This time of year is my favorite for so many reasons, not the least of which is my love of fall foods. But while everyone is going gaga over all things pumpkin, I am over here eating apples by the fistful.
Last week I joined Michigan Apples in a tour of local orchards and processing plants. I learned so much about apples in Michigan, the third largest producers of apples in America. And then I came home and immediately pinned all things apples. Here are my favorites:
1. Apple Sandwiches: I had a friend who used to make these in the morning on a group camping trip we took every year. They were perfection. The crunch of the apple and granola. The sweetness of the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Just perfection.
2. Apple Butter: Growing up we had an apple tree in the backyard and my mom used to make apple butter. I love the texture better than jelly and just want to slather it on a warm piece of toast every morning. Anything in the crockpot is my happy place these days so I love this recipe from Practical Stewardship.
3. Easy Apple Breakfast Cobbler: I am terrible at eating healthy breakfasts (or sometimes eating breakfast at all) because morning is such a frantic time getting the kids off to school. This recipe from Michigan Apples is an easy way to jazz up store bought (or homemade) granola and bring some apple-y goodness to your morning.
4. Apple Salad with Candied Bacon and Goat Cheese: This salad from Michigan Apples pretty much had me at hello. Well actually at bacon. I love adding apples to salad for that nice sweet crunch. Throw in walnuts, bacon and goat cheese and I am in salad heaven.
5. Michigan Apple and Butternut Squash Soup: I have mad deep love for butternut squash soup. It is seriously one of the things I most look forward to when I go out to eat in the fall and winter. I love that this recipe from Michigan Apples adds apples into the mix. I have a butternut squash in the fridge right now so this is going to get made real soon.
6. Kale, Apple, and Bacon Stuffed Chicken with Maple Mustard Pan Sauce: Nearly every fabulous flavor of fall is represented in this recipe. I get so tired of boring chicken breasts so I am very thankful Iowa Girl Eats has this recipe to change things up. It just seems like a warm and cozy dinner doesn’t it?
7. Roasted Chicken with Apple Stuffing: I have a confession to make. I hate Thanksgiving food. Well maybe hate it too strong a word, but it definitely isn’t my favorite. This recipe from Michigan Apples might change my opinion. I am hopeful I can talk my family into celebrating with chicken and apples instead of turkey.
8. Apples Roasted with Root Vegetables: We get a lot of root vegetables in our CSA and for a long time I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Now I know the answer is. Roast them. Always. I love this recipe from Michigan Apples that adds apples to the roasting. And the vinaigrette on top sounds amazing too. This would be perfect at Thanksgiving as well.
9. Apple Nachos: Shouldn’t we throw one of my recipes in the mix. I love caramel apples, but they are complicated to make and even more complicated to eat. These are easy on all fronts. Well I guess they are a bit messy to eat, but so very worth it. They are a hit with kids as well.
10. Apple Crisp Pizza: Apple crisp is seriously one of my most favorite desserts. I love how this takes that idea and turns it into a PIZZA!! I think I might take this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything and try it with a gluten-free pie crust. In fact I might have to try that real soon…..
After spending the day with the Michigan Apples, I am even more committed to making sure my apples are local. Every farmer we interacted with was so committed to sustainability and putting forth amazing products. These are not huge corporations, these are family farms that have been around for generations. So it is even more important to them to put out the best apples and to do so in a way that takes care of the environment around them. I really appreciate them hosting me and providing a meal and gift bag. My love for apples somehow got even deeper.