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The Versatile and Healthy Granny Smith Apple

It is introducing the apple that doesn’t hold back – Granny Smith. This apple’s intense tartness will surely make anyone’s face pucker up. It has a firm texture, loads of juice, and a lemon-like acidity balanced by just the right sweetness.

Granny Smith is a versatile apple that can be used for anything. It’s excellent for baking and cooking and a favorite choice for dipping in peanut butter. Additionally, it doesn’t brown quickly, making it perfect for salads, fruit platters, freezing, and more.

What are Granny Smith apples?

What Are Granny Smith Apples

The Granny Smith apple, also known as the green apple or sour apple, is a type of apple that was first cultivated in Australia in 1868. It was named after Maria Ann Smith, who discovered the apple as a chance seedling and grew it into a distinct cultivar. The Granny Smith apple tree is believed to be a crossbreed between the European wild apple, Malus sylvestris, and the domesticated apple, Malus domestica, which provided the pollen needed for fertilization.

This apple variety has a firm, crunchy texture, light green skin, and juicy flesh. Its flavor is characterized by tartness and acidity. Due to its firmness, the Granny Smith apple is commonly used for baking, particularly in pies where it can be sweetened to balance its natural tartness. As the apple ripens, it transitions from a vibrant green color to a yellow hue.

Why are they called Granny apples?

Why Are They Called Granny Apples

The ‘Granny Smith’ apple, named after its discoverer Maria Ann Smith, originated in Sydney, Australia 1868. Maria Ann Smith, who had emigrated from England in 1839 with her husband Thomas, purchased a small orchard where she cultivated fruit. Due to her age, she earned the nickname “Granny” Smith. It wasn’t until 1924 that the first description of the apple’s origin was published.

Maria Ann Smith discovered the ‘Granny Smith’ apple by testing French crab apples for cooking. As she worked, she would throw the apple cores out her window and notice new seedlings growing underneath her kitchen windowsill. She took it upon herself to propagate the best seedlings and described the apples they produced as sweet, crisp, and suitable for cooking. She also found that they stored exceptionally well and became popular. Each week, she sold her produce at the local market.

Granny Apples

Although Maria Ann Smith passed away in 1870, her work caught the attention of other local planters. Edward Gallard successfully marketed the apple locally, but it wasn’t until 1890 that it gained widespread attention. That year, it was exhibited at an Agricultural and Horticultural Show as “Smith’s Seedling. “The following year, it won the prize for cooking apples under the name “Granny Smith’s Seedling.” The apple’s popularity grew, and many people started exhibiting ‘Granny Smith’ apples at horticultural shows.

The Australian government significantly promoted the ‘Granny Smith’ apple, leading to its widespread adoption. Its fame spread worldwide because it could be harvested from March and stored until November. In the 1890s and 1900s, fruit merchants experimented with methods to transport apples overseas in cold storage. The apple’s excellent shelf life allowed for long-distance exportation throughout the year. This was particularly beneficial when Australian food exports were in high demand internationally. After the First World War, ‘Granny Smith’ apples were exported in large quantities, and by 1975, they accounted for 40 percent of Australia’s apple crop.


Granny Smith apples exhibit small to medium-sized dimensions, typically measuring around 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter. Their shape varies from round to oval or even conical.

The skin of these apples is smooth, firm, and chewy, possessing a notable thickness. When fully ripe, the skin maintains a vibrant green hue and is adorned with minuscule, white lenticels.

In colder regions, these fruits may display a yellow-to-pink blush. Beneath the surface, the flesh of Granny Smith apples appears dense, crisp, and slightly watery, with a fine and grainy texture. A fibrous core containing tiny, brown-black seeds occupies the central portion of the apple.

Physical and organoleptic characteristics

Apple varietyGranny Smith
Anthocyaninslow (mainly cyanidin 3-galactoside)
Amount of anthocyaninscy3-galactoside: 29.56 mg/100 g maximum, cy3-arabinoside: less than 1 mg/100 g
Flesh texturefirm and crumbly
Acidity levelacidic (7.7 g/L total acidity)
Sugar contentlow
Aroma descriptorsgreen (“grassy green – cut grass” note), lemon (“lemon” note)
Volatile compounds in ripe fruitalkyl esters (80-98%), alcohols (6-16%), aldehydes, ketones, sesquiterpenes, terpenes, carboxylic acids
Organic acidsmalic acid (5.2 g/kg), citric acid (0.03-0.18 g/kg)
Source of alkyl estersapple skin (also present in the flesh)
Concentration of volatile compoundslowest among tested cultivars

Nutritional value of granny smith apples

NutrientAmount% Daily Value
Serving Size1 medium (167g)
Total Fat0.32g0%
Saturated Fat–g–%
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrate22.7g8%
Dietary Fiber4.7g17%
Total Sugars16g32%
Includes Added Sugars–g–%
Vitamin C–mg–%
Vitamin D–mcg–%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. Two thousand calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

How do Granny Smith apples taste?

