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Autumn snacks, fresh from the farm

By Sue Knorr

Autumn has arrived with its clear skies, sun-warmed days and cooler nights. Colorful potted mum plants are appearing everywhere, and orange pumpkins dot the roadside fields. It's the perfect season to pay a visit to the orchards at your local pick-your-own farm. Apples and pears always taste better when they've just been picked, right from the tree. Peaches come into season earlier, but you might still be able to find a few around. While you're there, don't forget to bring home a basket of delicious fall-ripening raspberries. They're one of the best fruits for the Zone. If your afternoon of hayrides and playing in the glorious crisp autumn air doesn't leave much time for roaming the fields and orchards, most farms also have a store or farm stand with already picked fruit for sale.

Here are a few easy recipes to help you make the most of your day at the farm once you get back home. They're perfect for a quick snack or dessert, or you can even add them to your morning routine. Just multiply each recipe by two or three, and you've got a nutritious breakfast that will keep you satisfied and feeling good for hours. Until next time, keep it simple and enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Applesauce

(Makes 1 block)

1/3-1/2 cup applesauce
1 heaping tsp. raw cacao powder
1 scoop Zone Protein Powder
1 1/2 tsps. crunchy peanut butter
Optional, a sprinkle of cinnamon

Thoroughly mix together all ingredients except the cinnamon. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top if desired.

Peach Smoothie

(Makes 2 blocks)

2 peaches, pitted and cut into chunks, skin and all
2 scoops Zone protein powder
2 teaspoons almond butter
A splash or two of milk or chilled soy milk
Optional, sprig of mint for garnish

Combine all ingredients except the mint in an immersion blender. Pour into a short, clear glass and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Fresh Pears with Mozzarella

(Makes 1 block)

This recipe is almost too easy. Next time your friends come over for dinner, try serving this for dessert and following it up with a nice warm cup of herbal tea.
1/2 very ripe pear, cored and cut lengthwise into thick wedges
1 fresh mozzarella stick, approximately 1 ounce (they come individually wrapped like the string cheese sticks) or several smaller sized ovals of fresh mozzarella

Optional, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a few raspberries

To serve:
Arrange the fruit and cheese on a dessert-sized plate. Drizzle fruit with balsamic vinegar and add a few raspberries for garnish if desired.