There’s nothing quite like apple picking on a crisp, fall afternoon. Even better if your apple tree is in your own backyard and you can simply snack on fruit whenever you wish. However, fruit from trees can get a little overwhelming once harvest begins in earnest, and it can often be hard to figure out how to take advantage of your basketfuls of fruit. Read on for our favorite yummy ways to enjoy the abundance of the season.
If you have ever had a productive apple tree or lived near someone who did, you are well aware of the mass of apples that a single tree can produce. But how could you possibly use all of those apples before they go bad?
Create apple juice
Store-bought apple juice is so diluted with water and loads of added sugar that it can be hard to taste the apples that it was supposedly created with. Once you begin making your own apple juice from fresh, homegrown apples, you’ll never look back. Simply wash and slice as many apples as you want and make sure to carve out any wormholes or bruises. Run them through an electric juicer and store the extra in glass jars in the fridge for up to three days. If you don’t have a juicer, you can use an apple press or blend small apple slices in a high-speed blender and strain through fine cheesecloth. Freeze any that you can’t drink right away in plastic freezer containers and thaw to enjoy.
Make slow cooker applesauce
Though it seems like an incredibly challenging undertaking, making your own applesauce is far easier than you think, especially when you put your slow cooker to good use. Peel, core, and slice your apples, about three pounds of any variety or combine a few types for a unique flavor. Add apples and ½ cup of water, a few cinnamon sticks, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon of salt to your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours. If you like smooth applesauce, use an immersion blender to remove any chunks once it has cooked down. Otherwise, leave applesauce as it is and let cool to room temperature. Store in glass jars in the fridge or freeze in plastic containers.
Pears are often overlooked in the supermarket due to their tendency to bruise and become overripe without a moments notice. However, they are full of fiber and are an excellent natural dessert if you’re looking to cut down on sugar. If you are lucky enough to have a pear tree, you are probably always on the lookout for creative ways to incorporate pears into your meals.
Freeze for smoothies
Pear smoothies are incredibly delicious and a great way to use up excess pears. Slice and store in airtight baggies in for up to three months. Add a few slices to any smoothie to give it a fantastic hint of sweetness.
Make salad dressing
Add slices of pear to a blender along with olive oil, vinegar, and any other spices or seasonings that appeal to you and puree until totally smooth. You can use this dressing on salads or even as a dip for white cheese and crackers. Mmm, delicious!
Other ways to use fall fruit:
Share the love
You most likely have more than enough fruit to share the love and give some to your friends and family. Once they’re sick of apple pie and pears, invite your neighbors over to pick fruit from your tree. This will also help prevent you from having to deal with an excess of rotting fruit on your grass at the end of the fall harvest.
Pears and apples make incredible snacks when dehydrated. Simply place sliced fruit on the dehydrator until it reaches the perfect consistency and store in an airtight container.
Use for crafts
When you have an abundance of fall fruit, you don’t have to feel obligated to eat all of it. Find fun crafts that you and your kids can do with apples or pears such as creating doll heads or drying apple rings and making a garland.
How do you use fall fruit? Let us know in the comments below!