‘Tis The Season: Healthy Apple Recipes

Apple picking season is finally here!

Apple picking season is here! Apples image via shutterstock

Apple picking season is here! Apples image via shutterstock

The combination of fresh air, fall foliage, and getting some exercise, all while filling up baskets of freshly-picked fruit is a great way to spend a weekend. But once you get the harvest home, what do you do with it all? There’s more to cooking with apples then just pie. Apples can compliment a variety of meats like poultry and pork, but also can stand alone as a side dish or (and admittedly, my favorite) as the sweet end to a meal. People do call me Magpies after all.

There are some things to keep in mind when cooking and baking with apples. Apples should be cooked until just past the point of fork tender (as in the fork will pierce the fruit easily), but not to point of being mushy. Choose firm apples like granny smiths or honey crisps for baking because they hold their shape, and choose softer apples like gala or golden delicious for cooking into sauces or with meat.

1. Orange Cinnamon Apple Sauce
via Daily Squeeze

Making your own apple sauce is easy and can be used in a variety of ways. Try stirring some of this recipe into your morning oatmeal, or heat and serve over vanilla frozen yogurt for a fall sundae. Instead of using ground cinnamon, you can also use one or two cinnamon sticks during the cooking time and then pick them out before mashing.

2. Inside Out Apple Crisps
via The Sweet Life

Cored apples with a crumble stuffing will make this dessert a fast favorite. The caramel sauce is optional and an added bonus is that this whole recipe is vegan. Instead of using the caramel sauce, try a sprinkle of a tiny bit of brown sugar over the top as soon as it comes out of the oven.

3. Apple and Celery Chicken Salad
 via Not Enough Cinnamon

This is a good base mix for making a lot of other things. You can use it to top a bed of wilted kale or fresh spinach, or even stuff a pita pocket for lunch on the go.

4. Holiday Salad with Apple and Honey Vinaigrette
via Busy in Brooklyn

Don’t let the name of this salad deter you. The “holiday” part comes from the pink and white stripped candy cane beets.  The recipe calls for honey roasted nuts, but to cut down on sugar and sodium, try using raw walnuts.

5. Apple Stuffed Pork Loin
via Little B Cooks

Apple and pork is a classic combination. To make the stuffing, swap out the butter for olive oil and use low fat or low sodium bread crumbs. If you choose to go the cornbread route make sure to let it cool and then crumble it with your hands.

6. Dried Apple Chips
via Eat Like No One Else

This is a perfect recipe for a cold, rainy Sunday. The apple slices have to dry out in the oven for several hours, plus they have to be turned every hour to make sure they dry evenly. When that’s done, try cutting it into homemade granola or use as a topping for oatmeal.

7. Paleo Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes
via Paleo Newbie

With this recipe, there’s no need to feel guilty for having your own stack. Instead of a drizzle of maple syrup, try agave or honey and a sliced banana.

8. Cinnamon-Apple Muffins
via Cooking Light

Muffins are a must-have for a fall breakfast. These come in at an easy 153 calories per muffin and the recipe is butter-free. Instead of using oil, try apple sauce or apple butter instead. You’ll get the same effect for half the calories.

9. Parsnip and Apple Soup
via Epicurious

Parsnips are like mild carrots and when paired with sweet apples, it creates a simple and delicious soup that will please everyone. This is a good soup for a light lunch with a salad or as an appetizer on its own.