NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Nothing says autumn like a trip to the apple orchard. But if you find yourself picking more than you know what to do with, don't fret: There are countless ways to enjoy fall's favorite fruit besides simply eating them whole or baking them into pies. And it's a good thing, since many folks already have a head start on the apple-picking season.Kurt Alstede, owner of Alstede Farms in Chester, N.J., says interest in his pick-your-own orchards has been high this September. "We were much busier this past weekend than we expected, probably due to cooler temperatures in the Northeast last week," he says. "I think people are getting really excited about the start of fall."
|Nothing says autumn like a trip to the orchard, but what's one to do with all those eagerly picked apples?|
Looking to give your skin a healthy glow? An apple exfoliation mask can do the trick, says Melissa Picoli, an esthetician and founder of BijaBody health+beauty, a wholesale retailer of holistic body products and tea blends in Missoula, Mont. You can whip one up yourself with a blender and a few simple ingredients by following the steps below: Ingredients:
- 1 slightly green (not ripe) apple
- ¼ cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Mix all ingredients in a blender.
- When blended, scoop the mixture out and spread on your face.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
To give your home a festive touch, try incorporating apples into a centerpiece for your table. Lisa Guillot, owner and creative director of Step Brightly Creative Group in Oak Park, Ill., recently made a centerpiece for a Chicago wedding by placing green apples and faux ice cubes in tall glass vases from her local craft store. "It's an affordable way to add color and life to your centerpieces without having to rely on flowers," Guillot says. 3. Ripen tomatoes
If the tomatoes you get at the local grocery store aren't quite ripe, you can actually use apples to help bring them to maturity. Why? Apples give off a naturally occurring gas called ethylene that can encourage ripening, Alstede says. Simply put the apple and tomatoes in a sealed paper bag and remove it whenever the tomatoes have achieved your desired level of ripeness.