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Our Blog: September 23, 2021

Celebrating Johnny Appleseed Day

On September 26th, we celebrate the birthday of the man who made apple trees grow across much of our country – Johnny Appleseed! He was born in Massachusetts and lived there much of his childhood.  In 1797, he showed up in Pennsylvania propagating his apple seeds and continued to work his way steadily across West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana. Eventually he makes his way as far west as Iowa, and as far north as Michigan and Wisconsin.  He planted seeds and seedlings along his way and in his wake, he left many orchards to grow and flourish. 

Join in on the fun and help celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day by picking apples, making these Grow Fit inspired apple recipes, or simply savoring a delicious sweet apple. You could also find a local orchard and pick your own apples! Check out U-Pick Farm Locators website:

While washing your freshly picked apples, sing this rhyme with your little ones to remind you that they are not only delicious but healthy, too!

Apples, apples, we love you!

You taste so good and you’re healthy, too.

You’re green and yellow and Red Delicious.

You’re crunchy and colorful and so nutritious!

We love apples!


Use your apples in these healthy recipes:


For Breakfast:

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
Serves 12

2 apples, chopped
2 eggs
1 tsp maple syrup
1 C whole wheat flour
1 C all purpose flour
3 Tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tsp cinnamon
1/8 Tsp nutmeg
1 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tsp vanilla extract
3/8 C butter
½ C Greek yogurt
1 C milk
2 Tbsp water


  1. Combine milk, eggs, water, and yogurt. Whisk until combined.
  2. Add in flours, baking powder, brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. While batter is resting, place chopped apples in a saucepan with 2 Tbsp of water.  Cover and let steam over medium heat until apples are softened.
  4. Remove lid, add butter, sugar, maple syrup, and remaining 1 tsp of cinnamon to the apples.   Cook until it is reduced to a glaze.  
  5. Cook pancakes on a heated griddle and top finished pancakes with cinnamon apples.


For Snack:

Harvest Apple Chip Dip
Serves 8-10

5 C apples, finely diced (about 5 apples)
1/8 C brown sugar
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl (optional: you may want to add lemon juice if you are not serving immediately, in order to avoid discoloration)
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Serve with your favorite pita chip or animal cracker.


For Dinner:

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner
Serves 4-6


6 chicken thighs (6-7 oz each)
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1 large sweet potato, chopped into 3/4 “ cubes
1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
2 medium apples, cored and sliced
1 shallot, peeled and sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and herbs into a resealable gallon size bag.
  3. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper then seal the bag and massage mixture over chicken while working to evenly distribute the herbs. Set aside and let rest while chopping the vegetables.
  4. Place sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, apples, and shallot on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil then toss to coat evenly. Spread into a thin layer.
  6. Set chicken thighs over the veggie/apple layer.
  7. Roast in oven until chicken and veggies are golden brown, about 30-35 minutes (chicken should be 165 degrees F in the center). If desired, broil during the last few minutes for more crispness to develop.