Picking and a Grinning: Apple Harvest

This week our kids were assigned homework that our entire family enjoyed:  picking apples.  Fortunately, my parents’ Red Delicious tree was especially productive this year and the apples were ripe for picking.  To make it even better, we were harvesting apples on a beautiful fall afternoon with blue skies, sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70s.  Our energetic nine-year-olds spent as much – if not more –  time climbing the tree than they did picking the fruit but that’s how the best memories are made.

As much as I love the natural goodness of a crisp apple, I have to admit that I enjoy eating them more with a little dip!  Last week while I was making farm visits in northeast Iowa, I had the pleasure of also visiting with one our salesmen’s wives.  She had just whipped up some dip for their kids’ afternoon snack, so I requested it for my blog.  While Meg got this recipe from a Cooking Light magazine, she admits to liberally sprinkling additional toffee bits on top of the dip – more chocolate is always better, right?  Her family also likes this dip with graham cracker sticks and/or animal crackers.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy apples?

Apple Fun Facts

  • Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, yellows.
  • Apples are grown in all 50 states.
  • Apples are grown commercially in 36 states.
  • 100 varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States.
  • 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
  • 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.

http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/National_apple_month.html

Toffee Apple Dip

Ingredients:

  • ¾ C packed brown sugar
  • ½ C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 oz) block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ C toffee bits (such as Heath) (about 4 oz)
  • 1 C pineapple juice (or lemon juice)
  • 6 Red Delicious apples, each cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • 6 Granny Smith apples, each cored and cut into 8 wedges

Directions:

  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until smooth.
  • Add toffee bits, and mix well.
  • Cover and chill.
  • Combine juice and apples in a bowl; toss well.
  • Drain apples; serve with dip.

Yield:  2 C (serving size: 1 Tbsp dip and 3 apple wedges)
Calories: 92; Fat: 2.9g; Protein: 0.8g; Cholesterol: 8mg; Sodium: 51mg; Fiber: 1.4g; Iron: 0.2mg; Carbohydrate: 16.9g