Fall is synonymous with apples, so perhaps that is what is fueling my apple addiction. Apples are everywhere and yet I cannot seem to get enough. When Snow White’s Evil Stepmother offers her the poisoned apple, she accepts it. Snow White knows her stepmother cannot be trusted, but she eats the apple anyway. Why? Because apples are freaking delicious!
Pumpkins get a lot of action this time of year, but apples can really hold their own. They can be sweet and spicy, just like pumpkins. Maybe apples are not a featured latte on the menu at Starbucks, but they should be! If you find yourself suffering from a seasonal apple addiction, there are some things you can do to satisfy your cravings.
How to Feed Your Fall Apple Addiction
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Go Apple Picking
Taking a trip to the local apple orchard was a ritual every fall as I was growing up in Michigan. We would pick our own apples and then sip hot apple cider while we ate cinnamon donuts fresh from the fryer. These experiences are among my favorite childhood memories.
Now, I have a daughter of my own, but we live in the desert of Las Vegas. I knew hot apple cider was out of the question, but we actually have a nearby apple orchard! Score! A few weekends ago, my husband and I brought our toddler out to do some apple picking.
A visit to the local apple orchard does not only have the potential for deliciousness, it is also a wonderful learning opportunity. As we walked up and down the rows of apples, we talked about the color, sizes, and shapes of each apple. We compared apples to determine which we liked the looks of best. I also introduced the word “ripe” to my toddler and was able to demonstrate what that looks like.
Whenever you allow your toddler to have some decision making power when it comes to what they eat, you will find that they will actually eat it! My daughter could not wait to get her newly formed teeth into those juicy apples! This strategy works at the grocery store, too. By allowing your child to help pick out the produce, they will begin to learn how to make healthy choices.
Fresh and local is always the best way to go, but if you do not have an apple orchard in driving distance, try to check out your local Farmer’s Market. If that fails, sign up for Bountiful Baskets, where they bring the farmer’s market to you. You order the baskets you want online and then go to your nearest pickup location to pick it up, usually on the weekend. One basket, filled with all kinds of goodies, is just $15. If you can’t wait for the weekend, go to Trader Joe’s for some apples that are as big as your head.
Apples for Babies
I made all of my own baby food for my daughter and it is surprisingly easy! One of my daughter’s favorites was baby applesauce. To make, I would steam two-three apples with about a teaspoon of cinnamon (optional). Then, I would blend to the desired consistency. When she was still a baby, I purèed until smooth. As she reached toddlerhood, I would leave the mixture chunky. It is still something she enjoys!
After creating my purèe, I would portion and freeze in an *ice cube tray. Then, I could mix and match with other fruits and vegetables. She loved apple/pear, apple/spinach, apple/butternut squash, and apple/carrot. See? Apples are delicious at any age!
Apples for Breakfast
I became obsessed with oatmeal when my daughter was an infant and I was trying to boost my milk supply. But oatmeal can be as boring as well…oatmeal. Through the magic of Pinterest, I discovered Overnight Oats. Overnight Oat recipes are perfect for “on the go”. I send them off with my husband when he goes to work and eat them myself while chasing my toddler, but these are perfect to eat in the car during school drop-off, as well.
For apple overnight oats, mix 1 cup of oats, 1 cup of almond milk (or your favorite milk), 1/2 cup apple cinnamon yogurt, 1 chopped apple, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp chia seeds, and handful of your favorite mix-ins like raisins, dried cranberries, or almonds. Let sit overnight and then enjoy!
Apples for Dinner
Sure, apples are sweet and delicious, but that does not mean that they cannot be enjoyed with savory dishes! My husband likes to serve pork and apples together because they go together like peanut butter and jelly, but better because it is PORK and APPLES! One of his favorite pairings is to serve a stuffed pork chop and serve cinnamon apples on the side.
To make the cinnamon apples, melt 1/2 stick of butter in a skillet, add 1 cup of brown sugar, and a big handful of cinnamon red hot candies. Then, add 2-3 sliced Granny Smith apples and sauté until desired softness. This recipe is courtesy of my father-in-law and he is Southern, so you know it has to be good!
Apples for Dessert
One kitchen tool that I cannot live without, especially for desserts, is the * Drop Kitchen Scale (affililate link). Once I discovered how measuring your ingredients by weighing them makes ALL the difference, I have never looked back. I use my scale every day.
Another awesome thing about The Drop is that they have an app with recipes that are very conducive to trying out with a pint-sized sous chef. Basically, for this apple cake recipe, you get out a bowl, place it on the scale, ask your child to keep dumping in ingredients, transfer to a baking dish, and pop in the oven. Voila! Moist and scrumptious apple cake ready for the whole family to enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
There are several ways to tackle an amazing apple dessert. Apple pie is a tried and true American favorite, but I discovered this recipe for an apple tart by the Pioneer Woman. It is both simple and delicious!
There you go, apples for every meal of the day! What is your favorite apple dish? Do you have a food addiction this fall? Please comment and share below!