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November produce: What’s in season?

Summer might seem like the time for the tastiest fruits and the vegetables, but there is plenty of produce that grows in colder weather or even in neighboring tropical climates. Fruits and veggies tastes best when you eat them in season, so while you might be bummed your favorite berries are bitter this time of year, there are still tons of great options for eating in season items that are ripe right now. Here is what will give you peak flavor in November: Apples Apples are the perfect fall ingredients, adding flavor to foods both sweet and savory. Plus, they’re delicious all on their own. Chop fresh apples in your oatmeal, bread, or yogurt for a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C. Artichokes Artichokes are delicious and fun to eat. They make an appearance at many holiday tables because they are ripe and ready this time of year.…

Why do apples turn brown when you cut them?

You come back from a quick trip to the copy room at work and discover that the beautiful apple you just bit into minutes ago is now brown and unappetizing. Why does this happen? As it turns out, the moment an apple is sliced, chopped, or bitten, a biochemical reaction commonly called “enzymatic browning” begins to take place. Specifically, the enzyme known as polyphenol oxidase (PPO) oxidizes polyphenols within the flesh of the fruit. This results in new chemicals (o-quinones) that react with amino acids and produce brown-colored melanins. But this discoloration can be avoided — somewhat. Not all apples brown at the same rate. Different apples contain different types of enzymes and polyphenols, thus altering their rate of discoloration. The Arctic Apple is genetically engineered to have non-browning flesh, but there are non-GMO apples that have this quality, as well. Cameo, SnowSweet, Cortland, Gala, Ambrosia, and Ginger Gold are…

Apple cinnamon streusel bread

Christmas cookies take all the glory, but I say there is nothing better than fall baking. The smell of this apple cinnamon bread is mouth-watering. It will float out of your door and into the street, mixing with the cool, crisp fall air — De-lightful! As far as quick breads go, this recipe is a bit more involved. It’s still very easy to make, it just has a longer ingredients list thanks to the streusel topping — but trust me. The crunch you get from those toasted oats and brown sugar is worth the extra step. I like to use Granny Smiths in almost every apple recipe I make, but just about any apple should do the trick here. I’ve used Granny, Rome, Gala, and even Honeycrisp before — all amazing. Apple cinnamon streusel bread Makes 1 loaf Ingredients 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 1/2…

Produce: What’s in season in October?

There’s nothing like the taste of fresh produce when it’s perfectly in season — an apple pulled straight from the tree or greens pulled right from the garden. Knowing what is at its peak during the month of October can help you make your shopping list and plan your meals accordingly. Thankfully, October is full of all sorts of fruits and vegetables worth savoring. From delicate figs, to hearty squash, there are all kinds of fun flavors to explore.  So take this list to your local market and get shopping! 1. Apples Of course you know apples are in season — they’re everywhere! But certain types of apples peak throughout the month. Apples stay good for a while, so all varieties are still considered fresh, but for a just-picked variety, go with Fuji, Suncrisp, Pink Lady, Rome, Cameo, Sundance, Blushing Gold, Melrose, or Enterprise. 2. Beets These deep crimson beauties…

Crock pot apple cinnamon oatmeal

Is there anything better than waking up to a hot breakfast on a cold fall morning? Sometimes we need an extra boost to drag us out of that warm bed. Next time the weather forecast calls for gloomy, grey showers, set this recipe in your crock pot the night before. You’ll look forward to gobbling up this super filling, healthy, hearty fall breakfast. It’s perfect as-is, but you can dress it up with all sorts of toppings. It’s easy to make, and you’ll be satisfied for hours. If you’re on a diet, leave out the brown sugar and it will still taste great. However, at just 1/2 tbsp per serving, you might be able to find it in your diet to enjoy this touch of sweetness. Crock pot apple cinnamon oatmeal Serves 4-5 Ingredients  1 cup steel cut oats (no substitutions) 4 cups water 1 large Honeycrisp apple, chopped 1…

