It’s Apple Picking Time

— Written By and last updated by

Honeycrisp, Pink Lady or Granny Smith; no matter which variety is your favorite, apples are one of the healthiest food choices you can make! They are high in fiber and vitamin C, and also low in calories (130 calories in the average apple), have only a trace of sodium, and no fat or cholesterol.

Research shows that apples are high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants. These polyphenols are found in both the skin of the apples as well as in the juicy inside, be sure to get the greatest amount of benefits, eat the skin of the apple.

All of these benefits mean that apples may reduce the effects of asthma and Alzheimer’s disease, while assisting with weight management, bone health, pulmonary function, and gastrointestinal protection.

Along with your favorite apple pie, try these tasty healthy apple recipes.

Brie, Apple, and Arugula Quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider
  • 3 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 6 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices, divided
  • 1 fresh apple, (a tart variety like Granny Smith) cored and cut into ¼ -inch-thick slices (about ½ pound), divided
  • 3 cups arugula, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

Directions

  1. Combine mustard and cider in a small bowl; stir well.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread each tortilla with about 1½ teaspoons mustard mixture. Place 1 tortilla, mustard side up, in pan. Arrange one-third of cheese slices over half of tortilla; cook 1 minute or until cheese begins to melt. Arrange one-third of apple slices over cheese; top with 1 cup arugula. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon pepper. Fold tortilla in half; press gently with a spatula.
  3. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure twice with remaining 2 tortillas, cheese, apple slices, 2 cups arugula, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges.

Serves 6. Each serving contains: 182 calories, 7.4 g fat, 8.2 g protein, 20.6 g carbohydrate, 3.2 g fiber, 24 mg cholesterol, 397 mg sodium, 111 mg calcium.

Fresh Apple Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced peeled Pink Lady or Golden Delicious variety apple (about ¾ pound)
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients, stirring well.

Yields 12, ¼ cup servings. Each serving contains: 21 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.2 g protein, 5.7 g carbohydrate, 0.8 g fiber, 0.0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 4 mg calcium.

French Onion Apple Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 15 cups sliced yellow onion (about 4 pounds)
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apple, peeled, quartered, and cut into julienne strips
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup Madeira wine or dry sherry
  • 6 cups lower-sodium beef broth
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 10 (½-ounce) slices sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated Swiss cheese
  • Thyme leaves (optional)

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Continue cooking 50 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add pepper, apple, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves; cook 3 minutes or until apples soften. Add wine; cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth and cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Discard bay leaves; stir in vinegar.
  2. Preheat broiler. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute.
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 10 ovenproof soup bowls. Divide the croutons evenly among bowls, and top each serving with about 3 tablespoons cheese. Place bowls on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 500°F for 8 minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

Yields 10 servings. Each serving contains: 254 calories, 11 g fat, 11.1 g protein, 29.2 g carbohydrate, 4.1 g fiber, 33 mg cholesterol, 426 mg sodium, 278 mg calcium.

Roasted Apple and Cheddar Salad

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Apples and Salad

  • 2 apples, preferably Fuji, (or Pink Lady) peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, or ¼ teaspoon dried
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups baby spinach, or torn spinach leaves
  • 3 cups torn Boston lettuce
  • 3 cups torn curly endive
  • ⅔ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. To prepare dressing: Whisk vinegar, apple juice, 1 tablespoon oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. To roast apples and prepare salad: Toss apples with 2 teaspoons oil and thyme in a medium bowl; spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast, turning once or twice, until the apples are soft and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard fresh thyme, if using. Let cool.
  4. While the apples are roasting, toast walnuts in a small baking pan until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Just before serving, combine spinach, lettuce and endive in a large bowl; toss gently to mix. Divide the greens among 6 plates, drizzle with dressing and top with cheese, roasted apples and walnuts. Serve immediately.

Serves 6. Each serving contains: 191 calories, 14 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 4 g fiber, 173 mg sodium, 230 mg potassium.

Fall Squash-Apple Turnovers

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 2 cups (¼ inch) diced peeled butternut squash
  • 1 cup (¼ inch) diced peeled Granny Smith apple (about ½ pound)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 (11.3-ounce) can refrigerated dinner roll dough
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté for 3 minutes. Add squash; sauté for 5 minutes. Add apple; cook 6 minutes or until squash and apple are tender. Stir in salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Gently stir in cheese and thyme.
  2. Separate dough into 8 pieces. Roll each portion into a 5-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Combine mustard and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl. Lightly brush top sides of dough circles with mustard mixture.
  3. Spoon about 2 tablespoons squash mixture onto half of each circle, leaving a ¼-inch border. Fold dough over filling; press edges together with a fork to seal. Brush milk over dough.
  4. Place turnovers 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375°F for 19 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Serves 8. Each serving contains: 177 calories, 4.5 g fat, 5.7 g protein, 29 g carbohydrate, 2.1 g fiber, 3 mg cholesterol, 427 mg sodium, 51 mg calcium.