Combine books and food for fun: Apples

Creative, and fun ideas on how to preserve or store your apples.

Michigan Fresh, a program area of Michigan State University Extension, has a handy Michigan Availability Guide for fruits and vegetables.  According to this guide, Michigan is at its peak for apple availability.  Apples are a great source of fiber and vitamins.  This fall, grab a book, some apples and have some fun.

The Michigan Apple Committee’s variety guide is colorful and can help you choose a variety that is familiar or new.  It doesn’t matter if you go to a farmer’s market, local grocery store or your own backyard to find your favorite apple, just grab one to enjoy.  Apples can help you to reach the half plate of fruits and vegetables as recommended by

Once you have selected an apple to enjoy you’ll need a good recipe, or maybe even some ideas on how to preserve or store your apples.  Michigan Fresh Apples Extension Bulletin  recommends the following tips for apple storage and food safety.

  • You can store apples in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with holes for ventilation. Store large quantities of apples in a cool place, between 32 and 40  F. Properly stored apples will keep up to a month. Store canned apple products in a cool, dry area.
  • Wash hands before and after handling fresh produce.
  • Wash fruit thoroughly under cool running water. Do not use soap.
  • Keep apples away from raw meat and meat juices to prevent cross contamination.
  • For best quality and nutritive value, preserve only what your family can consume in 12 months.

To add some fun to apples, choose a good book.  Johnny Appleseed is a good tale to select and you will be able to find many versions at your local library.  The legend of Johnny Appleseed is told as part of a Disney movie titled, American Legends.  Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson, shares the story of how a pioneer family takes their apple trees from Iowa to Oregon.

As there are many varieties of apples, there are many books about apples to choose from.  Lastly, you can select and apple recipe everyone is sure to enjoy.  You can have apple slices with peanut butter, make applesauce or a delicious pie.  There are many ideas out there to try.  Find a good apple, a good book, a recipe and have some fun with apples today.

A suggestion for a recipe that is fun for all ages is Apple Smiles. The ingredients include:

  • Red apple slices (lips)
  • Peanut butter or creamcheese
  • Mini-marshamallows (teeth)

Cover one side of each slice of apple with the spread of your chioce.  Place “teeth” on one slice and place the second slice on top.  Enjoy your apple smilesand get creative; this idea is not limited to the ingredients listed above. These tasty treats would also be a great photo opportunity.

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