It’s fall–the leaves are turning lovely shades of amber, rose and gold; the crisp air smells of bonfires; and you’ve completed one of your favorite fall activities: apple picking. Your fridge is full of the delicious, sweet, juicy apples you’ve been craving: Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Gala, Jonathan, McIntosh…
But there are SO MANY. Whatever do you do with them all?
If you’ve had your fill of apples–and you’ve made enough pies to feed your family AND all your neighbors for months–then it’s time to be creative. Check out these 10 fun, creative ways to put those extra apples to good use.
1. Add them to a grilled cheese sandwich. Tart apples pair perfectly with cheddar, Brie and Swiss cheeses. Your kids will love the variety, and you will love the fact that they are getting a nutritional boost with lunch. Check out this Sweet and Savory Grilled Cheese recipe by Minimalist Baker.
2. Reduce the wrinkles and fine lines on your face. The pectin in apples is said to reduce inflammation and the appearance of fine lines. Grate an apple and let it sit on your skin for at least 15 minutes. You will feel amazingly refreshed afterwards–or at the very least, you’ll smell nice and sweet!
3. Serve up some apple fries. Peel the apples into thin, finger-long slices, sprinkle them with a little cinnamon and serve them in a McDonald’s French fry container. Your kids will never know! (Okay, they might realize they aren’t fries, but they will be so good, your kids won’t care.)
4. Make an apple puzzle. Slice the apple into multiple shapes–cut out a variety of odd-shaped wedges and ask your child to put the apple together again. When she’s done, she can eat it–she’ll have so much fun with this snack, before long, your bushel will be nearly empty.
5. Bake apple chips. Baked apple chips are healthy and delicious. Your kids will never beg for Cheetos again! Try this recipe for Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips by Sally’s Baking Addiction.
6. Demonstrate edible bubble science with apples. Core two apples. Fill one with orange juice and the other with milk. Stick in straws and ask your child the blow. One will overflow with bubbles, and the other won’t. Why? The scientific explanation is here.
7. Soften hardened brown sugar. Do you have a rock-hard block of brown sugar in the pantry? Place an apple wedge in a self-sealing bag with your hardened sugar, seal the bag, and wait a few days. Before you know it, you’ll be able to use your sugar again. (Try baking apples with a little brown sugar sprinkled on top–yum!)
8. Make mini apple pizzas for dessert. Cut apples into slices, spread a thin layer of soft caramel or peanut butter on top, and decorate with nuts, chocolate chips or sprinkles. Get your kids involved–they will love making their own “pizzas.”
9. Feed the birds. Slice the top off of an apple, core it, line the inside with peanut butter, and fill it with birdseed. Puncture a hole on each side and attach string so you can hang it from a branch. Or, hand on a string with other dried fruit. Your kids will love watching the birds enjoy their special treat.
10. Spoil your dog. Your pooch deserves an apple-inspired treat too! Try this Oat and Apple Pretzel Dog Treat recipe by The Cookie Rookie. Your pooch will never beg for a Milk-Bone again!
What’s your favorite way to use up your apples? Let us know in a comment below!