Apples are all created the same, nutritionally, but baking and drying create new textures and flavors. Baked apples tend to have additives, such as sugar, that will decrease the nutritional value. The best apples for baking include the McIntosh or a Granny Smith, but one of the worst is a Red Delicious due to its duller apple flavor. The Honeycrisp is one of the best to eat raw: It is sweet like honey and very crisp.
One cup of baked apple provides 105 calories, 1 gram of protein and 28 grams of total carbohydrate if left unsweetened. A baked apple is a good source of fiber with 5 grams total, which is 19 percent of the daily target. On the other hand, a serving of baked apple that is sweetened will provide 181 calories, with 84 empty calories. The total carbohydrate count also increases to 47 grams per one-cup serving.
Eating an apple in its natural state, raw and with the skin, provides 95 total calories. A raw apple is not a good source of protein with less than a half a gram per serving. The total carbohydrates in a medium-sized raw apple is 25 grams with 4 grams of fiber. Removing the skin from an apple also removes some of the nutrition. The total calories is less at 77, but the fiber is also decreased to only two grams, making it a less healthy choice.
Apples can also be dried, which preserves many of their natural nutrients. For 1 cup of dried apples there are 209 total calories, 56 grams of total carbohydrates and 7.5 grams of fiber. The increase in calories, carbohydrates and fiber for the same serving size is due to the increase volume of apple that you are eating. When drying an apple the liquid is removed which shrinks the apple. The drying process reserves most of the sugar and other nutrients from the apple that provide calories, carbohydrates and fiber.
You can do many different things with raw and baked apples. When eating raw apples, try a tasting bar of different varieties and compare and contrast their flavor. Raw apples can also be diced and used in salads. Baking apples can go beyond just dessert. Use your baked apples to make a chutney for sandwiches and grilled meats. Or turn them into a chunky applesauce.
- Eating Well: The Best Apples for Baking, Cooking and Eating.
- United States Department of Agriculture Supertracker: Apple, Baked, Unsweetened 1 Cup Serving.
- United States Department of Agriculture Supertracker: Apple, Baked, With Sugar.
- United States Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database: Apples, rRaw, With Skin.
- United States Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database: Apples, Raw, Without Skin.
- United States Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database: Apples, Dried, Sulfured, Uncooked.
- Fruits and Veggies More Matters: Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Apples.