MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Jan 24, 2013) - (Family Features) There was a time when an apple was the last place you would look to experiment with new flavors in the produce section. But today, there are nearly 100 commercial varieties to choose from, each with unique characteristics to tickle your taste buds.

One new variety called Opal is grown in Washington and offers a complex flavor that starts sweet and finishes with a slight tang. Vibrantly yellow and super crunchy, these apples are perfect for fresh salads and side dishes. And, unlike many types of apples, Opals naturally resist oxidation after cutting, which keeps them fresh and delicious for a lunch prepared before you head out for work, or snacking through the day.

An added benefit is that when you buy Opal apples, you are helping to fund the Youth Make a Difference Initiative grants, which provide funding for youth programs serving communities across the United States.

For a lunch with a crunch, try adding apples in fun and delicious ways:

  • Dip apple slices in your favorite nut butter.
  • Add thin slices of apple to your deli meat sandwich, or layer them with PB and J on raisin bread.
  • Make your own cracker stackers with whole grain crackers, your favorite cheese, smoked turkey, and apple slices.
  • Add apples to a delicious salad, such as this spinach and apple salad with dried cherries, which is filled with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and antioxidants.

Visit www.opalapples.com to access an application for the Youth Make a Difference Initiative.

Spinach Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts 
Servings: 4 
Prep Time: 15 minutes 
2 Opal apples
5 ounces baby spinach
1/3 cup dried tart cherries
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed)
1 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
  Salt to taste
  Ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Core apples, and cut into thin slices (about 16 per apple). Place spinach in a large bowl; remove long stems and any bruised leaves. Add cherries and half of apples and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, thyme, lemon zest, salt and ground pepper to taste. Toss spinach, apples and cherries with just enough dressing to coat. Top with remaining sliced apples, goat cheese and toasted walnuts.

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Contact Information:

Matthew Barksdale