Today’s guest blogger celebrates the changing of the seasons, and the Michigan apples that symbolize the advent of autumn for many of us.
Every time the weather blows in a new season, I count myself fortunate to live in Michigan, where we have four of them. The seasons give structure to my year, breathe new life into day-to-day routines, determine what I eat, and keep things fresh.
When the crisp air of fall is on the horizon, our family starts thinking about apples. We start talking about apple picking. We seek out the first apples at the Farmers’ Markets (in late summer) and relish every bite.
But we really can’t wait for September when we finally head out to the farm, take a tractor to the orchards, and pick bushel after bushel.
We love the family tradition of a trip to the apple orchard each fall.
We love the cheap, easy, healthy snacks that fill our garage.
We love the cinnamon smells of applesauce that fill the house.
If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, how many doctors are bored, because we generally average 2-3 per person around here?
Last fall my 2-year-old daughter would ask for “an apple for the road” daily as we loaded up to drive big brother to kindergarten, approximately ten minutes after she finished breakfast. She usually asked for another mid-morning, and another “for the road” when we picked him up at noon. It’s not uncommon to have an afternoon snack of an apple, and if we go for a walk after dinner, guess what she asked for? (Don’t worry, I don’t actually give her one all those times, but it proves a point. We love our apples.)
If you want to go picking but aren’t sure you can get through your apples quickly enough to really buy in bulk, don’t worry. Preserving apples is simple and extends the bounty of the season throughout the year. Here are 5 ways to keep the apple love going:
- Dehydrate apple slices with cinnamon. Use a dehydrator or accomplish it in an oven at low temp.
- Frozen applesauce
- Canned applesauce
- Frozen sliced apples (for pie, crisp or cobbler later)
- Fruit rolls
Visit Michigan’s apple growers to find an orchard near you!
What is your favorite way to eat Michigan apples? Straight from the tree, or in a delicious dish?
Katie Kimball is a mother of three from West Michigan who spends a ton of time in the kitchen making real food with whole ingredients and then blogs about her successes and failures at Kitchen Stewardship.