Most of us have told our children about John Chapman. As you remember, Chapman, or “Johnny Appleseed,” was the legendary folklore figure responsible for planting apple trees in several eastern and midwestern states.
There is just something about apples. Whether it is their color, crunchiness, sweetness, or portability, kids definitely love them.
We are fortunate to have a few apple orchards in our area. If you can, take your child out to one for some picking. We try to get out to Carlson’s Orchard and Bakery west of Winsted every year (last year being an exception).
Even if your kids can only make it a little while before they get out of control, it is a great way to spend at least some time together and to teach your kids the basic connection between the land and the food they eat.
Carlson’s, for example, has over 10 varieties of apples that are harvested over the late summer and fall, so you have a good chance of getting some decent weather for your picking adventure.
Call ahead to find out what variety is being harvested. When you get there, a staff person will provide you with a map of the orchard and answer any questions you may have. Even the youngest children love to help out by “picking” the apples off the ground. It is a great way to spend a fall day.
One of the best things about apples is their nutrition. They are fat-free, low in sodium, high in fiber, and there are only about 80 calories in a medium-sized one (you already know about the taste).
Here are some fun recipes ideas that my kids like and can help out with:
1 package (3 oz.) gelatin, any flavor
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in cold water and set aside. Core apples, leaving bottom of apple intact. Hollow out some of the apple flesh to make room for gelatin. Pour gelatin in apple and place apples in individual bowls to keep them upright. Chill until gelatin is firm. Cut in wedges to serve.
A similar, but easier idea is to simply cut the top off a cored apple and fill it with peanut butter, yogurt, cream cheese. This makes a good addition to school lunchboxes.
6 medium apples
1/3 cup water
1⁄2 cup sugar
3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
Have adult peel and cut apples in chunks. Place in crock pot. Child can add water, sugar, and cinnamon to apples and stir together. Cover and cook on low 8 hours.