top of page

Updated: Jan 11

Do you have loads of apples from your orchard this year?

Do you have a plan for your harvest?


What about after your harvest?


Then you are in the right spot!

Today in this blog post I am going to share with you the 5 steps I follow to plan beyond the harvest with apples! Don’t worry it is very easy but beware it might make you a little hungry looking at all of the scrumptious recipes.

One of our greatest mistakes as growers is not planning for the harvest. Do you know exactly what you are going to do with all of those apples? Eat them? Freeze them? Cook them? Or do you know exactly when to pick apples at its peak?

The Five Steps to Planning Beyond the Harvest

  1. Learn to pick your harvest at its peak

  2. How to harvest your produce

  3. Research ways to Preserve your harvest

  4. Find Recipes to get your harvest from your garden to your table

  5. Add Recipes to Your Meal Planner

To learn more about why each of these steps in my 5 step process of Planning Beyond the Harvest work be sure to check out this post and grab the Free Planning Beyond the Harvest Handbook designed to walk you through each step.

Let’s get to it!

Benefits of Apples

There is some truth to the saying, “ an apple a day will keep the doctor away.” Apples can lower high cholesterol and blood pressure with their high soluble fiber content. This high fiber can also help with digestion, improve your immune system and help control your blood sugar levels. The list of their benefits can go on and on.

When Do I Harvest Your Apples

Picking apples will be determined by your variety, the weather, and its signs of ripeness. As this can vary from tree to tree below are a few guidelines you can use.

Here are some signs of apple ripeness:

  • The apple stem separates easily from the branch. Under-ripe apples don’t come off the tree easily.

  • Check the firmness. Mature apples are firm and crisp, but not hard. Apples shouldn’t be soft or easily bruised.

  • Take a bite! The taste of ripe apples is crisp and juicy, not starchy and tangy. An apple’s acidity and starch content decreases as it ripens.

  • The background peel/skin color (the part of the apple skin that isn’t red) changes from green to yellow (unless it’s a green apple variety).

  • The color of the peel inside the stem indentation changes from green to yellow.

  • The apple’s flesh is cream or white instead of light green.

  • The apple’s seeds turn from white to brown.

How To Harvest Your Apples

Apples are picked by hand, even in commercial orchards, and that is what you should do too. But if you do want to avoid using a ladder you can use an apple harvester. This is a long pole with a basket on the end for picking the apples. Here is a few techniques you can use:

  • Some like the “Twist & Lift” technique: in which you gently twist the apples off, lifting them upwards to separate the apple’s stem from the branch.

  • Others roll the apple upwards first and then twist.

  • You can also just gently turn apples upside down.

  • Apples shouldn’t be pulled straight away from the branch.

  • The stem should separate from the branch easily if the apples are mature.

  • Treat fruit gently. Try not to drop the apples, and don’t let them be thrown. Apples bruise easily.

How To Prepare Fresh Apples

After your apples are picked it is time to get them ready for storage. Apples do have a fairly long shelf life if stored properly.

  • Do not store any fall apples with bruises or soft spots as one rotten apple can spoil other healthy apples. They didn’t come up with the phrase “one rotten apple” for nothing! So pull out any bruised apples to be used up quickly in applesauce or cider.

  • Avoid washing fall apples before storing them. Water absorbs through the skin of the apple and will actually speed up the deterioration process. Instead, wait to wash apples until you are ready to eat them.

  • Apples should be stored at a constant temperature. The best spot is in a perforated plastic bag placed in the fruit drawer of your kitchen’s refrigerator. Just be sure not to store them with other produce such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, leafy greens or potatoes as these items have a tendency to release a harmless gas that can make apples spoil faster.

  • Unripe apples can be left out at room temperature to ripen, but be sure to check them periodically as they ripen much more quickly at room temperature than if they are stored in the refrigerator.

  • When you are ready to enjoy an apple from your fall haul, simply rinse fresh apples with cool water. If you are looking for a deeper clean, wash apples with cool water mixed with a sprinkle of baking soda. Be sure to eat the larger apples first as smaller apples store better and have a tendency to last longer.

Raw Apple Crisp

I personally just love to slice up an apple and eat it with peanut butter. But I also love a raw apple crisp for breakfast.

1 chopped apple

1/2 cup granola

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch ground cloves

In a bowl mix together all the ingredients. You can serve as is or add a little milk to make a healthy cereal alternative. (Serves 2)

How to Cook Fresh Apples

Cooking a few apples is easy.

  • Peel, core and slice your apples

  • Place apples in a saucepan with just an inch of water so that the apples do not burn to the pan.

  • Once water is boiling, let simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples are soft

  • You eat now with just a hint of cinnamon or you can puree the apples to make applesauce.

Another way would be in apple pie.

Apple Pie

4-6 medium Apples, peeled and thinly sliced

3 Tbsp Flour

2 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/8 tsp. Nutmeg

1/4 cup butter, cut into small chunks

Preheat the oven to 425. Use your favorite pie crust recipe or use my Butter Pie Crust recipe and make dough for two crusts. Roll out 1 pie crust and place in the bottom of your favorite Pie Pan. Pour the pie filling into the pie pan. Roll out second pie crust and place over the top of pie pan. Trim off the extra pie crust. Turn and crimp crusts together. Cut small slits in top crust for steam. Bake for 20 minutes at 425. Then turn your oven down to 375 for 45 minutes or tell crust is golden brown and apples are cooked. Let cool and serve. Enjoy! (serves 5)

How To Preserve Your Apples

Freezing and canning is the most common way to preserve your apples. I like to make a large amount of the apple filling above and freeze in 1 pie amounts in a freezer bag. You can find this recipe here and when you are ready to cook your frozen pie filling you can use this recipe. You can also preserve the applesauce above by canning. Follow the instructions in your preserving book.

Apple can also be dehydrated:

  • Peel, core and slice apple

  • Lay slices on a dehydrator tray or on a lined baking sheet

  • Place the apple in your dehydrator and dry until apple are dried to your liking

  • Or place the baking sheets in a 250 degree oven and dry until apple are dried to your liking

  • Store dried apple chips in a seal container

Planning for your harvest and beyond does not need to be hard. You just need a plan. The next two steps to making a plan for beyond the harvest is to find more recipes and place those recipes in your menu plan. I know making a meal plan sounds daunting but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you want help with this step check out the Planning Beyond the Harvest Planner in my book store.

And if you have any questions comment below or contact me! I am here to help you grow!

Have a blessed day,


5 views0 comments


Find Your Purposeful Journey

bottom of page