If your family is anything like OURS, autumn is time for apples – lots of apples – and sometimes you end up with more than you know what to do with. If you’re tired of making applesauce and apple pie, here are some ways to use apples that don’t involve putting them on your plate.
1. GOOD OL’ APPLE STAMPER
Apple shapes are great for fall-themed craft projects with kids, and what better way to make an apple shape than with a real apple? An apple cut in half dipped in paint makes a perfect stamper on paper or fabric. (Check out www.wikihow.com/Craft-Apple-Stamps for full instructions.)
2. FACIAL REFRESHER
The pectin in an unripe apple can be the key ingredient in an exfoliating beauty mask. Toss a green apple in the blender with a quarter cup of plain yogurt and a tablespoon of honey; then spread the blended mixture on your face and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Carving pumpkins is fun, but it’s also time-consuming and very, very messy. An alternative project is scooping out the inside of a large apple (a melon baller or metal measuring spoon works), cutting in a cute/scary/funny face, and illuminating your creation from the inside with a tea light.
4. SOFTEN BROWN SUGAR
We’ve all had it happen: If not stored properly, brown sugar can get as hard as a (sweet, sweet) rock. To soften it up, seal the chunk of sugar in a plastic bag with an apple wedge. In a couple of days, the sugar will be good as new.
5. HELP TOMATOES RIPEN
If your late-summer tomatoes are still green, put them a paper bag with an apple that’s already ripe. Like tomatoes, apples produce ethylene, which helps fruit ripen. (Yes, tomatoes are a fruit – but you knew that, right?)