5 Spot: Fun with Apples

The apple can be a symbol for so many things: for some, it signifies knowledge; for others, peace; in still other cultures, the apple marks the start of the new year. In my own cosmology, the apple is above all a sign that fall has arrived. Growing up where I did in New York state, we knew it was fall when we went apple picking with a bunch of other moms and kids. I can remember crisp afternoons, bright blue skies, the autumn angle of the sunlight; ladders and baskets; as many apples eaten in the fields as brought home; and the fragrance of applesauce simmering on the stove. Here are five ways to bring in fall, with the help of a few apples.

1. Picking or Purchasing: If you don’t have an apple tree or two in your own back yard, head up to Green Bluff, just north of Spokane. There you will find numerous farms and farm stands, selling a huge variety of apples. For certified organic apples, check out Cole’s Orchard. Before you go, look up greenbluffgrowers.com for a list of farms, their products, hours, and contact information. Closer to home, our own dear Farmers Market and Tuesday Growers Market are operating through the end of this month.

2. Picking and Pressing: At Bishop’s Orchard, in Garfield, Washington, you can pick apples and then use the orchard’s old fashioned cider press to make some liquid gold! (Before you go, check their updates on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bishopsOrchard/?fref=ts.)

3. Pickled? Hard cider more your thing? Peruse the Co-op’s beer cooler for a few varieties. I hear it’s a delicious way to wash down a hunk of cheddar cheese and a bite of fresh baguette.

4. Perking up your immune system: Keep the doctor away by taking apple cider vinegar. Taken in small doses—1 to 2 tablespoons in 8 ounces of water per day—apple cider vinegar can be used as a remedy for the common cold, acid reflux, and allergies. It can help support the good bacteria that live in the gut, thereby improving digestion and immune functions. It also keeps blood sugar levels stable, which in turn could help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Try Bragg’s or Fire Cider, a combination of apple cider vinegar and herbs; both brands are available at the Co-op.

5. Eating! Pucker up! Recipes abound, from “pick apple, then eat it,” to elaborate desserts, soups, and sauces. One of our favorite ways to eat apples is: core them; stuff with cinnamon, raisins, and crushed roasted walnuts; bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes; smother with maple syrup and vanilla goat’s milk yogurt; devour!

MacIntosh. Pink Lady. Gravenstein. Granny Smith. An apple by pretty much any name tastes delicious! Call your kids, your friends, your friends’ kids and your kids’ friends, and head out to the orchards and backyards, and into the kitchens, of the Palouse.

Naomi Brownson is a Licensed Acupuncturist with a private practice in Moscow. While the information included in the Five Spot is safe for everyone, it is not intended as medical advice. When in doubt, ask your doctor.