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Stories and photos from Powell River, BC.

Adventures on Texada Island: 3 Apple-Hacks for your Fall Harvest

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016

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One of the many perks to living on a rural island is that there’s space, and lots of it. Which means lots of space to grow your own food! Last week, I visited Texada Island and helped my dad figure out what to do with his plentiful apple harvest. Lucky for me, this meant experimenting in the kitchen with sweet, delicious orchard apples. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to go out and cultivate your land and grow an orchard, but at this time of year, apples are still in season at your local grocer and there are so many great types from BC to choose from.


The orchard on Texada pictured in sunnier times. Photo credit: Jan Gabanek.

(Full disclosure: I don’t actually know the breeds of apples used because the orchard was there long before I was, but they are all heritage types…)


Some of our 2016 harvest! Photo credit: Jan Gabanek.

So, what do you do with boxes and boxes of apples? My dad and I worked out 3 lesser-known apple recipes to keep your sweet tooth satisfied all winter. Yes, apple pie is one of the best desserts ever, but why not try out something new?

1. Apple butter

If there’s anything more comforting than a good apple sauce, it’s apple butter. Spread it on toast, add it to oatmeal. Thinking savoury? Apple butter on roast pork is probably my favourite winter go-to dinner.

We found that this recipe worked well for us. It also requires canning, which is a great thing to learn how to do when you have any large amount of produce on hand.


Apple butter for days (and months).

2. Crispy apple chips

OK, we went full-on island lifestyle with this recipe and actually air-dried our apple chips. The house is run off of solar-powered batteries, so it would take a lot of sun to run a dehydrator. How to air dry apples? Slice them up super thin, run a string through them, hang until dry— it helped to have them close to our woodstove! And it looked pretty.

Have an oven? Even easier. This is a good, simple how-to-bake apple chips recipe. Apple chips make a great snack, and you can flavour with cinnamon or others spices if you like, too.


Afternoon snack, anyone?

3. Apple & carrot coffee loaf

I am a huge fan of baked goods. I like them so much that I try to make them as healthy (and delicious) as possible so I can eat them at any time of day.

This recipe worked best for us, even though it’s for muffins. I modified it a little bit: I added a tablespoon of butter and used corn flour instead of almond (just what was on hand). Just to be fancy, we crumbled some crushed walnut on top.


Fresh from the oven, fresh from the orchard.

There you have it—some new, fresh ideas for your apple harvest, straight from our orchard. Happy canning!

Kamilah Charters-Gabanek

Kamilah Charters-Gabanek

Originally from Texada Island, Kamilah Charters-Gabanek moved to Vancouver in 2009 and now works in higher education. Her best summer job was riding the ferry between Comox and Powell River, letting tourists know the best places to experience on the Sunshine Coast.
Kamilah Charters-Gabanek

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