October Is National Apple Month

The U.S. Apple Association declared October to be National Apple Month and it’s a great time to enjoy the delicious, wholesome fruit. In 1904, the U.S. Apple Association created National Apple Week, but the observance was extended to a month-long event in 1996. National Apple Month is a time to embrace the fruit, create new recipes, pick fresh apples and help promote apple sales throughout the nation. As apples are a staple in many Halloween festivities, there is no better time to try a new apple recipe than in October.

While the U.S. Apple Association has plenty of information, resources, and recipes, you’ll find there are many state apple organizations pertaining to your area. As various apples are grown in different regions, you might find it worthwhile to check with local farmers’ resources regarding apples native to your area. October is a wonderful time to have fun with apples, whether it is baking apple pies, creating spooky Halloween treats, or spending the day with the kids in an apple orchard harvesting. You can find plenty of recipes and creative ways to use apples in the kitchen at the official U.S. Apple Association site’s recipes and kitchen tips.

The University of Illinois has an extensive apple resource that features history, varieties, facts, nutrition, legends, stories, canning and preserving tips, education, and more. The most popular apple varieties include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Rome. October is also a month where many states hold apple festivals. You can find a listing of apple festivals across the United States at Everfest.

According to the Univesity of Illinois, in 2006, Washington produced 58 percent of the nation’s apples, New York produced 11 percent, Michigan came in at 8 percent, Pennsylvania produced 5 percent, California 4 percent, and Virginia produced 2 percent. Washington produces the greatest amount of apples nationwide. You can find a great deal of information regarding apples at the official Washington state apple site. Washington’s most popular apple variety is the Red Delicious. You can find many recipes for using the Red Delicious apple and other apple varieties at the site.

There are many ways to celebrate National Apple Month. While cooking, baking, and eating apples is a great way, you can also educate children about the humble fruit. You’ll find plenty of teaching resources and materials on the websites above and there are games, coloring pages, stories and lessons to be learned. Apples are an important part of a healthy, nutrition diet, and teaching children the health benefits of apples can have a lifelong impact.

October is the perfect time to harvest and preserve apples for use in the winter months. Popular preservation methods include canning and freezing. You can also use fresh apples in recipes that will allow you to store them over the fall months. Popular recipes include applesauce, apple butter, apple juice, and apple rings. The Penn State Extension has a guide for canning and preserving apples that should help anyone get started on the process.

Another popular recipe used for canning and preserving apples is apple jelly. While not as popular as strawberry or grape, apple jelly is delightful and a great way to store apples for a long time. Apple jelly or jam is easy to make, doesn’t require many ingredients and is delicious. Here are some recipe for making apple jelly from your harvested fruit.

There are many ways to celebrate National Apple Month. From simply eating apples, to baking delectable treats or learning about apples, everyone can celebrate apples in October.

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