Fall’s Favorite Fruit: Apples!

Apple Dumpling Deluxe

Autumn is Mother Nature’s last burst of vibrant beauty before falling asleep for the long, cold winter. In autumn, the trees morph from green into hues of deep red, yellow and orange, while the heat of the summer is blown away by crisp breezes and ripening sunsets. Fall is the season of harvest, a time to enjoy the fruits of our labors, especially when one of those fruits is a popular autumn treat — apples.

Warm Up with Apple Dishes that Remind You of Home.

From gooey apple pies to savory cobblers, even just the smell of a baking apple is enough to warm the skin on chilly nights. While our tried and true favorites are cornerstones of autumn traditions, let this fall be your opportunity to explore a little and put some extra spice into your apple recipes:

  • Move over blueberries and bananas! These warm and moist Apple Streusel Muffins will re-energize your morning commute.
  • Green Granny Smiths make these Apple Cream Cheese Scones an irresistible treat for breakfast or dessert. The richness of the cream cheese with warm vanilla notes blend perfectly with the tartness of the apples.
  • Time to bring out the main course! Apples add juiciness, flavor and a punch of color to this Apple Roast Chicken.
  • Missing the fair or harvest festivals? Try our Apple Dumpling Deluxe for a warm taste that pairs well with vanilla ice cream.

Think Outside the Pie – Use Apples for Welcoming Décor!

While there are hundreds of ways to bring them into every meal, apples aren’t just for the taste buds. This versatile fruit can be used as both snacks and centerpieces. Eat one apple yourself, then make one of these unique crafts with the other:

  • Using different colored ink, you can create beautiful artwork using halved apples as stamps.
  • Give your fall backyard BBQ a pop of color with floating tea light candleholders made from cored apples.
  • Craft a one-of-a-kind welcoming wreath to hang on your front door with various fall icons, including dried apples.
  • Sip steamy apple cider from a hollowed out bright red apple cup. Soup in a bread bowl has nothing on this combination!

Whether in the kitchen or on the craft table, fall’s favorite fruit has something for everyone. So remember, when life hands you apples, you can make, well, just about anything!

Go Bananas on Banana Lover’s Day

Banana Pancakes

Americans eat more than three billion pounds of bananas a year, adding up to roughly 300 bananas a second. Soft and sweet, rich in potassium and bursting with fiber, it’s no wonder bananas are hailed as a super food!

  • There are nearly 1,000 different kinds of bananas, but very few of them are actually sold in stores.
  • A banana plant isn’t actually a tree – it’s technically an herb!
  • Some cultures use banana peel fibers to make paper.
  • The banana is a rock star. More songs have been created about it than any other fruit. Check out this playlist of our favorites!
  • The fruit’s combination of tryptophan and vitamin B6 produces the neurochemical serotonin, which can stave off depression and improve overall mental health.
  • Bananas have been recorded as far back as ancient Egypt. There are even bananas depicted in hieroglyphics!

In our bodies, bananas fuel us with energy and nutrients. The potassium wards off muscle cramps and the antioxidants ease stomach ulcers. But bananas are good for more than just banana bread. You can harness the full power of bananas in some very interesting ways, particularly by:

  • Adding bananas to cake batter, resulting in a moister and naturally sweet dessert. We recommend substituting up to half of the oil in the recipe with banana puree. It’s also a delicious addition to pancakes!
  • Putting banana peels in your watering can to create a natural fertilizer for your plants.
  • Placing peels on chicken breasts as they cook to keep them moist and tender.
  • Mashing a banana and using the puree as a face mask. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes for super moist skin!
  • Using the peel to polish silverware and leather.
  • Easing itchy bites and rashes with the inside of the peel.

Ultimately, however, even with these inventive uses, we can all admit that the best part of a banana is its flavor. To keep your bananas from browning too quickly, wrap the stems in plastic wrap to lock in the ethylene gas, keeping them yellow for days. Or find another use for them this National Banana Lover’s Day (that’s today!) by putting on your banana mask, polishing your silverware and cooking up one of these delicious banana recipes:

Fresh Fruit Pizza: This simple dessert pizza starts with a crust made from brown sugar and walnuts. It’s topped with cream cheese and a variety of fruits, including, of course, bananas.

Sunrise Muffins with Honey Butter: Combining buttermilk and cinnamon with pineapples and carrots gives these muffins a delectable and savory flavor. Ripened bananas make these muffins moist and sweet.

Chill Out Banana Coffee Cream Pie: Who needs an afternoon coffee break when this recipe exists? Vanilla wafer cookies, coffee extract and bananas give this dish a creamy, sweet flavor.

Banana Maple Beignets: This French pastry mixes banana chips and maple syrup together for an extraordinary breakfast experience.

Happy Zucchini Day!

Zucchini group from marketplace

Happy Zucchini Day! If you’re looking for a way to celebrate this versatile, nutrient veggie, how about cooking or baking with it? Sweet or savory, main dish or dessert, light or hearty…whatever you crave, we’ve got you covered.  So go forth and celebrate summer!

Soups and Stews:

A vegetable like zucchini holds up well in warm, hearty soups. Make it the star of your chili, or add it in with other veggies in classic minestrone.

Beefy minestrone
Beef stew with cheese dumplings

Breads and Muffins:

Isn’t zucchini bread everyone’s number one way to use up all that summer squash? Shred it up very fine for a moist bread that could pass as veggie-free. Hint: making a chocolate version hides it from the kids even more!

Chocolate zucchini bread
Chocolate zucchini muffins
Pineapple zucchini bread
Savory zucchini parmesan bread
Zucchini bread