What’s your favorite fall aroma? There are many to choose from, but I love the smell of warm apples. That list extends to apple pie, applesauce and apple bread, and the best part is there are always new recipes to try and many varieties of apples to experiment with. How do I make sure they are safe for me and my family? Here are a few tips for to remember when enjoying your next crisp and juicy apple:
First wash your hands and clean counter tops, cutting boards and utensils with hot soapy water.
Wash your apples under cool running water, when you are ready to use them. Don’t use detergent or bleach as they could cling to the skin or penetrate through minor blemishes. Research done at the University of Maine indicates that vegetable washes were not proven to be any more effective than plain water rinses and were much more expensive. Waiting to wash apples before use deters bacterial growth, but if you choose to wash before storage, dry them thoroughly with paper towels.
Store your apples in a cool, dark place. If you choose the refrigerator, they will remain crisp and juicy longer. Use the section in your refrigerator where you can control the humidity and allow a high moisture level.
Taking a trip to the orchard is a great family outing. Picking apples and trying new flavors and colors may encourage children to try new foods. Being able to take those apples home and make your favorite recipe helps encourage “science in the kitchen” as they understand math, science and reading are skills needed to take a food like apples to a dish like applesauce.
As you explore fall activities, make sure to put a trip to the orchard on the list and practice keeping your food clean and safe; you are sharing skills for life with your children.
Author: Melinda Hill, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Science Educator, OSU Extension Wayne County
Reviewed by: Chris Kendle, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Science Educator, OSU Extension Tuscarawas County