September hit and I was in the mood for fall activities. It was too early for pumpkins. Regardless, I wanted to be on a farm and I wanted to bring something home from that farm.
I have been eating an apple every morning for at least the last 13 years. So an apple seemed like a good food to target. Even though some farms are starting the pumpkin season, it is still prime apple picking. In my mind, we’d do apples in September and pumpkins in October. Plan in place, we loaded up the kids and drove to a local farm to pick apples.
Pros About Apple Picking:
- Beautiful countryside on the drive there
- Showed the kids where apples actually come from (not the grocery)
- Apple Accessibility. The apples are low enough to the ground, small and light enough for kids to pick themselves. I underestimated how much the boy would enjoy finding and pulling down their own apples.
- We got to ride on a wagon! This is as much for me as the kids. I can’t get too old for a wagon ride.
Fun Facts About Apples:
- Good Natural Source of Vitamin C and Fiber. Vitamins in their natural form tend to have better absorption in the body than added / synthetic vitamins. This book is where I learned that tidbit.
- Eat apples with the skin on for full nutritional benefits
- They are a source of polyphenols which function as antioxidants. Antioxidants are shown to help prevent cancer.
- Reduces risk of stroke and diabetes, prevents dementia, lowers level of bad cholesterol
- There are 7500 varieties of apple seeds and 2500 in the United States
- It takes about 36 apples to produce one gallon of apple cider and Huber’s is special.
- Archeologists have found evidence that humans have enjoyed apples since at least 6500 B.C.
- Apples are members of the rose family
Apple Picking Tips:
- Get there early and you’ll not only enjoy the morning sun (beat the heat), but you will also beat the crowd.
- Specific to Huber’s Orchard, there is a strategically placed Family Fun Park aka playground on steroids. The admission is $5 / person which includes the adult chaperones aka parents.
- No strollers in the apple orchard. Be prepared to tote little ones by alternative methods. This is standard operating procedure for any farm to which I have been. Kids in backpacks or babies in carriers make life easier.
Once we got home, we had too many apples. We had to do something with them! Scroll down for my variation of this easy baked apple recipe. It is so easy, my 2 year old did most of the work (he’s really into “all by myself”).
We definitely started a family tradition. At least I will be instituting it for as long as the boys will let me. Please share in the comment section below any fall traditions you have!
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 large apples or 8 small apples – cored
- The recipe calls for removing the skin, but see above. The skin has too many nutritional benefits for me to remove.
- Chopped pecans
- 4 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease baking dish with butter.
- Slice the apples.
- We used an apple wedge which cores and cuts each apple.
- Mix the dry ingredients: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg.
- Add the wet ingredient, vanilla, to the dry ingredients.
- Arrange half of the apples in a baking dish. Sprinkle half of the mixture on top. Place the remaining half of the apples in the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining half of mixture on top.
- Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove from oven, add water and top with pecans.
- Bake for 10-15 more minutes.
- Monitor to account for oven temperature variations.