When we think of fall fruits, beautiful crisp apples are likely the first to come to everyone’s mind. Some of my favorite childhood memories come from family excursions to Apple Hill in the foothills of Northern California where apple orchards are abundant and the smells of baked apple treats permeate the air all during the months of fall. Picking our own sweet crisp apples is a memory I have carried through my lifetime.
Visiting Apple Hill was special for many reasons but in the 70’s it was truly the only place one could find heirloom and lesser known varieties. Our local grocery store offered two varieties if we were lucky: yellow (Golden Delicious) and red (Red Delicious). Thankfully our visits to Apple Hill exposed me to the world beyond the produce isle of Safeway.
While there are few things that beat the rich experience of purchasing crates of apples directly from the farm, we fortunately have access today to a wide variety of apples through farmers markets, CSAs, local organic co-ops, and grocery stores like Whole Foods. We can be spoiled by choice so here is a great guide to apple selection that may help your decision making process.
While favorite apple varieties among my family members vary, I tend to bring home a healthy mix of Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious (all for eating)and Boskoop or Reinette (for baking).
Looking to add more apples into your diet? Here are a few no fuss ideas direct from my kitchen:
- Juice a handful of any variety along with some carrots and ginger for a yummy mid-morning treat.
- Add thin slices of Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples to kale salads along with a handful of golden raisins and toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Slice up a Golden Delicious and pair with fresh ground almond butter or hummus for a perfect afternoon snack.
And who couldn’t use a recipe for that sweet tooth in your house? Here is a grain-free, vegan apple crisp, scaled to one serving, from Deliciously Ella that all can enjoy.
1 red apples
1/3 cup of almonds (65g)
4 medjool dates
1 tbs pumpkin seeds
1/2 tbs chia seeds (Optional: I add them for their amazing health benefits but, if you don’t have any, omitting them won’t change the taste or texture.)
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp raw agave syrup (please replace with maple syrup or honey)