Storing Fresh Apples

Storing Fresh Apples

I did something different this week. Several weeks ago, I ordered four bushels of organic Fuji and Cameo apples from a local organic food co-op in Goodletsville, TN called Bulk Natural Foods. By the way, I spent about the same per one bushel of apples that I usually spend on a week’s worth of apples from the grocery store. I put them in cold storage in a spare refrigerator. I’ve had friends do this very successfully, so I decided to give it a try. Here’s the article directly from the Bulk Natural Foods website where I learned to preserve the whole fresh apples.


Choosing the Best Storage Apple

In the north, where temperatures are reliably cold in fall and winter, it’s pretty easy to keep apples fresh for a long time just by storing them in an unheated pantry or root cellar. Here in Tennessee, we have some extra challenges with heat and moisture, but it can be done.

First, you want to choose a late season apple with firm flesh and a thicker skin. Fuji (, Cameo (, Ida Red (, Braeburn, and Mountaineer are some of the very best keepers. Mutsu (, Rome ( apples/), Jonagold (, and Jonathan ( are pretty good also, but they won’t keep as long.

Make sure the apples you plan to store are free from bruises and blemishes. Even a small cut or bruise can spoil a whole lot of apples, so it’s best to use the blemished ones for something else.

Keeping the Apples Separated

It’s important to keep the apples somewhat separated, so that if one starts to go bad, it doesn’t affect the others.

Some people suggest wrapping each apple individually in newspapers, but the inks are toxic and not something I want touching my fruit. Instead, I like to use blank newsprint paper, which I buy for about $3.50 a roll end from my local newspaper office. (It’s good stuff to have on hand for sewing patterns and school projects anyway. We use it all the time.) You could also use paper towels, or even scrap fabric.

Either layer the newsprint between layers of apples, or individually wrap each apple in the paper, twisting to keep the paper secure. Or, take a look at Wilda’s method below. She’s amazing when it comes to fruit storage! Wilda keeps all her fruits this way, and she often tells me she still has peaches in her fridge from 4 weeks prior.


If apples are not kept in a humid environment, they start to become shriveled, soft and dried out. To keep the apples from drying out, place the layered or paper-wrapped apples into plastic bags. Leave the bags slightly open or perforate them to allow for some air circulation.

Keeping Them Cold

The very best place to keep apples is in the refrigerator. They last the longest when they’re kept between 30 and 32 degrees and at about 90% humidity. The problem we run into is that our refrigerator is not nearly big enough to hold all the apples we would like to eat between fall and spring!

Our solution is to put as many apples as we can comfortably fit into the fridge. The rest, we put in an unheated outbuilding where they’re safe from mice and other critters. The outdoor apples are used first, leaving as many as possible in the refrigerator, and we move more to the fridge as space allows.

Occasionally, on very cold nights, the apples need to be brought into the house so they don’t freeze. I put a thermometer on top of one of the boxes so I can keep an eye on the temperature and bring them in if it gets below 30 degrees. (Apples freeze at about 28 degrees.)

Even though the weather is still relatively warm when we buy our storage apples in late fall, the combination of fridge and out building storage has worked well for us, and we’ve been able to keep our apples into February and March, sometimes even April. That is, if we’ve bought enough of them!

Wilda’s Method

Erin, Our last two Ida Red apples are gone! The last ones were as good as the first. They did not shrivel, have bruises, or bad places. They have kept better than any other kind of apple I have tried, and we really like the flavor.

Wilda Patterson
I asked Wilda how she kept them so nicely, and this was her reply:

I store the apples in an extra refrigerator I have in the basement. I put them in plastic grocery bags, a couple layers of apples in each bag, with paper towels top and bottom, and between the apples. The paper towels absorb extra moisture. Store them loosely (don’t tie the bags) so they have some air circulation. I did not lose one apple. This has worked for me for years.

Wilda, Bulk Natural Foods (

When Did Aging Become A Bad Thing

When Did Aging Become A Bad Thing

A posh term these days is “anti-aging”. We see anti-aging terminology all over the place – in cosmetics, vitamins, supplements, prescription medications, etc.

Since I’m well past forty, I feel like I’m qualified to speak my mind. I don’t agree with the term “anti-aging”.This term simply carries a connotation that there’s something wrong with growing older. Quite frankly, I feel like I’m just now coming into my prime. Age seems to bring with it a degree of benefit.

I prefer the terms “Preventive-Aging” and “Longevity”. These convey a meaning of being empowered with the preventive measures necessary for living healthier for longer periods of time. Let me give you a quote that I recently read:

The gradual wasting away of the body over the course of decades is not a necessary or normal component of aging.

Rather, it is the natural outcome from a lifetime of unenlightened lifestyle choices.

The Conclusion…

Through unhealthy choices you may actually function and be aging biologically at the same level as someone 15-20 years older!

So, here’s the golden question…

How can you be one of those people who function and age biologically at a level equivalent to someone who is many years younger than you?

A Term That Makes No Sense…

If I’m totally honest, I must inform you that we, as Americans, have potentially been fleeced. Over the past 8 years, politicians have led us to believe that there is such a thing as “Healthcare Reform”. Sadly, this is not true. The reality is that it’s not “Healthcare Reform”. Instead, it is “Sick Care Reform”. Let me explain…

  • Exponential numbers of Americans today are turning 65 years old
  • There’s a nine-fold increase in the cost of sick care of those over 65 – 85 years compared to those prior to age 65 years.

