Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apple Fest 2011 + New Apple Recipe {guest post}

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited by Cub Foods to attend a blogger event {my very first blogging event!}: Apple Fest 2011. 

Now, I love me a good apple – so I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about apples found in our local grocery stores, taste yummy apples, apple-snacks, meet produce folks and others working at Cub Foods

Not only that – I got to meet other bloggers – like Liz from Carpe Season and Amy from Green Your Plate

Local Produce

The highlight of the night was learning how much local produce – and how fresh that local produce is – Cub has in their stores!  We encouraged Cub to share this information with their customers – because the amount of locally grown produce is amazing.  And, I love that. 

Apple History

As we talked with the farmer, Fred, who farms and manages the apple orchards that supply Cub with their apples.  He shared with us some unique apple history – like:

  • The apple was popular for eating until artists began depicting the apple as the fruit on the tree that Adam and Eve ate in the Garden of Eden.
  • After that, the apple was mainly used for hard cider.
  • Prohibition really put a damper on the apple market at that point.
  • Then, eating apples – like the Red Delicious – came to the market; developed for their color and ability to transport well, they appeared everywhere. 
  • This drove the demand for more delicious tasting eating apples – which prompted horticulture and ag foks to begin to cross different apple varieties. 
  • A new apple variety is being tested and developed more than 8 years
    before you see it in the grocery store or at your local orchard. 

Fred also shared with us that every apple under the Wescott Orchard/Mississippi  Valley label is grown right here & hand picked  before arriving in the grocery store!

Apple Varieties

Regional apple crops dominate Cub’s produce section in the fall when apples are fresh & at their peek.  Varieties like…

  • McIntosh – slightly tart & tender, great for fresh eating & apple sauce
  • Cortland – slightly tart & crisp!  Fantastic for eating, baking, pies & sauce
  • Haralson – {THE BEST!} tart & very firm; Eat ‘em, pie ‘em, ‘bake ‘em
  • Regent – sweet & crisp, delicious to eat & amazing paired with Haralson in a pie!
  • Honey Crisp – sweet & tart, wonderfully crisp perfect for fresh eating
  • Zestar – sweet & tart, firm with a light crispy texture; great to eat

How do you get new apple varieties?

New apple varieties are developed by crossing different apples with each other.  Yes, apples “mate”, and by choosing which parents to mate together, you can get different offspring, or, new apple varieties. 

Most of the time, scientists have good lab notes and know what two parents produced the new apple.  Sometimes, however, one parent remains unknown.  No worries, though – plants can grow new plants by taking a branch, planting it, letting it generate roots and start to grow. 

That’s exactly what’s happened with a new apple variety that Cub Foods will have next fall:   

This brand-new, yet-to-be-named apple will be hitting store shelves next fall – watch for it early in the season, about the time McIntosh apples are ready.  This apple will rival the Honey Crisp in texture and taste.  In fact, one of its parents is the Honey Crisp! It’s sweet, tangy, juicy, and otherwise a fantastic eating apple. 

Apple Recipes

Speaking of eating… I had the pleasure of meeting Heidi Diller, Cub’s Corporate Nutritionist(RD), who shared with us a great apple snack. 

As you know – Frog Prince & I LOVE apples (we have 60 apple recipes on our blog).  I asked her if she would be willing to guest post and share her apple recipe with us. 

So… say “hi” to Heidi!

Hey!  Heidi Diller here.  I had the pleasure of meeting “SnoWhite” a few weeks ago at a Cub-hosted Apple Fest.  I was able to share the nutritional attributes of apples, and explain why the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is so true!  I shared this very simple, delicious apple recipe that I have made over many years for my family – kitchen tested & kid approved!  Hope you enjoy it. 

Heidi’s Cinnamon Apples – Heidi Diller


  • 2 medium apples
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T raisins or dried cranberries
  • 2 T walnuts, chopped {optional}


Begin by gathering up your apples.  What kind of apples?  I have personally found that “tart” apples – like Granny Smith – hold up well in baked apple recipes.  But, if you want something more like applesauce, then the crisp eating varieties, like Honey Crisp, or McIntosh work well too.  Still trying to decide?  Feel free to ask any produce expert in the grocery store for suggestions. 

Wash, but don’t peel your apples.  Did you know that the antioxidants and fiber found in apples are mostly in the skin?  I love the skin because it adds more texture… trust me on this one, and try it. 

Core the apples, and slice them into bite-sized pieces. 

Place the apples to a microwave safe bowl or bag.  Did I just say bag?  Yep!  Ziploc makes microwave safe bags for steaming.  I use these all the time for easy clean-up; but, you can use a bowl if you wish.

Add in the 1 T brown sugar, 1 T butter, 2 T dried fruit and 2 T chopped nuts (optional). 

Cover the bowl, or seal the bag, and microwave on high for 3 minutes, or until apples are soft & juicy.

Here’s what makes this so delicious – great for a snack, side dish or dessert: serve warm with a dollop of plain Greek Yogurt.

Nutrition Information per serving (2 servings in this recipe): 235 calories, 42 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber and 3 g protein. 

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us, Heidi!  If you are interested in more fun nutrition and food tips – follow Heidi on Twitter @heididiller

Thanks, Cub – for such a fun night.  We hope to see you continue your long-standing emphasis on locally grown produce and food products!

Linked to: URS


  1. Some interesting history about apples! So glad you had a wonderful time, and got to learn about the local crops in your area.

  2. How cool- I didn't even know Cub Foods did that sort of stuff. What fun to see an old standby mentioned on your blog. It made me a little homesick to be honest. Glad you had a good time and learned all about apples.

  3. Wow! Love the pictures you took. Thanks again for letting me share a fun, easy recipe. Kids honestly love this and its sooooo much easier than baked apples (time wise). Heidi

  4. Oh my word! You met my friend Liz and her hubby Eric! They used to go to our church...such a cool couple! Small world...

  5. i love all of your apple recipes. these are great!

  6. This is the first time ever I am seeing apple recipe. Would be trying for this weekend.

  7. Thanks for taking out time and sharing some interesting information on the different varieties of apples and for sharing that wonderful recipe as well.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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