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Michigan Apple Committee Official Blog

Rachel Cooks – A great healthy snack for all ages!

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Rachel, food blogger from Rachel Cooks, tries healthy Ginger Cinnamon Apple Chips with Michigan Apples

I’m always on the search for healthy snacks that the kids, my husband and I can enjoy. Bonus points if said snack is easy to prepare. Huge bonus points. As a mom of two toddlers, quick snacks are a must. These ginger cinnamon apple chips fit the description of healthy, delicious and easy to make. They do take some time to bake and transform into chips but almost all of the time is hands-off.ginger-cinnamon-apple-chips-600 (1 of 4)

All you need to do with these chips is slice them super thinly (use a mandoline if you have one). No need to even core them – just grab the seeds out after you slice the apples. If you don’t have a mandoline, you’ll want to slice them as thin as possible. If you don’t have a mandoline, you might want to core the apples so you don’t get of the tough areas surrounding the seeds.

You’ll want a firm apple for these chips – Jonagolds were great – perfect texture and full of flavor.

Lay the apple slices out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with ground ginger and ground cinnamon. Bake at a low temperature for an hour, flip, and bake for another hour. Once they have cooled completely, you’re left with crispy apple chips full of great flavors from the apples themselves plus the cinnamon and ginger. They keep great for at least a week in an airtight container.

Baked Apple Chips

makes about 20 chips

serves 1-2 people

1 Michigan Jonagold apple

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Using a mandolin, slice apples very thinly. Core if desired prior to slicing. Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spread out the apple slices in a single layer. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and ginger. Sprinkle the apple slices lightly with cinnamon and ginger mixture. Bake for one hour, flip apple slices over, and continue to bake for another hour. Turn off oven and let slices cool in the oven for about an hour before removing from the oven.

Store in an airtight container.

ginger-cinnamon-apple-chips-600 (4 of 4)

Verdict: Loved these addictive chips!

Husband’s take: He loves these chips – maybe even more so than me.

Changes I would make: Non are necessary, but if you don’t like cinnamon or ginger, feel free to leave either out. The apples themselves have plenty of flavor.

Difficulty: Easy.

 

 

RachelGurkRachel Gurk is the creator and author of Rachel Cooks, a food blog that features healthy, delicious recipes that will please the whole family and are easy to prepare. Rachel Cooks has been featured on sites including The Huffington Post, Parents.com, Saveur and The Cooking Channel. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband, son and daughter.

This month, Megan’s making a delicious apple and cheese Danish!

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_MG_7659Another tasty guest post from the author of What Megan’s Making!

I’ve been wanting to try an easy homemade breakfast Danish recipe for awhile now, and working with Michigan Apples gave me the perfect excuse! I love baking with apples, but don’t always think to bake with them in the spring and summer.  However, since apples and cheese go so well together, it only seemed natural to make an apple and cheese Danish. I’m so glad I tried this recipe, and you will be too, because it’s absolutely delicious.  I made this recipe for breakfast last weekend, and Mike and I both loved it. We ate it warm out of the oven, with a light glaze icing on top, and we just kept remarking on how good it was. Even Zeke got to try some and kept asking for more bites off my fork.

The crust of the Danish is very light and flaky, and since it makes use of already prepared puff pastry dough, it’s also incredibly easy to work with. The cheesy apple mixture on the inside is quick to mix together and provides plenty of flavor without being heavy or overly rich. The lemon flavor is subtle and adds just the right amount of tartness to counteract the sweetness of the sugar.  The pastry as a whole wasn’t overly sweet, so I served it with a light glaze on top, but you could also just sprinkle the top with powdered sugar. Either way, you’re sure to love it.

Ingredients
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 Tbsp ricotta cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water, for egg wash
2 Michigan apples, peeled and cut into thin slices
sugar and cinnamon, for sprinkling

_MG_7667

 Directions:

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined.

Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s approximately an 11×8 rectangle.  Slice 1-inch strips diagonally down both sides of the puff pastry, leaving the center uncut.  Spoon half of the cheese filling onto the uncut center of the puff pastry. Layer half of the apple slices on top. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.  Fold the strips over the filling, alternating sides, until you’ve worked your way down the puff pastry. Fold in the ends so that the apple/cheese mixture is sealed inside. It should look a little bit like a braid. Brush the top with egg wash and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.

Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.

*If desired, make a thin icing by mixing ~3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 Tbsp milk. Drizzle over the warm pastry before serving.

 Adapted from the Food Network

megan A Pennsylvania native, Megan, her husband Mike and their son live in the Grand Rapids area. She blogs about cooking and baking at www.WhatMegansMaking.com and isn’t shy about her love for Michigan apples!

This month, “The Lemon Bowl” is filled with Michigan apples!

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Slow-Cooker-Ginger-Spiced-Apple-Butter-The-Lemon-BowlLiz Della Croce, author of The Lemon Bowl, creates a healthy recipe with Michigan Apples.

