Growing up, fall was always one of my favorite seasons, and not just because it guaranteed a free sack of candy on Halloween. The leaves crisp into beautiful, warm colors, the air carries a cool breeze and you can’t help but step outside and take it all in. It’s exactly why whoever came up with apple picking (as a business idea) was a genius. Harvesting your own apples with friends or family while being immersed in the autumn atmosphere is a million times better than tossing store-bought ones into a grocery cart.
Last weekend I went apple picking for the first time in more than a decade, and it was phenomenal. For $18, we crammed about 20 apples into our bulging bag without a square inch to spare (not to mention our stomachs bulged too from eating along the way).
The experience turned me into an apple-picking advocate for the following reasons:
- It’s. So. Much. Fun.
- Reaching for those high branches is a great way to stretch your body
- The apples don’t have that waxy coating like the supermarket ones
- There’s nothing like that natural apple scent
- You can taste test different varieties
- Buying from local growers means better quality for you and better business for them. Win-win!
Of course, now what do you do with all those apples? Here are 11 ideas:
- Make caramel apples
- Serve them with peanut butter
- Put a few thin slices into your grilled cheese (my go-to pairing: cheddar)
- Mix up a batch of homemade applesauce
- Shred them into a smoothie or pancake batter
- Roast them with cubed butternut squash, pecans and onions
- Dice them into chicken salad
- Bake them into crispy cinnamon apple chips
- Blend them into a smooth apple butter
- Barbecue them for a sweet bonfire treat
- Add them (with other favorite fruits) to a glass of sangria
Last but not least, each bite reaps more benefits than you think. Apples are fiber-rich, which is why they make a filling snack. But don’t peel off the skin— that’s where most of the vitamins come from (specifically A and C). Not to mention, an apple a day… well… you know.
Do you have a favorite use for apples? Tell me about it in the comments!
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