An apple a day

Forget keeping the doctor away. Whether you pick your apples at an orchard or buy them locally grown at the store, this autumn treat is so delicious that your kids won’t even suspect the health benefits.

Popular picks

The sheer variety of apples is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Although people often associate great apples with Washington State, many popular types of apples grow in Illinois and are available to buy or to pick at orchards. If you’re going apple picking with a certain variety in mind, then make sure to call the orchard beforehand to make sure that specific apple is in season. Each apple peaks at a different time between late August and late October.


To make apples tastier for kids, peel, core and slice them. A circular apple corer with blades for slicing can be purchased at any grocery store and makes apple snacking simple. Just make sure to store it in a high cabinet so kids won’t hurt themselves. To add protein, spread some peanut butter on each slice. Have your kids stick raisins on the peanut butter mounds to decorate them in silly (and healthy) ways.

Best uses

To spice up a salad, opt for sweet Red Delicious, Gala or the slightly tart flavor of Granny Smith. For a healthier crunch, make crispy apple chips from Red or Golden Delicious. If you crave a deliciously sweet baked apple, Golden Delicious and juicy Jonagold are good bets. Depending on the flavor of apple pie that you desire, try Golden Delicious, Granny Smith or crisp Jonathon. They all stand up to the heat of an oven and provide exceptional apple flavor to this dessert.

The same goes for

applesauce. Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, aromatic McIntosh and Jonathon all make a great applesauce. Below is a foolproof recipe for applesauce, courtesy of


Ingredients4 apples—peeled, cored and chopped3/4 cup water1/4 cup white sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar and cinnamon. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

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