Kids are back in school, autumn has arrived and soon the leaves will begin to change. That means it is finally apple season. The best way to celebrate the season? Apple picking with your family, of course! You can enjoy the weather before it gets too cold, learn a few fun apple facts, and then get your kids into the kitchen to make some delicious apple recipes.
Before You Go…
Here are some fun apple facts:
- There are about 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States
- Apples are grown in all 50 states
- It takes 2 pounds of apples to make one 9-inch pie
- It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider
- Apples are fat-free, contain no sodium and provide about 5 grams of fiber each
- Apple trees take 4 to 5 years to produce their first fruit
- As soon as you pick an apple it stops ripening
- Here’s why apple slices turn brown and how to prevent it
- There’s a really cool new apple that doesn’t turn brown called the Arctic® Apple
At the Orchard…
You’ll enjoy seeing different apple varieties and experiencing what makes each one special: flavor, crispness, sweetness. Some apples are better for baking, some are better for juicing and some are better just sliced up and eaten fresh. And everyone has their favorite – mine is Pink Lady, my husband prefers Honeycrisp and my kids both love Granny Smith.
Back at Home…
Now that you have more apples than you know what to do with, here are some ideas:
- Did you know that some apples should be refrigerated for best quality? Gala and Golden Delicious are two common varieties that should definitely be stored in the refrigerator, but all apples can be stored there to prolong freshness.
- It’s easy to freeze apples for later use in pies and cooked desserts. Simply peel, cut and core the apples, then soak in ascorbic acid and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze until solid, then place in plastic bags or containers and return to the freezer.
- You can also dry apples at home with a dehydrator.
The next thing to do is get your kids into the kitchen to make your own homemade applesauce. This recipe is simple, delicious and certainly a celebration of the season!
So seize the day and take your family apple picking – make some memories and make some delicious apple recipes too.
Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE is a nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist with more than 20 years’ experience helping people enjoy their food with health in mind. Melissa is a certified diabetes educator, a former supermarket dietitian, and also a former national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). She was named Outstanding Dietitian of the Year in Illinois by AND and Outstanding Diabetes Educator of the Year in Chicago by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Melissa is a paid contributor to Sucralose.org. Melissa is the CEO of Sound Bites, Inc. based in Chicago, Illinois, and you can connect with her on Twitter (@MelissaJoyRD), Pinterest,Facebook, and check out her blog at SoundBitesRD.com.