Fun With a Fall Favorite – Apples!

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By Jennifer Halter

Summer is coming to an end this month, and that can be bittersweet. But with cooler temperatures
comes the time to harvest one of our family’s favorite seasonal fruits … apples! From recipes to crafts,
there are so many opportunities for your family to have fun enjoying this fall treat. Here are some of our
favorites.

Homemade Applesauce

This is a favorite recipe because it’s so easy. It makes the entire house smell amazing because it’s slow cooked in the crockpot!

You will need:
• 12 apples of your choice (We use Golden Delicious.)
• ½ cup of sugar
• ½ cup of water
• ½ teaspoon of cinnamon (You can add a bit more, if you prefer.)
• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Wash, peel and core your apples. Once peeled, cut the apples into quarters. Place them in your crockpot and add the sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Stir to coat the apples with these ingredients. Once coated well, spread the apples into an even layer before pouring in the water.

Cover the crockpot with the lid and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or until the apples are completely softened. For a chunkier style sauce, use a potato masher or spoon to mix the sauce to the desired consistency. For a smoother style, you can use a food processor, or even your blender. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Tip: Add in other fruits to your applesauce for fun flavor combinations. Try pureed pumpkin, strawberries or blueberries!

Apple Exploration

What better way to learn all about apples than to actually explore them? This is a fun activity for all ages.
First, get a variety of apples with varying colors and flavors. Wash your apples and make sure that everyone
washes their hands, as touching the apples will be a part of your exploration.

Have children describe each apple and talk about the different colors, sizes and shapes. Have them hold the apples to determine which is the heaviest and which is the lightest. You can even put the apples in order by color/shade.

Next, cut each apple in half. Have children identify the parts of the apple, such as the seeds inside, the stem
and the skin. Let them smell the apples and make a prediction about which ones will be sweet and which
ones may be tart. You can remove the seeds and let them feel them, describe the texture and see how small they are. Then, talk about how an apple tree grows. Slice your apples and give each person a piece of
each one. Time to taste them and see if your earlier predictions are correct! Have each child talk about
which is their favorite, least favorite and why.

Finally, enjoy your snack that you just explored. Consider providing items to dip the apples in, such as
yogurt, peanut butter and caramel.

Apple Volcano

This is a great STEM activity using this versatile fruit.
You will need:
• 1 apple (any variety)
• Baking soda
• ½ cup of white vinegar
• Bowl or a deep dish to conduct the experiment in (and reduce mess!)
First, use a knife or coring toolto remove the core of the apple. You want to leave the bottom of the apple intact, as you will be filling the inside with the ingredients. Place your apple in your bowl or deep dish. Fill the inside of the apple with baking soda.

Now your apple volcano is ready to erupt. Pour the white vinegar into the apple and watch as it bubbles
and explodes like a volcano! You can reuse your apple to perform this experiment again and again.
Tip: Add a few drops of food coloring to the baking soda before you add the vinegar to make your eruption
a little more colorful.

Apples offer endless opportunities for exploration, from apple print art to slicing them up for fraction practice. As the days get cooler and the season changes, savor the moments in addition to this
versatile, seasonal fruit.

Jennifer Halter is publisher of Macaroni Kid Woodbridge and Macaroni Kid Gainesville/Manassas

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