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""This is a guest blog post from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), written by Program Coordinator Julia Grimaldi.

Apple growers across the state produce more than 28 million pounds of apples annually, with roughly $20 million in sales.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), apples are nutritious and great to eat fresh. They are high in fiber and essentially fat free, making them a perfect on-the-go snack.

Apple picking is a time-honored tradition in the Bay State. Massachusetts apple producers grow more than 140 varieties of apples, and there are more than 80 Pick-Your-Own apple orchards throughout the state. You can support local farms by buying Massachusetts apples from your local farmers’ market or farm stand or by picking them yourself at a local apple orchard — then enjoy your harvest in a delicious apple salad, baked into a crispy pie, or fresh from the basket!

Sweet & Tangy Apple Salad

Serves four — ½ cup servings

Ingredients

For the salad:

2 large apples of any variety, washed, cored, and diced into half-inch pieces

2 stalks of celery, diced into half-inch pieces

1/4 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries

1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

For the dressing:

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, any fat variety

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon honey

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

In a large bowl, toss together the apples, celery, raisins, and pecans. Set aside and in a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.

Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until everything is coated. Eat immediately or refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Recipe Credit:

Julia Grimaldi, MDAR Program Coordinator, Savor Massachusetts

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