Apples are a great addition to any fruit smoothie. Apples are high in vitamin C and the fiber pectin, and are naturally cholesterol-, sodium- and fat-free. Depending on the flavor of smoothie you wish to make, apples can deepen the flavor by adding tartness or sweetness to the mixture. Whether forming the base for your smoothie or just adding flavor, putting apples in your next fruit smoothie is a healthy idea.
To counteract overly sweet smoothies made with such fruits as berries, which are loaded with natural sugars, add apples that are tarter and less sweet. The best tart apples for a smoothie include the Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Braeburn. Granny Smith apples, which have a bright green skin, are available year-round, are very firm and stand up well as a main ingredient in a smoothie. Pink Lady apples are also very firm and tart, but are only available from November until midwinter. Braeburns have a firm flesh and either a red or yellow skin. The slightly tart apples are available from October until July.
Tart to Mild Apples
If you want a slightly tart apple as a side ingredient, the best choices are Rome Beauty, Honey Crisp and Red Delicious. Rome Beauties are heirloom apples (meaning they are an old variety that is being cultivated again) with a red skin and very firm flesh, and would add a lot of body to a smoothie without too much tartness. Honey Crisp apples are mild in flavor, with a slight tartness, and have been grown since the 1960s. Red Delicious are the most widely grown apple in the U.S. These bright red-skinned apples have a mild flavor and a very soft flesh and make a good accompaniment in a smoothie. All three varieties are available year-round.
For apples with a mild flavor and just a hint of sweetness, the best choices are Golden Delicious, Cameo and Jonagold apples, all of which can be found year-round. Golden Delicious apples are similar in shape and flavor to a Red Delicious apple, except that they have a yellowish skin and are just slightly sweeter than a Red Delicious. Cameo apples, which are a relatively new variety, are also similar in flavor to the Delicious apples. The flavor is somewhat bland with just a hint of sweetness. Jonagold apples have a very nice flavor that is not too sweet. The Jonagold is a hybrid between Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples, although they tend to be larger. The flavor is sweet, with a balance of acidity, and is an excellent addition to a smoothie.
If you want a sweet apple as the main ingredient in a smoothie, the best choices are Gala, Sonya and Fuji. Galas are another popular apple that are available year-round. They are generally reddish in color and taste similar to a Golden Delicious, only with a slightly sweeter taste. Sonyas are a newer variety of apple, available for only a few years, that originated in New Zealand. Sonyas are extremely sweet with just a hint of acidity and would make an excellent smoothie. Unfortunately, they are rare and usually found only in specialty stores. Fuji apples are an increasingly popular apple because of their overriding sweetness. They are available in late fall and late spring, depending on where they are grown. Fujis are very crisp, and have a meaty flesh and a sweetness that stands well on its own.
References and ResourcesBlame It on the Voices: The Spectrum of Apple Flavors
University of Illinois Extension: Apples and More: Apple Facts
The George Mateljan Foundation: Apples: What's New and Beneficial About Apples
Orange Pippin Ltd.