How Do Granny Smith Apples Taste

The Granny Smith apple is known for its unique flavor profile, which includes lime and grapefruit elements. Its tart taste and crisp texture make it an excellent choice to complement more decadent and savory ingredients.

Granny Smith apples’ crisp and firm texture holds up in cooked preparations. Their tangy flavor provides a delightful contrast when paired with slightly sweet foods like winter squash or honey-baked ham. The tartness of this apple also pairs beautifully with rich seafood options such as crabmeat or shrimp.

Overall, the Granny Smith apple brings a refreshing and citrusy-tart taste to dishes, enhancing the flavors of other ingredients in a balanced way. Its versatility makes it a favorite among chefs and home cooks, adding a delightful twist to sweet and savory recipes.

Why are Granny Smith apples healthier?

Why Are Granny Smith Apples Healthier

Granny Smith apples are excellent for boosting vitamin intake and improving health. These tart green apples offer numerous benefits, including their ability to fight cancer and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Whether enjoyed on their own or incorporated into a green smoothie mix, here are six health benefits of Granny Smith apples:

High in Vitamin C

Granny Smith apples are rich in vitamin C, strengthening the immune system by boosting white blood cells and combating infections like colds and viruses. Additionally, the antioxidants found in these apples protect the brain from oxidative stress, promoting better brain function.

Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke

The pectin in Granny Smith apples helps lower LDL cholesterol levels and maintain healthy blood pressure. By reducing the risk of blood clots and plaque buildup in the arteries, these apples contribute to a more beneficial cardiovascular system, lowering the chances of heart attacks or strokes.

Fight Against Cancer Cells

The antioxidants and flavonoids found in Granny Smith apples aid in fighting cancerous cells within the body. These compounds protect against various cancers, such as lung, pancreatic, esophageal, and stomach cancers. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of these apples can help reduce the risk of asthma and other inflammatory conditions.

Good Source of Fiber and Vitamins

Granny Smith apples provide dietary fiber, promoting a healthy digestive system and reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol levels. They are also high in vitamin A, benefiting eye health and clear vision, while vitamin C acts as a water-soluble antioxidant that protects cells from damage.

High in Potassium

These apples contain significant amounts of potassium, essential for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance within and outside cells. Adequate potassium levels can help prevent high blood pressure by balancing sodium levels, contributing to better heart health.

Promote a Feeling of Fullness

With their high dietary fiber content, Granny Smith apples aid in healthy digestion and can help you feel fuller faster. This can benefit weight management as fiber slows stomach emptying, preventing overeating during meals. Furthermore, proper nutrient absorption is facilitated by thread, which is crucial for overall health.

What to make with Granny Smith apples?

What To Make With Granny Smith Apples

Granny Smith apples are versatile and can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. When eaten fresh, these crisp apples have a tart flavor perfect for snacking. They can also be sliced and added to green salads, displayed on fruit platters, served with nut butter, blended into smoothies, or layered into sandwiches.

Granny Smith apples can be dipped in caramel to satisfy your sweet tooth and served as a delicious dessert. These green apples hold their shape well in cooking and don’t discolor rapidly, making them ideal for cakes, cobblers, crisps, and pies. They can also be used in soups, cooked into pancakes, blended into applesauce, or juiced for cider.

Granny Smith apples pair nicely with sharp cheeses like blue, feta, and gorgonzola. They also complement meats such as poultry, pork, and beef, as well as ingredients like arugula, spinach, potatoes, beets, and other fruits like banana, citrus, and pineapple.

To keep Granny Smith apples fresh, store them unwashed in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. With proper storage, they can last 4 to 8 weeks.

Here’s a recap of the various ways you can enjoy Granny Smith apples:

  • Fresh: Enjoy them as a snack or add them to salads.
  • Desserts: Dip them in caramel or cakes, cobblers, crisps, and pies.
  • Cooking: Use them in soups, pancakes, applesauce, or juice for cider.
  • Pairings: Pair Granny Smith apples with cheeses, meats, greens, potatoes, beets, and other fruits.
  • Storage: Keep them unwashed in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer for 4 to 8 weeks.

