For my family, fall hasn’t officially begun in Central Mass until we’ve spent the afternoon munching on fresh apple cider donuts and exploring one of our many local apple orchards. There’s nothing better than filling our totes with juicy red apples and making more of those precious family memories together. But the fun doesn’t end once we leave the orchard! Those freshly picked apples also make for a perfect bonding experience as we spend quality time cooking together in the kitchen. If you and your family are looking for some new apple-picking recipes to try out with this year’s apple haul, look no further.
Here are five of my absolute favorite apple-picking recipes to transform those hand-picked apples into tasty kid-approved fall treats.
There’s no better place to start than with this quintessential New England dessert! After all, who can genuinely pass up on that warm, flakey crust and cinnamon-kissed filling?
If you’re anything like me baking a traditional apple pie from scratch can seem intimidating. But these Apple Pie Bites from Mom to Mom Nutrition are here to save the day. These treats are a breeze to whip up and are packed with classic apple pie flavor — without all the added fuss. Plus, they’re the perfect size for little hands!
Sometimes the recipes my toddler loves the most are the ones that are the easiest to make. Go figure, right? No matter the time of year, apple dippers are a hit in my house. But fresh-picked fall apples make the snack even more delectable.
The ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen — like Greek yogurt or different nut butters — make the perfect topping in a flash. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, try your hand at making this 4-ingredient Cream Cheese Apple Dip from The Seasoned Mom; it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!
It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of my pressure cooker! For a healthier apple option that even the youngest members of your family can enjoy, try whipping up a batch of instant pot apple sauce. This no-sugar-added recipe from A Mind Full Mom takes under 30 minutes to make and is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Leftovers stay good in the freezer for up to 4-6 months.
Since my daughter was small, muffins have always been one of her favorite breakfast treats; And these applesauce muffins are no exception! This recipe from Yummy Toddler Food makes nutritious, whole-grain muffins that are packed with apple-cinnamon flavor.
To use up the apples from this year’s trip to the orchard, swap out the store-bought applesauce in this recipe for your homemade formula or toss some bite-sized chunks of fresh fruit straight into your batter.
These days, any food my toddler can pull, stretch, or bend is a new snack time fave. After all, eating is far more entertaining when you can play with your food!
This recipe from Love In My Oven needs just 3 ingredients plus some of your freshly picked apples. Simply shred your fruit and combine it with water, cinnamon, and a dash of honey to make this nutritious and long-lasting treat. The best part about this recipe is that these snacks — like other fruit leathers — are jam-packed with all the nutrients found in fresh fruit, but have a much longer shelf life. Keep your homemade fruit leather in the fridge for up to 2 months, or freeze to enjoy all winter long.
Remember, the best part of cooking with toddlers and young children is the fun you have along the way, rather than the sometimes messy results. Try to embrace the imperfection of the process and let little hands help where they can. That way, along with a plate of yummy treats, you’ll also be left with sticky, cinnamon-coated memories to last a lifetime.
Are you thinking of trying out one of these delicious recipes with this year’s apple-picking haul? If you are, remember to tag @CentralMassMom when you share on Facebook or Instagram so we can admire your latest culinary creation!