Last day of Summer – Let’s go apple picking

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away. Well that is what I was always told by my parents when I was a little girl. I did not really understand what it meant back then, but I still tried to eat an Apple A Day because I did not really like going to the Doctor so much. Funny right.

You cannot go wrong eating apples (so eat them as much as you can) – they are free of fat, sodium & cholesterol, low in calories and full of fiber. It is always preferable to eat apples untouched with the skin on as it is chock-a-block of disease-fighting antioxidants. Not to mention, apples are the perfect carry-anywhere snack food, perfect for little hands & big hands alike.

This weekend, with my mother-in-law and my 2-year-old Son we decided to spend the last day of Summer (sigh) at our local Upstate NY Cedar Heights Orchard picking apples. Cedar Heights Orchard has been family owned for 150 years and is the only pick-your-own in the Rhinebeck area. It is a beautiful spot, with the orchard being on top of a Hill giving a great view of the historic Hudson Valley. A perfect place to spend some quality time with friends and family.

I had never been apple picking before, which seems weird being that I am all about nature and eating healthy foods, but yes it is a true story. It was also Miles Storm’s first day picking apples and I have to say, he really enjoyed himself.  He had a marvelous time running among the trees helping us to pick apples, then putting them in the cart to take home. Who knew picking apples could be so much fun? We are definitely going to go back again this season, and I am adding it to the list of family seasonal activities.

TIPS FOR PICKING YOUR OWN APPLES

  • Place apples gently into your cart, do not throw them in as they can bruise
  • To prevent spoilage, wash apples right before you are about to use them
  • Keeping apples out of hot temperatures helps conserve longevity, store in dry cool basement or in the fridge
  • Try to pick apples with the stem still attached to also help with longevity
  • Apples fall naturally from trees & it is okay to take them as long as they are not bruised, half-eaten or have wasps lurking inside
  • The color of apples is the best way to tell if they are ripe, as well as feeling that they are firm and crisp looking
  • It helps to have a stick to knock the branches so the apples fall, or even better an apple-picking tool with a grabber basket on the end (the orchard we visited had these available for customers to use)

The question is now, what are we going to do with all these apples?? My mother-in-law has already juiced a ton, and is making a gluten/dairy free apple pie that my Little Boy can eat. But, we still have so many more apples!

What is your favorite apple recipe. Please share!

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