The Joys of Fall

One thing I love most about fall is apples.  I made a trip to the orchard this weekend for a peck of gala apples, three gallons of cider and one plain donut.  The cider from the orchard is especially delicious because it's unpasteurized.  But keep in mind the naturally occurring yeasts in unpasteurized cider can cause fermentation within a week.

So what does one do with a peck of apples.  Here are a few recipes to carry you through the day.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Crockpot Recipe

2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into chunks
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or desired sweetener like pure maple syrup)
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
Optional garnishes: cranberries, chopped nuts, raisins, figs or additional milk.

Directions

  1. Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with butter. 
  2. Add all ingredients (except optional garnishes) to slow cooker. 
  3. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). 
  4. Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Spinach Apple-Pecan Salad

5 ounces of baby spinach leaves, washed thoroughly

1 Gala apple, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup of pecans
1/3 cup of dried cranberries
freshly ground pepper
crumbled goat cheese
Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup raspberry wine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup of cane sugar
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Directions
  1. Place spinach, apple slices, onions, nuts, cranberries and goat cheese in a salad bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together and drizzle over greens. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

Apple Cinnamon Chips

2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 gala apple 

2 tsp of cinnamon

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Fill a medium bowl with ice, water and lemon juice and set aside.  Slice the apple into very thin slices and let soak in the lemon-ice-water bath for 5 minutes.
  2. Place apple slices on prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake until crisp and dry (apx. 90 minutes).  
  3. Cool and serve.