spring

Ambrosia Apple Baked Beans

Ambrosia Applesauce 5 Ways

Ambrosia Apples and Tomato Gazpacho Recipe

Ambrosia Apple and Pumpkin Soup

Ambrosia Apple Breakfast Bowl

Crustless Ambrosia Apple Pie a la Hasselback

German Apple Cake

Ambrosia Apple and Feta Salad with Roasted Almonds

Easy Homemade Applesauce



About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

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