5 Clever Uses for Apples

Well, despite this freak 90 degree heat wave that’s plaguing Chicago, we are in the midst of apple picking season.  Fall has arrived and the apples are ripe for the pickin’.

Unfortunately not many places allow you to pick apples anymore.  Many orchards now require that you pick through barrels of apples instead of wandering through the grove of trees.  Lame sauce, in my opinion.

But, apples are in season now and every produce mart is stocking up…so here are some reasons why you should do the same thing…

“You know what they say…”

  1. Quite obviously, apples are very good for you.  They pack an insane amount of vitamin C (more than oranges, in most cases) and are easy to pack for lunch on the go.
  2. Be a sneaky Pete with your pet.  Hide medicine inside apple chunks and feed to your horse, cow, bunny, guinea pig, or bird.  I used to do this with my dog all the time…but we used cheese.
  3. It’s fall harvest time and what better way to decorate than with the fruit of the season?  Core the center of an apple and insert a taper candle inside for a festive autumn themed party.
  4. There are few scents that bring back such wonderful and heartwarming memories for me…and this is one of them:  simmer apples, a cinnamon stick and orange peel on the stove with a bit of water to fill the house with the most wonderful smell.
  5. When life hands you mealy apples, make applesauce!  Or stuffed apples, or a sweet and sensational pork marinade, or muffins, or scones, or cakes, etc.  Browse around for some recipes.

There are also tons of kinds of apples…and not every apple is made equally.  Here’s a few things you should know about some common kinds:

MCINTOSH:

The McIntosh is maybe the most popular apple.  It’s very tender and breaks down quickly when cooked, making it the ideal choice for baking.

GOLDEN DELICIOUS:

The Golden Delicious is great for snacking because it doesn’t brown as easily as many of its cousins (to help prevent browning on apples of all varieties, simply spray with lemon juice and toss to coat).

GALA:

Gala apples are great for sautéing and slow baking.  They are pale yellow inside and are often soft to bite.

HONEYCRISP:

This one is my favorite.  It keeps for a bit longer than other kinds of apples and is packed with juicy flavor.  I love these because they are huge in size, but not in calories.  Honeycrisps are a dieter’s dream because you’re convincing your mind of eating a lot but you’re only taking in about 120 calories!

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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