We seem to be inching toward apple season — my travels around Wisconsin have given me good views of loaded trees — and I cannot wait! It’s not only my favorite fruit, it’s a sign that fall is on its way. And just maybe Wisconsin apple growers will have a better season than 2012. According to the USDA and National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), 2012 was not a good year due to the early spring. Total apple production was the lowest Wisconsin had seen since 1945.
So it’s time for a rebound! Wisconsin ranked in the top 20 state apple producers in 2010, according to the USDA. The Wisconsin Apple Growers Association (WAGA) of Waterloo, shares that apple seeds were brought to our state and planted as early as 1800. According to WAGA, Wisconsin’s first commercial apple orchards began between 1830 and 1850. Commercial orchards are now found in 46 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, covering about 7,400 acres. Those acres produce about 56 million pounds of apples per year.
WAGA can help you find either the state’s most concentrated areas of apples — Gays Mills (1,500 acres), Door County area (2,000 acres), Bayfield County or in the greater Milwaukee area — or the orchard nearest you. Also see WAGA’s page for apple recipes.
I was thinking of cool, crisp apples when it was so hot a few weeks ago. So I’ll be focusing on apple recipes in August as a way to beat any more heat! If you’re thinking this is too early – think again. The Dane County Conservation League provides a list of Wisconsin’s favorite apples and it begins with Jerseymacs and Paulareds — both with harvest dates of Aug. 10 – 20th.
With that in mind, I could eat apples at every meal – so let’s start with breakfast!
Apple Breakfast Pita
Yes, a pita. So many people I know take off for work with a smoothie or just a cup of coffee. I love breakfast. But don’t always want something hot. So here’s my take on a filling breakfast with no stove involved on a hot day!
Time: 5 minutes
Makes 4 wraps
2 pitas, cut in half (I use whole grain pitas)
1 honey crisp apple (or your favorite), sliced
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
2 Tblsp. honey
2 Tblsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts
Mix your whipped cream cheese, honey and cinnamon together.
Next, spread the cream cheese mixture into one of your pita halves.
Then add apple slices and walnuts.
You now have a totally satisfying breakfast — with no cooking — to get you off to work or errands or anything!