JoyFoodly is delighted to create recipes each month for Whole Foods Market’s ‘Now in Season’ program. Be sure to look for our recipe cards in your Northern California stores, and don’t forget to speak with your Whole Foods Market produce person when picking out your fall apples. They always have the best tips and easy recipes—and often offer tasty samples.
Apples are amazing. In our country alone, there are over 2,500 varieties grown from New York, to Washington, to California. They are at their absolute most sweet, crisp deliciousness during fall, when they are in season, and just in time for some of our favorite food centric holidays.
I love helping kids discover the joy of exploring an abundance of apple varieties. Just because only fifteen varieties account for 90% of production, it doesn’t mean you and your child can’t go on an apple adventure–discovering local varieties like Gravenstein, Cameo, or Cinnamon Spice on your next trip to the market. Whether at the farmers market or my local Whole Foods Market in San Francisco, I always find new varieties that are local to my area that are the freshest, most flavorful, and often the most affordable to purchase.
One of the best ways to really taste the difference between apple varieties is by trying them raw, side-by-side. It’s a great way to teach kids taste vocabulary and make trying new foods fun. In this Huffington Post Cheat Sheet: Apple Variety Tasting Guide, they go through twenty-two varieties, using words like sweet, tart, perfectly crisp, bursting with juice, earthy, and great for baking to decipher all the delicious flavor profiles within this one fruit variety.
This fall, I’m having fun with my favorite snack by taking it up to a whole new level, with my homemade nutty chocolate dip. Whether you’re exploring apples for a new fruit dessert or just an almond butter sandwich, I’ve got a few tips on how to prep those apples with ease.
So the next time you’re buying apples for your family, branch out and try a new variety and see how delicious and fun eating local, in-season, produce can be. Thomas Jefferson may have brought the Fuji apple variety to America, but I bet he’d gladly try the 2,400 other varieties grown across this great nation today–and maybe even have an apple cider to wash ‘em down!
- apple, 3 (try a variety)
- almonds (raw unsalted), 1 cup
- chocolate chips (semisweet), 1 cup
- sea salt (or finishing salt), 1 tsp
- Take 5 minutes to get out all your ingredients, measuring and cooking equipment needed, and place them on a cookie sheet within easy reach.
- Wash all produce.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place nuts on a baking sheet. Roast nuts for 10 minutes in the oven. You can check around 8 minutes to make sure they are roasting (they will have a nice aroma) but not burning, as some ovens vary in heat strength.
- Place roasted almonds in a blender. Pulse nuts, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides, until they are creamy. This will take up to five minutes. You’ll notice the nuts going from dry to creamy.
- Add chocolate chips and pulse until combined, with a creamy consistency.
- Add salt and pulse to combine.
- Cut apples just before ready to eat and serve with a side of this amazingly rich and good for you homemade chocolate nutty dip.
- Note on substitutions: any type of apple works for this yummy snack or dessert. Mix up different varieties and have fun with your kids to see which one is their favorite dipped in the chocolate dip. I am using a Maldon Salt I always have on hand, but a regular sea salt or whatever salt you have in your home will work! It really brings out the flavors in the dip and does not make it salty.