Apple picking is almost a sport for native New Englanders like myself. When I was young(er), every September my mother gathered my siblings and me in the family station wagon and headed off to the local orchard. I never grew tired of climbing trees and eating freshly harvested apples. I remember tummy aches from eating too many, but the taste of those red jewels was well worth the temporary digestive distress!

My love for apples has not waned. I enjoy all kinds, from Honey Crisp to Macintosh to Golden Delicious. A friend of mine from California recently introduced me to King David apples, a scrumptious heirloom variety that grew on her grandparent’s farm. From coast to coast, apples are hard to beat for their taste, portability and nutrition. They are truly one of nature’s perfect “fast foods.”

Aside from being crisp and delicious, apples offer myriad health benefits that justify the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. They’re packed with fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer (think weight loss), lowers cholesterol and helps to optimize bowel function. Vitamin C is another nutrient found in apples, which is important for keeping your immune system humming. Studies have even linked apples to a lower risk of heart disease due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.

One of my favorite fall recipes is sugar-free applesauce. It’s easy to make, incredibly nourishing and leaves your home smelling amazing! Try this recipe and let me know what you think. Until next time, make every bite count!

Homemade sugar-free applesauce:

3 lbs organic apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups filtered water
Cut apples into 1 inch cubes (leave skins on)
Add all ingredients to pot and turn heat on high
Bring to a boil, then cover to reduce heat to low
Stir frequently so apples don’t stick to the bottom of the pot
Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until apples have softened
Mash by  hand or use a food mill
Serve warm