(That Aren’t Apple Pie!)
~ When autumn rolls around, everyone’s thoughts turn to apple everything! And here at THK, we’ve gotcha covered! From homemade applesauce to stunning salads and nutritious snacks, these are our favorite easy, healthy apple recipes. And while we don’t have a gooey, sugary apple pie on the list, rest assured – we’ve got lots of nutritious, apple pie-inspired twists for you, too! Try some of these recipes after your fall apple-picking adventure, and I just bet you’ll find favorites you’ll keep making all year through! ~
I’m writing this on one of the very first days of September, as our Ohio weather is already turning just a little cooler. Sitting here with my screen door open, I can hear the soft rustle of a mild breeze through the leaves outside – the first whisperings of fall.
But I feel my grip on hot August days slipping, and I can’t help but sense the shift of seasons. And somehow – in my food-obsessed brain – that automatically equates to the juicy, crispness of perfect fall apples. Pink Ladies and Granny Smiths, and my very favorite of all – Honeycrisps!
And so, I thought today might be just the right day to bring a little apple inspiration your way. In case you’re starting to plan for family apple-picking trips. Or eagerly waiting for those fleeting apple varieties you can only find for a few weeks each autumn.
These easy, healthy apple recipes will put those orchard-fresh fall treasures to perfect use!
Even better, though? Many of these recipes translate easily into nearly any season, all year long. Which is great since you can typically snag terrific apples at the market any time of year – not just during the apple-picking bonanza of autumn!
Easy, Healthy Apple Recipes … All Year ‘Round!
That Chicken Salad with Grapes and Apples? Oh my – it’s so great for springtime, when you’re craving something light and fresh, but can’t find good berries or peaches or watermelon yet. And it’s a welcome addition to picnics and summertime potlucks. A delicious change from traditional, heavy-handed, mayo-loaded chicken salad recipes!
Mmmmmm … and that easy-peasy overnight oats recipe? Sure, it’s got apples and cranberries and cinnamon goin’ on. Fall-ish, for sure. But honestly, you’ll love waking up to a cool and refreshing ready-to-eat breakfast like that in the summertime, too. I mean, we originally published that recipe in the dog days of early August for good reason!
So yes – definitely make some of these apple recipes right now – this fall. But don’t forget to dust off your favorites next spring or even next summer. With easy apple recipes like these, you’ll never want the apple-y fun to end!
Which Apples Are Best for These Recipes?
With so many apple varieties to choose from, including an increasing number of heirloom and specialty varieties, it can be confusing which are best for recipes.
The unsatisfying answer is that it depends. Some apples are better for cooking or baking, while others are at their best raw.
In our recipes here at THK, you’ll find that we generally try to offer some suggestions for which varieties to use, or which apple characteristics to look for when choosing. Some things to consider are:
- How quickly the variety browns once cut and exposed to air (which can be important in recipes like our Apple Monsters or Apple Mummies)
- How quickly the variety breaks down during cooking (which can greatly impact the final texture of a recipe, especially for something like applesauce)
- And how sweet or tart the variety is (which is somewhat a matter of personal preference)
To dive into greater detail and figure out the best application for whatever apples you happen to have on hand, check out these helpful descriptions of different apple varieties, or peek at this super-handy chart to learn when your favorite varieties ripen and how to use them in your cooking.
Most important of all, though? Just enjoy those apples! So yummy, and so nutritious!
Eat them straight-up, right out of your orchard basket. Or turn them into one of these …
But you know what would make fall’s apple season even better? Yep …
Plan an Apple Picking Adventure!
You know we wouldn’t tempt you with all these super-fun, healthy and easy apple recipes, without giving you some hints on where to find some gorgeous apples!
If you wanna make those apples even more fun, try turning them into a memorable family field trip … before you head to the kitchen!
ApplePickingOrchards.com has a terrific guide to finding u-pick orchards near you.
And before you go (especially if you’ve never picked your own apples before), you might want to read up on a few tips to make this fall’s apple picking adventure the very best yet!
Or … wellllllll … if you just don’t have time for an orchard trek this year, no shame in simply grabbing a few perfect apples at the local farm market or even the grocery store.
Adventures optional. Apples mandatory! Just bring ’em on!