Apple – The Frugal Fruit

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We love apples around here. I don’t think a week goes by where we don’t eat them raw or cook with them. Apples are inexpensive (especially if you go out and pick them yourself), store well and can be used in a variety of dishes. I use them as a pancake topping, in my oatmeal muffins, in the famous waldorf salad, or cook them in a savory pork dish. My mother taught me to always grate an apple into cooking red cabbage and my daughter’s favorite salad is grated apples and carrots dressed with a mixture of lemon juice and honey.

They also make for a great portable snack. Stick one in your child’s lunch box, and grab another one as you head to work. Pack a few apples for your next picnic or as a quick, healthy snack when you’re playing at the park with the kids or are in the car for a while.

My friend Jill from Living on a Dime was recently blessed with a whole bunch of apples, which inspired her to write the following article. Enjoy!

Acres of Apples, Frugal to the Core

By Jill Cooper
Living On A Dime

I’ve always dreamed of having an apple tree in my back yard. You know the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for?” Now that I actually have my own apple tree, I stand in my yard watching the apples piling up around me thinking, “Oh no — What do I do with this mess now?” If I could make gasoline out of apples, I could retire, but since that is not an option and my frugal mind will not allow me to waste one apple, I have had to come up with some yummier “apple disposal” methods. If you find that you have a few dozen more apples than you know what to do with, these recipes from LivingOnADime.com will help settle your frugal dilemma.

Other Uses:Apple Orchard

~When you have a partially eaten apple, save the good part and chop into pieces. Place in a microwave safe dish. Blend together 1 tsp. each brown sugar, flour, oatmeal and margarine and a dash of cinnamon. Top the apple with the topping and microwave until tender.
~Core and slice apples very thin. Dehydrate and use in granolas, eat alone or soften in warm water to use in recipes.
~Slice and use in Pancakes or waffles.
~Freeze. Peel, slice and core and then store in 2 cups portions in freezer bags.
~Use soft apples in cooking.
~Cut into small pieces and add to salads with a fruit based dressing.

Apple Butter

9 to 10 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. salt
Place everything into a crockpot. Stir, cover and cook on high 1 hour. Cook on low for 9-11 hours or until thick and dark brown. Stir occasionally. Uncover and cook on low 1 hour longer. Stir with whisk until smooth. Refrigerate or Freeze. Makes 2 pints.

Apple Pie Filling

9 cups baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
5 cups water
2 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Toss apples with lemon juice and set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in Dutch oven and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples and return to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender (6-10 minutes). Cool for 30 minutes. Then ladle into freezer containers or bake immediately. Makes two 9-inch pies.

Fried Apples

4 large apples, cored and sliced
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Cut apples into 1/4 inch slices. Heat butter in a large skillet. Put the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the skillet and cover. Over medium-low heat, cook apple slices 7-10 minutes or until they begin to soften and the syrup thickens. Serve coated with excess syrup on top. Serves 4.

Baked Apples

apples, cored
raisins (optional)
1 tsp. margarine
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 Tbsp. honey or brown sugar
(These amounts are per apple.)

For each person use 1 apple. Fill the center of the apple with all the ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees until tender or put in a Dutch oven on top of stove and simmer on very low until tender.

Apple Snack

2 qts. apples, peeled, cored and halved

Coarsely grate apples. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 225 degrees until dry. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Apple Crisp

6 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon and/or nutmeg
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange apples in well-greased baking dish. Blend all remaining ingredients except water. Spread evenly over top of apples. Pour water over the topping. Bake 45 minutes until apples are tender and top is crisp. Serves 6.

Peach Crisp
Use peaches in place of apples.

Jill Cooper raised two teenagers alone on $500 a month income after becoming disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. To read more of Jill’s articles and for free tips and recipes visit http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/livingonadime.htm.

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