Apple season is coming! In fact, some varieties are ready to pick the end of August. If you haven’t invested expense, time, and effort into planting and caring for your own, there are plenty of people who have, or who have bought property that includes apple trees and who are willing to share.

Some folks of a frugal mindset with good-producing trees can’t stand to see the apples not being used. They go to great lengths, bless them, to peddle their excess to others who might use them. If you are the lucky beneficiary of such
bounty, add them to your produce supply. They are a nutritious source of food, providing fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Perhaps you have extra vegetables of your own you might exchange for them.

As a rule, the earliest apple varieties don’t store well. Process these immediately. You can make apple chips for healthy snacks by thinly slicing and dehydrating them in a dehydrator or oven set on warm with the door cracked. You can chop and freeze them for later use. Or you may can them with or  without sugar or honey. Your local extension office has detailed instructions.

The mid-season and late varieties have a longer storage life, and you can put these away in a refrigerator, cool room, or root cellar and use them fresh or process as you would the earlier ones.

When apples come your way, make more than apple pie. Think beyond sweet desserts for which recipes abound. Think main dish or vegetable dish. Apples can be tossed into beet, cucumber, sauerkraut, or potato salads. And who doesn’t like apples sautéed with onions and cabbage? Children perhaps, but as they grow, their tastes change. For them try apple pizza or an apple wrap. Here are some recipes:

Apple Pizza

In a baking pan, pre-bake your favorite pizza crust for ten minutes at 425 degrees. Next, spread with a layer of dry curd cottage cheese, ricotta, or Parmesan cheese. Add a layer of chopped onion and chopped pepper, green or red. Add a layer of thinly sliced apples and sprinkle with dried dill. Spread with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake at 425 degrees for another seven to ten minutes until the cheese melts. Cut into serving-size pieces and enjoy.

Apple Wrap Snack

Mix one tablespoon of mayo or ranch dressing with one tablespoon yellow mustard and spread on a flour tortilla. Next add thinly sliced apple pieces,
chopped lettuce, shredded  or sliced cheese, and bits of ham, cooked chicken or turkey. Roll up as you would a burrito to keep the pieces under control. Enjoy!!If this is too messy, you can skip the tortilla and convert the remaining ingredients into a tasty salad.

If your family enjoys apples, why not plant some? Check with your local nursery for varieties suited for your area and make plans to start an orchard this coming spring. You won’t be sorry you did, for in a few years you’ll have your own excess apples to pay back  friends and neighbors.


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