• More than 75 cents of every dollar spent in healthcare goes toward treating preventable sickness (ie, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, obesity)
• Most medical providers are trained to wait until patients are drowning before they throw them a life preserver…. this is, in essence, “downstream” medicine.

What if there was a way to hedge the risks?

There is a way. It’s called “preventive-aging medicine”. At the Optimal You Clinic, we specialize in this area of medicine and partner with you to custom-design a preventive aging plan to fit your individual needs. Individualized weight loss coaching & hormone rebalancing are just a couple of the techniques implemented
to help achieve your goals.

To Your Health,

Brian G. Brown

How Much Protein Do I Need?

How Much Protein Do I Need?

Most people don’t realize that, as we age, our demand for protein grows. Problematically, as we age, we generally consume less protein. As such, our body’s defenses become weaker which makes us more susceptible to diseases and illnesses. Additionally, without the right amount of protein, we also struggle to maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin control, we feel hungry more often, and we struggle to regulate our weight.

Sadly, most Americans consume a larger proportion of carbohydrates vs. proteins in their daily diet. This imbalance only accelerates the problems mentioned above and sets us up for failure with regard to our health. Another longstanding trend is to reduce fat intake. While there’s nothing wrong with reducing saturated fats in our diet, going to an extreme low fat diet can be detrimental to your health both physically and emotionally. Low fat diets are notorious for causing depression in those who ascribe to this type of diet modification.

We must strike a healthy balance between carbohydrates (preferably in the form of high in non-grain fiber), protein, and fat. In my recent review of current medical research, there is a large amount of evidence that proves the health benefits of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate, moderate -fat diet. These benefits include weight loss, blood sugar regulation, insulin reduction, lower blood pressure, less blood vessel inflammation, and preservation of healthy metabolism.

There is a quick way to calculate your protein need per day. The formula is as follows: Your Weight (in pounds) ÷ 2.2 = Your Weight (in kg.)

Protein Need FOR WOMEN: Your weight in kg. × 0.82 = Amount of Protein Grams/day. This gives you theminimum protein requirements per day. NOTE: if you are more active, you may multiply by 1.2 for moderate activity OR 1.8 for strenuous activity.

Protein Need FOR MEN: Your weight in kg. × 0.89 = Amount of Protein Grams/day. This gives you theminimum protein requirements per day. NOTE: if you are more active, you may multiply by 1.2 for moderate activity OR 1.8 for strenuous activity.

When increasing your dietary protein, it’s best to do this under the supervision of a weight loss specialist. At the Optimal You Clinic, I have training as a weight loss solution coach. I’d love to help you design a program that’s just right for you. If you’d like to take a free diet profile, go to ( I have a FREE diet profile that will help design a program for you.

To Your Optimal Health & Vitality,

Choose Your Sugar Wisely

Choose Your Sugar Wisely

When it comes to healthy living, most people are aware that sugar and starches need to be limited. But, most people don’t know why. When you eat foods that are starchy or contain sugar, your body interprets them all as pure sugar. Your body doesn’t know the difference between a tablespoon of sugar, a piece of bread, or mashed potatoes.

While sugar is necessary for survival, the best source of sugar comes from fruits and vegetables. I tell patients all the time to think of themselves as scavengers. Ask yourself, what am I most likely to find if I’m stranded in a tropical wilderness? Odds dictate that you are more likely to find cruciferous vegetables, nuts, and berries while scavenging. For now, we will stick to fruit.

In nature, berries are most plentiful and tree fruit is seasonal; thus, tree fruit naturally has limited availability. Because of modern-day-mass-production of these delectable foods, we no longer have to scavenge. We simply go to the local market and purchase whatever our heart desires. This can be both good & bad – good in the sense that we have access to healthier options, but bad in the sense that unlimited access to seasonal fruits, such as those that come from trees, can lead us to unhealthy imbalances.

Remember this little clue. Any fruit that ends in “berry” is better for you: strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, & raspberry. These have the lowest sugar content of all fruits, are filling, high in fiber, low in sugar, and high in antioxidants. If you have a choice, choose berries over tree fruit. If you must eat tree fruit, stick to apples. Enjoy these healthier options and enjoy a healthier life.

To Your Health,

Brian Brown

Benefits of Melatonin

Benefits of Melatonin

O.k., here’s the obvious. Melatonin helps with sleep. I know, I can hear through the waves of cyberspace the resounding… “Duhh.” More specifically, it helps influence sleep patterns – the fancy name is circadian rhythm. By influencing the deeper stages, Stage IV and REM, quality of sleep improves and health benefits are conveyed.

Here are some published health benefits of Melatonin:

Influences the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH); which can affect weight loss and healthy weight maintenance

  • Energizes
  • Enhances Mood
  • Increases Natural-Killer-Cells
  • Modulates Immune Function
  • Protects Against Cancer
  • Potent Antioxidant
  • Free Radical Scavenger
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Decreases Migraines & Cluster Headaches

Melatonin is readily available in most all pharmacies. The best form to use is a “time release, micronized” form. This allows for better absorption and longer duration of action, compared to the standard over-the- counter versions, which more closely mimics the body’s natural Melatonin release. Typical dose range is anywhere from 1mg to 30mg per night. Because of the known health benefits and the relative low side effect profile, this supplement is a good all-around addition to any wellness regimen.

To Your Health,
Brian Brown