I can feel it.

I can smell it.

I can taste it.

It is the beginning of fall. The leaves are starting to turn amazing shades of reds, yellow and oranges. The mornings are starting to become light-jacket weather. The evening darkness spreads through the skies quicker than the previous week and in the air, smells of neighboring bonfires float. I am reminded of soups, slow-cooker recipes, curling up under blankets and apples.

Oh yes, apples.

An apple is often symbolic of a healthiness journey.

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

I went through a period in my life where I didn't eat any fruit, let alone apples. And by "a period in my life," I mean years. I ate them growing up but when I moved out and in with a friend at the young age of 18, buying chips and cookies seemed to be a much more appropriate way of spending my money instead of on apples & other fruit.

That changed though, when I embarked on my healthiness journey to losing 100lbs. I realized how little fruit {and veggies} I ate and worked hard to change that. What I realized is eating apples is so much more than just eating apples. It is about the taste, the texture, the crunch, the sweetness, the tartness and most of all, the nostalgia.

Over the past couple years, I've grown fond of apples but couldn't quite figure out why. I didn't realize it until I sat down to write here today, but apples remind me of my mom. She bought them often and would always cut them up and serve them up on paper plates. She had a delicate apple theme in her kitchen that I forgot about until just now.

The weather here has been amazing the past couple of weekends so I decided to gather up my sisters, my nieces and nephews and my dog, Iggy and head to the Minnetonka Apple Orchard.

We were hungry when we arrived so we went straight for the food. We grabbed some lunch (the chicken sandwich was surprisingly juicy) and sat on a hill overlooking the kids playground. For dessert, we munched on apple donuts which were a-m-a-z-i-n-g and very much worth it. {I don't make donuts a regular part of my diet so maybe I was just head over heels in love with the fact that I was eating a donut?!}

Iggy, my apple donut and me!

We wandered around a bit, looking at everything there was to do. They had a some llama's, sheep & goats, and chickens in one corner.

They also had a small corn maze to run through! I had never been in a corn maze and am glad this one was small enough for me not to get lost! The kids had a blast!

There was also a small choo-choo train for kids and a huge hay mountain to climb on. But first, it was time for a hay-ride! We all climbed aboard and settled in for a tour through the apple orchard.

When we got to the other side of the apple orchard, there was live music and a fun store full of everything apple related.

And of course, there were a lot of apples available for purchase!

After browsing and grabbing some apple-licious goods, we decided to walk back through the trails to the other side of the apple orchard.

As we walked through the trails, I thought about how long I had gone without apples and how "normal" it was to me. I thought about how overlooked apple orchards are for a weekend activity and how much fun I was having just enjoying being outside. I thought about I wished I could capture the smells floating through the air to take them home with me.

A few hours later, as I began to drive home, I realized that something as simple as an apple had just kept me busy for the afternoon. An apple. In its simplest form, hanging from a tree, had given me an afternoon full of activity.

Apples. The symbol of health.

  • Fat free
  • Convenient (nature's fast food)
  • Provide as much dietary fiber as a bowl of Wheaties cereal
  • Loaded with pectin, a soluble fiber that aids digestion
  • The more complex carb in apples give your body a longer, more sustained energy boost
  • Contain no artificial colors or flavors
  • Come in over 2,500 variety's
  • (source)

Ah yes, I wish each of  you a lifetime of apples.

You can buy a lot of locally grown apples from your neighborhood grocery but you can also go right to the source! Here is the apple orchard we went to:

Minnetonka Apple Orchard (website)
6530 County Road 26
Minnetrista, MN 55364
Click HERE for calendar of events

There are A LOT of local apple orchards here in the Twin Cities. Click HERE for a list of pick-your-own farms in the area. Some are a little bigger than others so take the time to look at the sites and compare what they have to offer. You can also get a GREAT selection of locally grown apples at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. or St. Paul Farmers Market.

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