Ginger spiced apple butter is made by slowly cooking apples until they caramelize and turn a beautiful, deep brown color. Naturally sweetened with no sugar added, spread on pancakes, stir into oatmeal or serve on toast.

If you followed me on any form of social media last year between the months of May and October you probably noticed that I am mildly obsessed with Michigan grown produce.

Between farmers markets, u-pick orchards and various farm stands, my Facebook and Instagram feeds were pretty much filled to the brim with gorgeous, vibrant Michigan grown fruits and vegetables. #SorryImNotSorry

Apple-Picking-The-Lemon-Bowl

Needless to say, when winter arrives and the ground freezes over, I go into a bit of fresh produce withdrawal. When Michigan Apples surprised me with a giant shipment of Jonagolds, I was beaming from ear to ear. Fresh, crispy, juicy and slightly tart, these apples brought me right back to our apple picking adventures last fall.Apple-Orchard-The-Lemon-Bowl

Since it would take us months to go through the amount of apples they sent us, I decided to whip up a 10 minute bath of Slow Cooker Sugar Free Apple Butter. Yes, SUGAR FREE! The fact is, when you are working with fresh produce you don’t have to add a lot to make it taste delicious. And although I admittedly don’t have a huge sweet tooth, my husband and son devoured this apple butter so I know it passes the sweet tooth test.

You can eat it plain like applesauce but it tastes great spread on pancakes, added to sweeten smoothies or dolloped on top of Greek yogurt. The options are endless.

Your fork is waiting.

Slow Cooker Ginger Spiced Apple Butter {No Sugar Added}

Author: Liz Della Croce | The Lemon Bowl
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ginger spiced apple butter is made by slowly cooking apples until they caramelize and turn a beautiful, deep brown color. Naturally sweetened with no sugar added, spread on pancakes, stir into oatmeal or serve on toast.

Ingredients
  • 8 large apples – thinly sliced (leave the skin!)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½ tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and heat on Low for 8 hours.
  2. Using a handheld immersion blender, gently puree the apples until you reach desired apple butter consistency.
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 16
  • Serving size: ¼ cup
  • Calories: 44
  • Fat: .3 g
  • Saturated fat: .1 g
  • Unsaturated fat: .2 g
  • Trans fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 11.3 g
  • Sugar: 7.1 g
  • Sodium: 0
  • Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Protein: .2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0

About-Page-Head-Shot-The-Lemon-Bowl-400x400

Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog.  Since 2010, Liz has been creating delicious recipes using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality. Liz has appeared live on the TODAY Show and tapes regular cooking segments for her local NBC affiliate station. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband and two sons.

Megan’s Making Broccoli Apple Salad!

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Guest post from Megan of “What Megan’s Making

_MG_6885I have got a treat for you today! This broccoli and apple salad is both healthy and delicious.  When the wonderful people at Michigan Apples asked me to make a healthy apple recipe, this broccoli salad immediately came to mind. I made this salad a few weeks ago, thinking it would be a good thing to keep on hand for a few days to encourage me to eat my vegetables. I love nice crunchy salads that are chock full of delicious add-ins, and this salad is no exception. I couldn’t stop eating it!  I actually didn’t think Mike liked broccoli salad so I was planning on this being all for me. Imagine my disappointment once I realized he loved it as well.  

I’ve never put apples in my broccoli salad before, but you can bet I will from now on. They were the perfect addition.  Crunchy and sweet, they contrasted nicely with the crispy broccoli and tangy dressing.  Plus, they added a nice boost of nutrients and I was able to eat my fruits as well as my vegetables. :) I also threw in some sliced almonds and dried cranberries, but you can play around with this recipe and add in whatever you want. I used plain whole milk yogurt in the dressing, which kept the dressing nice and light, but if you want your dressing a little thicker you may want to try plain Greek yogurt instead. Any way you make it, this broccoli apple salad recipe is a keeper!

_MG_6882

Broccoli Apple Salad
Ingredients:
1 large head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 medium red apple (suggested: Michigan Jonagold), cut into thin slices
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 large red onion, diced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:
Combine the broccoli, apple, cranberries, onion and almonds in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and toss to combine. Refrigerate one hour before serving.

*Note: You may not need all of the dressing. Start with about 3/4 of the dressing, taste, and go from there.

*Recipe adapted from Taste Love and Nourish

megan

A Pennsylvania native, Megan, her husband Mike and their son live in the Grand Rapids area. She blogs about cooking and baking at www.WhatMegansMaking.com and isn’t shy about her love for Michigan apples!

 

Megan’s Making a Festive Holiday Salad

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Hello, I’m Megan from What Megan’s Making and I’m so glad to be sharing a holiday apple recipe with you! I love cooking and baking with apples around the holidays, and it’s usually something decadent and sugary! This time, however, I thought I’d do something a little different and give you an apple recipe for something fresh and healthy.