Bobbing for apples is a tradition based on love

All of the good holidays have traditions that we can look forward to. Whether it’s fireworks on the Fourth of July or turkey on Thanksgiving, every tradition has to start somewhere, and as it turns out, even Halloween’s bobbing for apples has a history. This year, as you plunge your head into a cold bucket of water in attempt to bite through the flesh of an apple, consider that the origins of this bizarre tradition are nearly 2,000 years old. Apples were once considered a symbol of love. In Scotland, the legend goes, a maiden would sit alone in a room and eat an apple in front of a mirror, whereupon the face of her husband would appear. In Montenegro, if a bride successfully threw an apple on the roof of her husband’s house, their union, it is said, would be blessed with children. In Greek mythology, Paris was tasked…

Celery, apple, spinach, kale, lemon and ginger juice

It’s not always easy squeezing in the fruits and veggies you need. This green juice is a powerhouse blend of all the nutrients you need to help strengthen your immune system and keep you feeling awake and active. Juice isn’t a substitute for eating the whole vegetable (you’ll miss out on that healthy fiber), but it’s a great quick boost to help see you through cold and flu season. Plus the apples give it a great tart taste that will make it enjoyable to drink any time of year. Celery, apple, spinach, kale, lemon and ginger juice Makes about 4 cups Ingredients 8-6 stalks of celery, washed 2 cups baby spinach 8-10 large kale leaves 3 Granny Smith apples, roughly chopped 2 lemons, peeled 2 inches fresh ginger Directions Set juicer dial to hardest setting and run fruits and vegetables in order of hardest to softest (apples, ginger, celery, kale,…

Cooking and canning your own crockpot applesauce

October is National Apple Month — but we don’t need an official title to tell us that. Apples are everywhere. Grocery stores, local shops, farmers markets. I’ve seen whole bushels for sale for just $6. They’re probably piling up in your fridge drawer by this point, and you may be wondering what to do with all of  them. Crockpot applesauce is your answer. A variety of apples works best when making applesauce. Granny Smiths are great, but mixing them with Gala, Fuji, Jonagold, Cortland, Yellow Delicious or pretty much any apple that is firm and full of flavor will make the best sauce. And what’s better still? You can make your applesauce and can it now, and be stocked for the rest of the year. You’ll eliminate loads of sugar from your diet along with whatever other scary preservatives go into store-bought applesauces. The whole process only takes an afternoon and your house will smell…

25 fun facts you never knew about apples

Crisp, sweet, and delicious, bushels of apples are a true symbol that autumn has arrived. Whether you stroll through the apple orchard and pick some yourself, or scoop a few pecks up from the store, Americans just can’t get enough. By volume, we eat more apples than any other fruit. But for all the love we show to apples, how much do you actually know about our favorite fall fruit? As you’re sipping on that warm glass of apple cider and snacking on some apples slices, consider these 25 fun facts about apples: 1. Archaeologists have found evidence that people have been eating apples since 6,500B.C. 2. The science of growing apples is called pomology. 3. There are more than 7,500 apple varieties in the world — about 2,500 varieties grown in the United States. About 100 of those are sold commercially. Apples are the second-most valuable fruit grown in the…

Americans have a new favorite apple

There are more than 2,500 types of apples grown the United States every year, but only one apple gets to be the apple of our eye. For more than a half century, Red Delicious have been the darling of the apple world. But when it comes to apples, love can go sour. Gala are now the most popular and most grown apples in America, followed (in order) by Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Honeycrisp, according to the U.S. Apple Association. “The rise in production of newer varieties of apples aimed at the fresh consumption domestic market has caused demand for Red Delicious to decline,” Mark Seetin, the association’s director of regulatory and industry affairs, said in a statement. “However, Red Delicious is important in the export market, where it makes up roughly half of our apple exports.” Red Delicious has been America’s go-to fruit for decades. Originated in the 1870s,…