Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Before the Season of "Everything Pumpkin" - Take time to Savor the Apple

I do adore pumpkins. Soon enough it will be the Season of Everything Pumpkin. But for me, September is the season of the apple.

Apples are the glorious gifts of late summer and early fall. There are so many varieties to choose from, and in New Jersey we have a plethora of pick your own farms. Some apples, like Cortlands, are on the sweeter side. Empires are great for eating raw and have a bit of tartness. Fuji's are wonderfully sweet and last a very long time. Granny Smiths are lovely if you prefer the tartness of apples. Jonathans are great for making applesauce, but not for baking because the mush. Yorks are great for baking. I could go on and on, since there are over 100 types of apples grown for commercial use. Actually, there are over 7,000 types of apples grown world wide, but that would take us rather far afield.

There is so much that apples give us. Not just for eating and cooling. On these first cool nights as summer fades to autumn, there is nothing like some warmed apple cider with a cinnamon stick in it. Around here, Delicious Orchards has the best cider. A great place for pick your own apples is Terhune Orchards. They also make some yummy apple wine. And of course there are the amazing benefits of apple cider vinegar.  We use it in many of our products because it is so good for you on the inside and on the out. Ooh - and I've recently discovered the fun of hard cider, but that again is another story.

Apples are packed with nutrition and fiber. They contain lots of vitamins like A, B, and C. They have antioxidant components, quercetin, collagen, and elastic which make then wonderful for your skin, boost your energy, and aid in digestion.

Applying apples to your outsides might seem strange - but your skin will certainly appreciate it. Here are a few quick tops to try:
  • Take a nice fresh apple and run it through the blender with just a little water or green tea. Take that fabulous smelling mush and rub it in to your skin after a hot day. Rinse with cool water and you'll be washing away the heat and damage you've imposed on your face.
  • Kick the apple treatment up a little by blending apple mush with honey and make yourself a skin loving face mask. It will brighten and soften your skin.
  • Use a little apple mush or gently run a slice of apple under your eyes to help alleviate those dark circles. 
  • After shampooing, pour some apple juice through your hair and then rinse. It will help with dandruff and add some nice shine.
  • The pectin and tannin in apples helps soothe bug bites. Rub a piece of apple on a bite or apply a little mush.

Of course the best thing you can do with an apple, especially fresh and in season, is eat one a day. It may help keep the doctor away, and it will definitely taste great and make you happy.

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