When are Apples in season?

VarietyTasteSuggested UseHarvest
AmbrosiaCrisp and juicy, sweet, honeyed flavorAll-purposeLate September
BraeburnSweet and tart, firm, crispy and juicyAll-purposeMid-to-Late October
CameoSweet and robust, crispy and juicyGreat for eating fresh salads, pies, and saucesLate October
Crimson CrispSweet and tart, firm, crispy and juicyGreat for eating fresh and for saladsMid-September
CortlandSlightly acidic with white fleshGreat for eating fresh salads, pies, and saucesLate September
EmpireIt’s more sweet than tart. Extra crisp.Great for eating fresh, in salads, and for making sauces.Early October
EvercrispSweet and juicyGreat for eating, a cross between Fuji and HoneycrispMid-October
FujiVery sweet. Firm, crisp, and juicy.Excellent for eating fresh, putting in salads, baking pies, making sauces, and baking whole.Late October
GalaSweet with crisp yellow flesh.Great for eating fresh and for saladsEarly September
Ginger GoldSlightly tart and crisp.All-purposeMid-August
Gold RushSweet and crispGreat for eating and for saladsLate October
Golden EarlyCrisp and slightly tart.Excellent for fresh eating and saucesLate July
Granny SmithTartGreat all-purpose apples and salads for eating.Mid-October
Golden DeliciousSweet and mellow. Crisp and juicy.Suitable for eating fresh, putting in salads, making pies and sauces, and baking.Early October
Honey CrispVery sweet, crisp, and juicy. It tastes like apple cider!Excellent for eating fresh, on salads, and for sauce.Mid-September
Ida RedSlightly tart and juicy.Great all-purpose apple for eating, salads, pies, sauces, and baked.Early October
Jersey MacTartGreat for eating, sauces.Early August
JonagoldThe blend of tart Jonathan and sweet Golden Delicious.Excellent for eating fresh, they hold up nicely in pies and as a baked apple.Early October
JonathanTart, crisp, and juicy.They are great for eating fresh and cook nicely for making sauces.Late September
LodiVery sour/tart.Great for sauces.Late July
MacounSlightly tart, crisp, and juicy.Great for eating, pies, and baking.Early October
McIntoshIt’s more sweet than tart. Extra crisp.They are great for eating fresh and cook nicely for making sauces.Early September
MutsuSweet and slightly tart. Very firm, crisp, and juicy.Great for eating fresh, baked pies and baked apples.Early October
NittanyJuicy and sweetGreat for eating and bakingEarly October
Northern SpyVery tender, crisp, juicy, and tart.All-purpose apple except for drying.Early October
Paula RedSlightly tart.Eating and sauces.Early August
Pink LadySweet and slightly tartAn all-purpose apple, great for eatingOctober
PippinSlightly tart.Great for baking.Early September
RamboSlightly tart. It’s crisp and very juicy.Good for pies, sauces, and baked.Early August
Red DeliciousSweet and juicySuitable for eating fresh and for putting in salads.Late September
RomeSlightly tart. Firm, crisp, and juicy.Great for sauces, pies, and baked apples. Mid-to-Late OctoberMid-to-Late October
RubyFrostSweet and tartGreat for eating and bakingMid-October
SansaSweet, similar to Gala.Great eating appleMid-August
SnapdragonExtra sweet with hints of vanilla and spiceGreat for eating and on saladsEarly October
Soergel SpecialMore precious than tart, very crisp, firm, and juicyGreat all-purpose appleEarly-to-Mid September
SweeTangoA mix of Honeycrisp and Zester applesGreat all-purpose appleLate September
Stayman WinesapSweet and slightly tart. Firm and juicyExcellent for eating fresh, putting in salads, baking pies, making sauces, and baking whole.Mid-October
ZestarSweet and slightly tartExcellent for sauce and cookingEarly August

How to store Granny Smith apples

If you’ve ever gone apple picking during apple season and returned home with many apples, you understand the challenge of utilizing them all. Fortunately, several effective methods exist for storing apples to maintain their freshness for extended periods, potentially up to a year. Discover the techniques for storing apples below.

How to Choose the Best Apples for Storage

To ensure optimal long-term storage of apples, it is essential to carefully select the best apples while promptly using any that may spoil. Here are some key considerations when choosing apples for storage:

Discard rotten apples

Prioritize apples with soft spots, bruises, or blemishes for immediate use, keeping them separate from the batch intended for storage. Bruised apples release ethylene gas, accelerating the ripening and decay process of the surrounding apples.

