Healthy Cooking with Apples and The BEST Healthy Apple Recipes
TIME OUT. Pumpkin might be trendy (and, it makes its appearance earlier every year), but there’s another very special fruit that deserves its moment in the spotlight. APPLES! Apples are nostalgic, delicious in both sweet and savory cooking, and make for wonderful breakfasts and snacks too. Let’s take a moment to honor fall’s first harbinger—cute fall decor at Target. KIDDING (kind of). It’s time for a round up of the very best Healthy Apple Recipes!
Each year, I visit an apple orchard so I can snag an excessive amount of apples to make my healthy apple recipes for fall. One of the things I love most about apples is how incredibly versatile they are. Although we often think of them first in delicious apple dessert recipes (plenty of which you’ll find below), they also act as a balanced addition to many savory recipes.
While anyone who’s tried homemade apple pie knows its power (and I encourage everyone to try their hand at baking one at some point in their lives, preferably with this whole wheat pie crust) today I’m sharing a collection of more unique, healthy apple recipes that you’ll want to make all season long (or if you’re like me, year-round!). They’re all absolutely delicious and EASY (much easier than apple pie, I’m pleased to say).
No more staring at your newfound pile of produce and asking, “what can I do with lots of apples?” With this list of the best apple recipes, I may even need to make a return trip to the orchard!
Before we dive into the recipes, let’s walk through some background information on apples themselves and how to cook with them.
Are Apples Good For You?
- Absolutely! Apples are an excellent source of fiber, which is critical for a healthy diet. Fiber can help lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels, and aid in maintaining a healthy weight. Apples also contain Vitamin C; a super healthy antioxidant.*
- You know what they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Like many cliches and idioms, there’s a core of truth to it <—did you see what I did there?
Can Apples Be Frozen?
- Thankfully, apples can be frozen! If you don’t make it through all these healthy apple recipes with fresh apples, you can freeze them for later use in cobblers, pies, applesauce, and many other recipes.
- To freeze apple slices. This is the best way to freeze apples! Go ahead and peel, core, and slice your apples. Then, dunk your slices in a bowl of water with a few drops of lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon per gallon of water) to prevent the slices from browning. In order to keep your slices from clumping together, lay them out on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place in the freezer for a few hours. Then, move your pre-frozen slices to airtight storage containers or ziptop bags.
- To freeze whole apples. Once washed, you can store whole apples in ziptop bags in the freezer. This method is convenient on the front end, but it can present challenges when you’re ready to use the apples. If possible, I would recommend using the previous method.
Can Apples Help Weight Loss?
I actually receive this question fairly often. While I always recommend consulting a doctor or nutritionist (and do not mean the below to be medical advice), here are two helpful points to those wondering:
- The fiber in apples can be helpful for maintaining weight or working towards weight loss. Fiber helps keep us fuller longer, which is important when trying to consume less calories per day.*
- When trying to follow a healthy diet, sweet healthy apple recipes can act as delicious treat without the calories and refined sugar present in some traditional desserts.
What Apples Are In Season?
- If you choose to shop for your healthy apple recipes at the grocery store, you may find a larger variety. However, if you want to make your healthy apple recipes with fresh apples from the orchard, you’ll need to work with what’s in season. Available varieties will also depend on where you live.
- July-September. You’ll find mainly Gala, Red Delicious, McIntosh, Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp, Jonathon, Golden Delicious, and other unique varieties that your local orchard grows. At the end of September, Cortland apples come into season; they’re one of my favorites for baking.
- October-November. Seek out the Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, Evercrisp (this one is SO GOOD; a recent favorite of mine!), and other unique varieties.
- For the best advice on what’s in season, I suggest talking to the knowledgeable staff at your local apple orchard.
Which Apples Are Best For Baking?
- When baking, you want apples with crisp skin that won’t be come mushy when exposed to high temperatures. These varieties are also tart with a mild sweetness, which helps to naturally sweeten your dish.
- Among the best apples to use for baking: Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Gala, Jonathons and Jonagolds, Melrose, Cortland, Winesap, Rome Beauty, and Braeburn.
Best Tools for Preparing Apples
Thankfully, apples are super easy to prepare! You only need a few simple tools (most of which you probably already own) to get your apples ready for any of these delicious recipes.
- Sharp Knife. A sharp, easy to use paring knife makes a big difference when you’re slicing a handful of apples all at once.
- Peeler. While many of these are no peel apple recipes, you may find a peeler like this one comes in handy when you do need to take the skin off.
- Corer. You certainly don’t need an apple corer to properly prepare your apples, but this tool can come in handy if you want to speed up your chopping process.
- Countertop Peeler. If you regularly peel apples or are looking to peel a large number of apples (say for that aforementioned apple pie), a countertop spiral peeler like this one could be a good purchase.
Now, let’s dive into the recipes! Below, you’ll find the recipes broken in to helpful categories. You also can find a full list of all of healthy apple recipes in my recipe index.
Healthy Apple Recipes for Breakfast
Apples for breakfast? Count me in! Not only are they delicious, but they’re healthy too. These recipes are a wonderful way to add fruit to your family’s breakfast routine.
Healthy Apple Dessert Recipes
I LOVE any and all healthy apple recipes for dessert! Apples are naturally sweet and bring exceptional flavor to any dish. You’ll love how simple the ingredients are in all of these sweet recipes.
Healthy Apple Snack Recipes
For those times when having a plain apple just won’t cut it. These healthy snacks make wonderful treats for busy families!
Healthy Apple Recipes in the Crock Pot
One of my favorite ways to make easy apple recipes is in the crock pot! You’ll love how the smell of these recipes fill your home as they come together in the slow cooker.
Healthy Apple Smoothie Recipes For Weight Loss
Adding apples to a smoothie is one of the BEST ways to sneak them in your diet! Both of these smoothies feature apples and other ingredients that can help keep you fuller longer, which may aid in weight loss. You’ll love how creamy, flavorful, and healthy they are!
Savory Healthy Apple Recipes
While sweet apple recipes get most of the attention, we can’t forget about these savory apple recipes! Once you try healthy apple recipes for dinner, you’ll wonder why you’ve never tried it before.
- Apple Grilled Cheese With Turkey, Cheddar, and Apple Butter
- Stuffing Muffins With Sausage and Apples
- Harvest Chicken Skillet
- Apple Cider Chicken
- Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Apples and Brussels Sprouts
Healthy Apple Drink Recipes
Don’t let food have all the fun. Apples can be tasty when mixing up cocktails too!
Now that you’ve been introduced to my apple obsession, I hope you’ll try a few of these recipes for yourself ♥
HAPPY APPLE SEASON!
*Health benefits of apples mentioned in this article were sourced from Harvard and are meant to be for general information, not any kind of specific medical advice. For specific dietary needs, I always recommend contacting your doctor or seeking professional advice.
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