Apple Picking

We went apple picking this past weekend. This is an activity we started our 2nd year in New York. It was so much fun. And it has been a family tradition every since. If you decide to go the best time is mid-September although most farms offer it from the beginning of September until the end of October. The difference in the times you go can effect the variety of apples you have to choose from and the amount of apples left. 

We went to BJ Reece Orchards. It was super crowded, but we still had a great time. At a friend's suggestion we got a groupon before going. The front gate attendants were accommodating. It was hard to get reception for I took a screenshot to ensure I could show the Groupon purchase. It included all the fun activities the farm had to offer including pony rides, petting farm, apple cannon, jumping pillow, cow train to name a few. Needless to say my toddler had a blast. 

Unlike our first trip to the farm 2 years ago. We bought 2 of the biggest bags of apples we could buy, knowing we would go through them in a matter of days. Plus I bought a bag of Granny Smith (my husband's favorite) because there were no more left to pick. So our apple arsenal is full. Now what to do with all these apples. I was so excited to get started. My first task dehydrated apples for granola. This was such an easy task. My biggest problem was not having an apple corer, this made this process a whole lot harder. If you don't normally core apples you don't really need it. But it makes the hard task of coring an apple much easier. But there's hope, you can use a paring knife. Be careful and take your time.

Dehydrated Apples

5 Medium size Apples, peeled and cored

1/2 lemon juice

4 cups water

After peeling and coring apples place in lemon water. Cut apple about 1/2 inch thick place back in lemon water to keep from browning. Then place on pan to bake at 250 degrees for approximately 2 hours, depending on thickness.

So initially I tried to use my mandolin to slice apples, but realized a few apples little too late that the apple slices were way to thin.

When I'm cutting and chopping I'm in the zone.

So I opted for another use for these babies...apple chips! 

Apple Chips

3 medium size Apples, peeled and cored

1/2 lemon juice

4 cups water

1.5 cups of oil for frying

1/8 cups of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

After peeling and coring apples place in lemon water. Slice apples on thinnest mandolin setting while still maintaining shape and structure.

If they can't be handle without breaking there a tad too thin

. Place slices of apple on paper towel to remove moisture, let sit for about 10 minutes. Heat oil to fry. Lightly fry until golden brown. Place on paper towel to drain oil. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on freshly fried apple chips.

Sorry I couldn't get better pictures of apple chips. They were flying off the paper towel like hot cakes, thanks to my husband, daughter and father-in-law.

Granola

3 cups of oatmeal

1/2 cup of dried fruit (apples, mango, pineapple, your choice)

1/2 cup of nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, anything)

1/2 cup of honey or agave (maple syrup, sorghum, insert choice sweetener)

1/4 cup of oil (coconut, olive, almond, you choose)

1 teaspoon flavoring extract (orange, vanilla, lemon, mint, have at it)

1 teaspoon of seasoning (cinnamon and nutmeg, pumpkin spice)

1/2 teaspoon of salt (non-negotiable)

1/2 cup of raisins

Mixed dry ingredients minus raisins then add oil, honey, seasoning and extract. Bake at 325 for approximately an hour, turning every 20 mins until golden brown. Watch carefully granola can burn in just minutes. I've learned this time and time again.Take out of oven let cool and mix in raisins. My first time making granola I mixed raisins in and baked them...big mistake.Store in airtight container for about 1 week.

I love granola because the posssilbites are endless. You can mix and match to your delight. It makes a great snack, breakfast or topping. And being able to dry your own fruit to add in makes it even more delightful. I still have tons more apples, so I'll be back with more apple recipes later.

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