I just bought 60 pounds of apples from my co-op, all seconds. Yes, 60 pounds!! “Seconds” are less than perfect produce sold at a discount. Occasionally you’ll find them at a grocery store—very ripe bananas marked down, for instance. Most times you will find seconds at a farmers’ market or co-op. They’re often miscellaneous amounts or large amounts—5, 10 or 20 lb bags of produce.
In my experience, it has always been worthwhile to buy seconds. However, all seconds are not equal and it’s helpful to find out why the seconds are marked down before you decide to make a purchase. Some reasons why seconds may be labeled as such are that they:
- Are a very small size
- Are malformed or an odd shape
- Have blemishes or spots
- Have worm holes, splits or other damage
- Are very ripe
Seconds are normally heavily discounted, which is why I rarely pass them up. But the most important thing to consider before you seconds is are you able to process the produce immediately? If the produce is very ripe, waiting even a day or two can cause many to spoil. If the produce is damaged or bruised, it’s much more prone to developing mold or rotting quickly.
So, why did I buy SIXTY POUNDS of apples? And what the heck am I doing with SIXTY POUNDS of apples?!? I’m sure you’re wondering.
I bought 60 pounds of apples because my co-op was offering 20 pound boxes of organic apples for $16 each. That’s a steal! I stocked up. Apples are known for keeping well in cold storage. I have an extra fridge in my garage just for this purpose—storing extra produce.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with these seconds, but when they arrived I saw that all of them were small apples. Some, very small apples. While that may not be for everyone, with two preschoolers in the house, that’s actually a great thing for me! They can easily eat a whole small apple. I don’t have to cut or prep it for them, and they finish it completely because it’s quite small. I filled our fruit bin in the kitchen fridge with washed apples, and it’s easy to send the littles there to get themselves a snack. About half the apples were perfectly fine except for their small size. All of those I washed for fresh eating. With four kids, it really doesn’t take us but a few weeks to go through 30 lbs of apples.
The other half of the apples were small as well, but they also had splits near the stem, blemishes on the skin or some had what looked like an old dried out worm hole. These apples I washed and stuck out in the garage fridge to be used for cooking. And again, it doesn’t take that long to go through 30 lbs of apples. One large apple crisp can use 4-5 lbs.
So this month, we are eating a lot of apples, but we don’t mind—it’s fall after all! If you’re still wondering how we’ll actually consume so many apples without getting tired of them, here is a list of just some of what you can do (and we will do) with apples:
- Eat them fresh
- Slice them and serve them with a fruit dip
- Make caramel apples
- Make Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal
- Make fried apples to serve over baked oatmeal or ice cream
- Make Breakfast Cake with apples (sourdough or soaked)
- Dehydrate apples (I recently bought this dehydrator (#aff.link) and it’s pretty amazing!)
- Make your own applesauce (you can even try a fermented applesauce!)
- Make Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Make this quick and easy Carrot-Apple soup (sub in 4 large carrots and 2 apples for the sweet potatoes in this recipe)
- Make Curried Chicken Salad or Sweet Wild Rice Salad (both found in here!)
But really, that’s just a short list. Apples are super versatile!
Join The Conversation
So what are you favorite apple recipes? And what is your experience with purchasing seconds? Have you found them to be worthwhile?