When some friends who we treasure but rarely get to see suggested we meet at Cider Hill Family Orchard this weekend, we jumped at the chance to be outdoors and create fun fall memories together.
There are so many reasons why the ‘you-pick’ experience has my heart. Not only is it super fun to harvest your own apples, it’s sneakily educational for my kids to experience how their food is grown in real-time. When you pick your own food, it’s at its freshest and most flavorful. Straight from the tree to the mouth! I love to notice the imperfections of the fruit straight-from-the tree that makes it unique from those shiny waxed apples in the bin at the grocery store.
But clearly our first stop had to be Cider Hill’s cinnamon-sugar-encrusted apple cider donuts.
We rode the tractor hayride out to the rows of trees. (Word to the wise, unless you’re super excited for a hayride, it’s faster to walk out to the trees!) Our picking options included Golden Delicious, Empire, Granny Smith and Rome apples.
My two little monkeys were super excited to get right up in the trees. They of course were not on the hunt for the best-looking fruit, but for the tiniest, cutest little apples they could find. Squeals ensued. Then munches.
And, of course, my husband’s juggling makes every family excursion more fun.
It ended up being a short walk from each of the different groves, so we got to bring home a variety of fruit.
And now for the other fun part, incorporating the fruit into some delicious recipes! While I do my best to follow a paleo lifestyle, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some apple cinnamon goodness. Tis’ the season!
Here are some paleo recipes from around the web that have me all sorts of inspired to do some baking.
A few weeks ago for my birthday, I made Paleo Running Mama’s salted caramel apple tart. I don’t own a tart pan so I used her crust and made it into a pie. But perhaps the best part to me was the salted caramel made with coconut milk. I will judge you if you do not make it and put the ‘extra’ caramel in your coffee. I highly recommend this entire dessert.
Right away, I knew that Minimalist Baker’s grain-free berry crisp recipe would perfectly adapt to my apples as well. I followed her instructions but subbed apples for the fruit filling (duh) and sprinkled them with nutmeg and a teaspoon of cinnamon. For the 1 cup of nuts in the topping, I pulsed 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup in my food processor, and then added the remaining ingredients. For the fat, she uses coconut oil or vegan butter, but I sub ghee since I’m not vegan. And voilà, apple crisp perfection with no refined sugar or grain!
Later this week, I plan to make some paleo apple muffins. Maybe these? I’m also excited to try the (grain-free) granola from The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook. It calls for three green apples slow-roasted with nuts. Yum! I’ll probably also sauté some apples in my cast iron skillet and serve with our favorite pork tenderloin.
What’s your favorite apple recipe we all have to try?