Opt for crisp and tart varieties.

For long-term storage, choose apples with thick skin that are crisp and tart in taste. Varieties such as Granny Smith, Fuji, McIntosh, Winesap, Honeycrisp, Northern Spy, or Rome can last up to six months or even longer. Sweeter varieties like Golden Delicious have a shorter shelf life.

Look for intact stems.

Apples with entire stems have a longer shelf life than detached ones. The presence of a stem helps prevent the entry of microorganisms, which can lead to decay.

Source fresh apples

When aiming for extended storage, obtain apples directly from an apple tree or a farm rather than purchasing them from a grocery store. Grocery store apples have already undergone a significant storage period, reducing their potential shelf life in a home environment.

How to Store Apples Short-Term

To ensure the optimal storage of apples for future use, please follow these guidelines:

Room temperature preservation

For apples intended to be consumed within a week, storing them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, is recommended.

Refrigerator crisper storage

To extend the shelf life of whole apples up to six weeks, place them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Consider wrapping the apples in a damp paper towel or placing them in a perforated plastic bag for enhanced freshness.

It is essential to keep the apples separate from other produce, as the ethylene gas emitted by apples can accelerate the ripening process of nearby fruits and vegetables.

Lemon juice protection

If you have sliced apples that you wish to store in the refrigerator, prevent browning by coating the slices with lemon juice. This simple step will help maintain the visual appeal of the apple slices for three to five days.

How to Store Apples Long-Term

For long-term storage of apples, consider the following methods:

Optimal Storage Environment

Apples thrive in a dark, relaxed environment, making traditional root cellars ideal. If you lack a root cellar, convert an unheated basement or garage into a well-ventilated room with low temperatures.

Proper Wrapping Technique

To store whole apples long-term, individually wrap each apple in paper and place them gently in a box. If your home tends to be dry, periodically mist the covered apples without unwrapping them. Regularly inspect the apples and remove any showing signs of decay. These apples can be used fresh or cooked.

Freezing Technique

Another option is freezing the apples, which preserves them for up to six months. Prevent browning by tossing cut apples in lemon juice and then drying them. Flash-freeze the cut or whole apples overnight and transfer them to a freezer bag for extended storage.

Remember that freezing alters the texture and crispness of apples, making them ideal for recipes requiring cooked apples, such as apple pie, apple butter, or apple sauce.

Why are granny smith apples so expensive?

Granny Smith apples, known for their popularity, come with a higher price tag than other apple varieties in the market. Let’s explore the reasons behind their expensive nature.

Limited Availability Due to Growth Requirements

Granny Smith apple trees require specific conditions for optimal growth. Abundant sunshine, warmth, and well-draining soil are essential for their thriving.

These trees demand meticulous care and regular maintenance during the initial months, including watering and pruning. As a result of these specific requirements, the availability of Granny Smith apples is limited.

Despite the high demand, there may need to be more supply to meet it. In the USA, regions within zones 5 to 8 provide suitable conditions for their growth. Similarly, other parts of the world with comparable soil and temperature conditions also cultivate these apples.

High Labor and Transportation Costs

Since Granny Smith apples are predominantly grown in select regions worldwide, they must be transported extensively to reach various supermarkets for sale.

This extensive transportation incurs higher labor and transportation costs. Handling the apples carefully during transit is crucial to prevent any damage.

Although Granny Smith apples are relatively sturdy, proper storage and transportation measures are necessary. The expenses associated with storage and transportation inevitably impact the final cost of the produce.

Long Ripening Season

Granny Smith apples belong to the late autumn variety and are typically ready for harvest around mid-October. However, the harvest may take longer, depending on the planting time.

These apples have a considerably long ripening season, taking approximately 170 to 180 days from bloom to harvest. Furthermore, they do not grow throughout the year or in any location.

The limited growing seasons and geographical requirements further restrict their availability, consequently driving up their cost.

In summary, the high price of Granny Smith apples can be attributed to their limited availability due to specific growth requirements, the associated labor and transportation costs, and their long ripening season.


Buy Granny Smith Apples At The Farm To Palm Supermarket

Buy Granny Smith apples at the Farm to Palm supermarket today to enjoy their health benefits. Granny Smith apples are the perfect choice for delicious and nutritious meals with their unique tart flavor, crisp texture, and versatility in various dishes. Besides providing vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, they also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, fight against cancer cells, and maintain a healthy digestive system. So don’t miss out on this opportunity: purchase Granny Smith apples at Farm to Palm to incorporate them into your diet and experience their health benefits!

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