I made this apple, goat cheese and walnut salad for Thanksgiving, and it was such a big hit that I think I’ll make it again for Christmas! With the apples, dried cherries, and cranberry vinaigrette, it’s very seasonably appropriate, and yet it tastes nice and light. The salad is full of flavor, and it’s certainly a nice change from some of the more unhealthy things we like to eat this time of year.  I like to serve the dressing on the side, and feel free to change up some of the ingredients to suit your tastes. I love dried cherries, but dried cranberries would be great as well, and blue cheese makes a great substitute for the goat cheese.  Enjoy!

Apple, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

8 cups torn mixed salad greens

2 medium red apples diced

½ cup crumbled goat cheese

1/3 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

¼ cup sliced green onions

Dressing:

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp cranberry juice concentrate

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Dash of salt and pepper

In a salad bowl, toss together the salad ingredients.  To make the dressing, place the ingredients in a container that seals well, and shake to combine. Serve the dressing alongside the salad.

*Note:  I’d rather have too much dressing than not enough, so I usually double the dressing recipe when making this salad.

A Pennsylvania native, Megan lives with her husband Mike in the Grand Rapids area. She blogs about cooking and baking at www.WhatMegansMaking.com and isn’t shy about her love for Michigan apples!

What is Megan Making with Michigan Apples?

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A Grand Rapids Food Blogger Shares Her Love for Michigan Apples

This time of year, there’s nothing better than the aroma of cinnamon and apples coming from your oven.  Whether it’s apple pie, apple cake, apple muffins, or applesauce, there’s just something about cooking with apples that makes it feel like Fall. Of course, here in Michigan, we are blessed with fresh apples and it doesn’t seem like the Fall season has officially started until we make that first trip to the apple orchard.

Megan's applesauce

Megan's slow cooker applesauce

I moved to Michigan four years ago, and the abundance of fresh-picked apples collided with my love of baking. Each year I plan a trip to go apple picking with friends and then spend the majority of the next few weeks making every apple recipe under the sun.   My favorites are the recipes that showcase the bright, clear flavor of the apples, the ones where the apples are the true star.  I’ve actually got a whole recipe category on my site dedicated to apple recipes! One of the most popular is slow cooker applesauce – an easy applesauce recipe where the crockpot does all the work.  I love to change up the types of apples I use, which causes every batch to taste just a little bit different.

However, I discovered one of my favorite things about the Michigan apple community on the Michigan Apples website. Of course they’ve got some great information on the apple crop in Michigan, and wonderful recipe ideas, but my favorite part is the section about the apple growers. It gives me such a sense of community to read about these local families who grow the apples that we love so much.  The owners of a local orchard even shared some of their favorite recipes with me, and that personal connection makes the end result taste that much better.

A Pennsylvania native, Megan lives with her husband Mike in the Grand Rapids area. She blogs about cooking and baking at www.WhatMegansMaking.com and isn’t shy about her love for Michigan apples!

Meet the Michigan Apple Interns

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Michelle (left) and Ashlee (right)

The Michigan Apple Committee had two new interns start with our organization this fall.  Ashlee & Michelle both attend Michigan State University and before they start blogging we thought it would be great to get to know them.  Here are their interviews with each other…

Describe yourself in three words.

  • Ashlee- Friendly, Personable, driven
  • Michelle- Motivated, happy and easy-going

What is the best thing about the autumn season?

  • Ashlee-I love Halloween because I have fun crafting my costume, getting dressed up and spending time with my friends.
  • Michelle-I love when the leaves change, the weather starts to cool down and it is time for apple season

read more »

Fall’s Changes – Part 2

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Written by Jim Parker
Michigan Apple Fan and Cider Enthusiast

Previously I wrote here on the Michigan Apple website that the fall season brings many changes into our daily lives. Some are a repeat of previous year’s changes. I also stated that now there are some new ones taking place, and from a personal standpoint, these new changes make me happy that we are witnessing them. Most certainly we are in awe of the glorious beauty of the changing leaves and we appreciate dawn being a little earlier. With that opportunity to enjoy the earlier daylight and while traveling the many side roads that take us on our annual trips to our favorite cider mills and apple orchards (and you love animals like I do) you may be lucky enough to witness the beauty of nature with the animal’s scurrying around getting ready for fall and winter themselves. As for those apples and that sweet cider I don’t think you can beat the taste of a crisp Michigan apple washed down by the nectar from them Michigan apple cider. One of the reasons I think it’s easier to do all of this is because the kids and grandkids are now back in school and even though we’re still busy, I feel our daily pace seems to be a little less hectic. That affords us the extra energy to really enjoy the time when we are with the kids. But there is another change that is happening more and more right now and it makes me once again feel delighted that we are witnessing it.

read more »

Adventures of a First Runner Up – by Jessica Zelenock

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JessieHello Everyone…this is Jessica Zelenock, 1st Runner-up to the Michigan Apple Queen.

read more »

Michigan Apple Queen Attends the National Cherry Festival

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img_0350.JPGLast weekend was the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City. read more »