Autumn is my favorite time of year.
I welcome the cooling temperatures and gaze in wonder at the leaves as they transform before my eyes; producing their last display of beauty before they fall from the branches that hold them.
Apple season is also in its peak this time of year. When I was a child, my Mom used to load my brothers and me into the car and make an hour long trek to the town of Julian for their annual apple festival. We would make the grand tour of the small mountain town, spy out the best apple laced treats and make our choices. I usually opted for a slice of fresh apple pie and a cup of freshly turned apple cider but the caramel apples also looked appetizing. Or, maybe it was the apple crisp and apple turnovers…or the apple slices with dipping chocolate. All I really know is that my mouth began to water with anticipation as we drove past the apple orchards and neared the town’s center.
We would come home with bags of apples and the delicious festivities would continue in our home for several days.
Over the years, and long since my smorgasbord college days, I began trying to make better eating choices and live a healthy lifestyle. I can see the holidays coming and a bit of apprehension begins to stir within me as thoughts of apple pie start dancing in my head. I’m not against enjoying the holidays, but I try not to approach January with an extra 15 pounds and a sheepish look on my face.
One of my favorite guiltless fall treats is apple slices with almond butter. I love the savory sweet combination and it leaves me filled up as well. The added bonus is that my sweet tooth gets satisfied without filling up on donuts and pumpkin coffeecake and I feel more empowered to pass on the cream puffs. Even so, some days I want something that’s just a bit sweeter and a bit more fun. That’s when I spruce up my apples and almond butter by mixing together this super quick and easy apple dip.
Just Right Almond Butter Apple Dip
Add first 3 ingredients into small bowl. Mix completely. Then fold in the mini chocolate chips. That's it! Combining it with a cup of coffee or a sip of tea makes me feel like desert has been served. Now sit back and enjoy!