Do you enjoy the fall as much as I do? It’s my favorite time of year and kicks my nesting instincts into high gear. I savor everything about the season: turning leave, tailgating at Packer games, a fire in the fireplace, putting the garden to rest, and reaping nature’s bounty of produce.
If you’re a foodie and missed our Recipe Round-Up: Recipes for Your August Garden Harvest you’ll find great recipe ideas for all that cabbage, zucchini, peppers and more.
Apples – So Delicious, So Toxic!
My favorite go-to produce for fall is apples. They’re so versatile and because they’re in season, they’re very economical. We have a plethora of orchards in the area, but I don’t get my apples from any of them.
Apples are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, so my family only eats organic apples. We aren’t food snobs, we give up other things to buy healthy food. Not much matters if you don’t have your health.
The closest organic orchard to my home is 30 miles away. It’s worth the drive, but if you don’t have that kind of time, call around and find an orchard that only sprays when it’s absolutely necessary. My daughter called local orchards trying to find one that minimally sprayed and it was a challenge. One orchard told her they sprayed 12 times! Yikes – think of the toxic load in those apples.
My husband and I are blessed with friends who live in the country and have apple trees they don’t spray. We pick after they’ve taken what they need and last year I made 40 quarts of applesauce! This year I am going to freeze some apple slices for pie and apple crisp and dehydrate some, too.
I couldn’t even tell you what kind of apple they are, but they’re delicious and great for making apple sauce and baking. There are spots on the skin and I check for any unwanted “guests” in the apples, but with the exception of the blemishes on the skin, I’d say 90% of them were just fine.
Food Doesn’t Need to Look Perfect
We all need to get over our need for perfect looking fruits and vegetables.
This article from Dr. Mercola, Half of the World’s Food is Thrown Away, is a shameful commentary on how little we value the effort and resources involved in growing food.
The article says “20 – 40% of the produce farmers grow will never make it to the market – even if it’s fine for human consumption.” That’s just wrong.
I especially appreciated the point made that “cheap food is an illusion. There is no such thing as cheap food.”
In Intermarche’ Supermarkets in France an amazing has happened with produce.
Known as “Inglorious fruits & vegetables” They’re marketing and selling ugly fruits and vegetables at 30% off. They’re selling like crazy and can’t keep up with the demand!
Below is a great video that explains it all – it’s so worth the watch! Why can’t we “celebrate the uglier side” of fruits and veggies here in the US?
Because my family is always on the go, I chose recipes that were simple, quick, and convenient (Translation: They have ingredients I usually have on-hand.) There’s even one your kids can easily make. So find yourself some ugly, non-toxic apples and have fun with these tasty, simple recipes.
1. Apple Oatmeal Pie – a great make-ahead breakfast with a twist!
This recipe from Whole Foods On a Budget can be made ahead in the crockpot the night before. I’m not wild about cloves so I’ll probably leave that out and since I don’t have groats at home, I’ll use gluten-free oats. I’m going to make this next time we have company….which is tomorrow night!
2. 7 -Minutes is all this one takes!
Okay, I admit I’m cheating with this one and not using fresh apples, but who hasn’t needed a dessert in a hurry? This recipe from I Can Teach My Child, is Easy Apple Crisp (7 -minute prep time) is so great. You can make it with your children and it’s incredibly fast for that last minute potluck or unexpected company.
Simply use canned organic apple pie filling and try to use organic butter whenever possible. You can easily substitute a GF (gluten free) flour if you need to, but I’ve included a GF version below for your convenience!
3. Apple Crisp – Gluten-Free Comfort Food!
I seriously should spend more time on Pinterest to jazz up meal time in our house. My husband is a saint to tolerate my boring meals. You can find a treasure chest of recipes for anything thee!
This Gluten-Free Apple Crisp from The Humbled Homemaker, is layed out so nicely. Every step explained and easy to adjust the quantities. I’ve made gluten free apple crisp before but going to try using the rice flour she listed.
4. Apples Go With Everything – Even Chicken!
Don’t limit your culinary creativity like I do – you have so many options. Here’s a great Chicken Salad with Apples and Celery recipe from PinkWhen. You could make your own mayo or get a GMO free version in place of the Hellman’s®. I sure wish they’d wise-up and get the GMOs out! Soybean oil, not good. It’s still in the olive oil version, too.
5. Apple Nachos – A quick, Easy and Healthy Snack for All Ages!
This Apple Nachos recipe hails from Hello Giggles and boasts at total hands-on time of less than 10 minutes. Unless you need to peel the apples. Remember, if you can’t get organic apples, you can reduce the toxins by peeling them. It looks like caramel on the apples, but it’s peanut butter!
You can use soy free chocolate chips and substitute other nut butters in the recipe, but it’s a fun, fast way to make a great after school snack. As suggested, be creative with the toppings!
6. Baked Apples – Simple and Delicious
This Best Baked Apple Recipe comes from Passion For Savings. If you’re into coupons, it looks like a great place to save! Four ingredients is all you- pop them in the oven, serve with ice cream or whipping cream and voila!
Pretty basic, but for busy households, I think these are winners. Do you have a tasty, easy-to-make apple recipe?
I can always use more. Please share it in the comments below.