3 Ways to Cook Up Apples

A local grocery store had Gala apples on sale for $0.37 per pound!! Needless to say I bought about 15 pounds! What do you do with 15 pounds of apples? Here is what we will be eating for weeks to come:

– Apple jelly
– Dried apples
– Apple pies

Now I am sure there are tons more ways to use fresh apples, but these three will best serve us. Here is how to prepare apple jelly, dried apples, and our apple pie recipe.

Apple Jelly
You will need:
1 – Ball No-Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
Fresh apples to yield 4 cups prepared, about 16 medium apples
4-6 Half Pint Jars with Lids and Bands

Optional:
Up to 3 cups sugar
Up to 1 cup honey
Artificial sweetener to taste

Follow instructions inside Ball No-Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin

Dried Apples
You will need a food dehydrator to make these and as many apples as you want!

Peel and core apples. Slice apples in to rings and place onto dehydrator. Turn on dehydrator and let dry overnight. *Tip: It is very important to get all of the peel off the apple because when the peel dries it becomes very sharp and can cut your mouth.

Apple Pie
You will need:
3-4 large apples
1 Tbs. Cinnamon
2-3 packets artificial sweetener
2 uncooked pie crusts
Butter

Peel, core, and dice apples. Toss them in a bowl with cinnamon and sweetener. Pour into bottom pie crust. Top with pats of butter. Lay second pie crust on top and seal edges. Poke top crust with a fork a few times. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

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Homemade Flour Tortillas

The plan for dinner? Soft tacos. I just knew I had flour tortillas in the freezer. So I got all of the other ingredients ready for a “make your own” style flour tortilla night.

I looked in the freezer. No tortillas!

What to do? To the Internet I go! I found this great flour tortilla recipe that I have been using ever since:

Flour Tortillas

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water or milk

1. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
2. Cut shortening into dry ingredients. (I have found a food processor works wonders!)
3. Add milk or water, working mixture together until a sticky ball forms.
4. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
5. Divide into 8-10 ball (for small tortillas) or 6-8 balls (for large tortillas). Cover with a damp cloth.
6. Lightly dust work surface with flour and roll out each ball into a circle or oval about 1/4 inch thick. Don’t roll the dough out more than once or the tortillas will be tough.
7. Heat a dry griddle or non-stick skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side, or until the dough looks slightly dry and wrinkled, and brown spots appear. Do not overcook or they will be hard. Butter and roll up and wrap in a damp towel to keep warm. Serve warm.

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11 Ways to Get Your Toddler to Eat Healthy

Eat-Healthy

I don’t know about you, but I had a crazy hard time getting my toddler to eat, not to mention eat healthy. She lived off goldfish and pretzels. The only reason I wasn’t crazy about this is because she loved V8 V-Fusion Juices; that way I at least knew she was getting her recommended fruits and veggies each day. But I stumbled upon an article about how to get your toddler to eat healthy food. You can check out the full article here, but here are a few of the highlights:

Get the Kids Involved: Let your toddler help with menu planning and writing the shopping list. Ask him to hold the grocery list at the store. Let him help make choices about what to buy… apples or oranges?

Encourage Your Kitchen Helpers: Let him help wash lettuce or measure the flour for a cake.

Have Fun With It: Arrange veggies on a plate to look like a face. Make pancakes into shapes or cut toast into shapes. Offer yogurt as a dip.

Take a Field Trip: Take your toddler apple picking at an orchard or berry picking at a berry farm. Or plant your own fruits and veggies and let him harvest them himself.

Watch the Juice: Limit juice intake to encourage eating other foods. Make sure the juice you do offer is 100% juice and not a “juice drink’.

Blend and Bake: Get your toddler involved in making smoothies; try some fresh or frozen fruit, milk or frozen yogurt, and fruit juice. How about baking some muffins? Add some blueberries to a basic muffin mix.

Don’t Be Too Sneaky: Don’t hide “hidden” ingredients. Your toddler may be upset about it later.

Make It Count: Be aware of your toddler’s nutritional needs. They are pretty basic (and small) at this point. Just make sure to cover the basics, then he can continue to live on pretzels and goldfish.

Make the Fast Food Switch: Occasional fast food won’t hurt, but try to switch out fries for apple slices or try a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a cheeseburger.

Be a Good Role Model: Remember that your toddler likes to mimic you, so practice what you preach! If you want your toddler to eat healthy, you need to eat healthy too! (Plus it’s good for you.)

Be Positive: Don’t force your toddler to eat. It’s likely that the more you and your toddler fuss about food, the harder it will be to get him to eat. Offer praise when your toddler does eat healthy food.

Do you have any other ideas?