Crisp Weather Signals Crisp Apple Time

— Written By and last updated by Adrian Gaskins

As the weather gets crisp and the appearance of apples signals the sweet, fleeting passage of fall, it’s time to get cooking. Honey Crisp, Pick 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 antioxidants. These 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.

Apples are a great cooking fruit and a blessing to cooks. If you think apples are only meant for pies, check out these recipes, some even with a savory flare. Apples are naturally sweet, but when braised or sautéed with brown butter, their flavor grows rich and robust. So go straight to your Farmers Market, pick some apples and get cooking!

Pork and Apple Skewers

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. all-fruit plum preserves
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 10 oz. raw pork loin, cut into 12 cubes
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat grill or broiler to medium-high.
  2. Combine vinegar, tomato paste, preserves, and water in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
    Place a piece of pork, a wedge of apple, and a wedge of onion onto a skewer. Repeat, and add an additional piece of pork. Each skewer will have three pieces of pork, two pieces of apple, and two pieces of onion. Repeat with three remaining skewers.
  3. Brush skewers with oil; season with salt and pepper if desired. Grill or broil skewers for 6 to 8 minutes, turning every 2 minutes.
  4. Brush with vinegar mixture; cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, and brushing occasionally with vinegar mixture, until pork is no longer pink in the middle and juices run clear.

Serves 2. Each serving contains Calories 293, Fat 7 g, Protein 30 g, Carbohydrate 29 g, Fiber 5 g, Cholesterol 69 mg.

Spiralized Cinnamon Apples with Greek Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized apple
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pecans, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, divided
  • 8 ounces non-fat Greek yogurt

Directions

  1. Spiralize apple using the smallest blade, leaving the peel on. Discard core and seeds. Toss spiralized apple in lemon juice.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Toast pecans and oats in pan until fragrant and slightly golden. Melt butter with oats and pecans – add ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and brown sugar and cook until slightly caramelized. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir remaining cinnamon into Greek yogurt. Divide yogurt into two bowls and top equally with spiralized apple and oat mixture.

Serves 2. Each serving contains Calories 150, Fat 4.7 g, Protein 8 g, Carbohydrate 21 g, Fiber 3 g, Cholesterol 5 mg.

Apple Nachos Supreme

Ingredients

  • 3 tart apples, cored, peeled and cut into ¼- inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup diced pecans
  • ½ cup (hot) caramel sauce, purchase ready made or make your own

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl add apple pieces and lemon juice, toss to combine. On a serving platter, add apples, chocolate chips and drizzle with hot caramel sauce.
  2. Serve immediately for best results! Use additional caramel sauce for added sweetness.

Serves 5. Each serving contains Calories 231, Fat 13 g, Protein 3 g, Carbohydrate 31 g, Fiber 3 g, Cholesterol 1 mg.

Kale, Apple, and Almond Salad

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 cups baby kale
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, halved and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions

  1. Combine oil, rind, juice, thyme, mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place 2 tablespoons juice mixture in a large Ziploc plastic bag; reserve remaining juice mixture. Add chicken to bag; seal bag. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Pat chicken dry. Sprinkle chicken with remaining ¼teaspoon salt. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Place chicken on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into thin slices.
  3. Combine kale, carrots, celery, and apple in large bowl. Add remaining juice mixture; toss to coat. Divide kale mixture evenly among 4 plates; top evenly with chicken. Sprinkle with almonds and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 318, Fat 20.6 g, Protein 20 g, Carbohydrate 14 g, Fiber 4 g, Cholesterol 81 mg, Sodium 447 mg, Sugars 6 g.

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled, sliced apples
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, divided use
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided use
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if desired)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped raw walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine apples, 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, and ½ tsp. cinnamon in a medium baking dish; mix well. Set aside.
  3. Combine oats, walnuts, remaining 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, and remaining ½ tsp. cinnamon in a medium bowl; mix well. Top apple mixture with oat mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until apples are soft.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 168, Fat 6 g, Protein 3 g, Carbohydrate 29 g, Fiber 3 g, Cholesterol 0 mg.

Autumn Spiced Apple Chips

Ingredients

  • 3 apples

For the Pumpkin Spice Apple Chips

  • 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp. ground cloves

For the Chai Spice Apple Chips

  • 2½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • sprinkle of sugar, if desired

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and core the apples (although if you prefer larger apple chips, slice the apple with its core and pick out the seeds as necessary). Using a mandolin, thinly slice the apples into rounds, discarding the bottom slice. Place the rounds on the baking sheet. Alternatively, you can bake the chips on a baking rack set over a baking sheet.
  3. Mix together the spice blend of your choice in a small bowl or jar. Lightly sprinkle over the apples, using a small spice shaker or your fingertips. The farther away you are from the apples, the lighter and more evenly spread the dusting will be.
  4. Bake the chips for an hour and a half. Remove from the oven, carefully flip with your fingers or a spatula, and sprinkle the new side with spices. Put the chips back in the oven for another hour.
  5. When the hour is up, check on the chips. If they are about as crispy as you want them, turn the oven off and keep the chips in the oven as it cools down. This will allow them to reach maximum crunchiness. If you prefer softer, chewier apple chips, reduce the baking time and pull them out when they have reached your desired consistency. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. Keep the extra spice blends in an airtight container as well, and use them in your favorite fall recipes.

Overnight Apple Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground mace
  • 10 medium apples, peeled and cut into large chunks (about 2½ pounds)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 10 hours or until apples are very tender.
  2. Place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into the sieve. Press mixture through the sieve using the back of a spoon or ladle. Discard pulp. Repeat procedure with remaining apple mixture. Return apple mixture to slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high 1½ hours or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon into a bowl; cover and chill up to a week.
  3. Stovetop variation: Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 1 hour or until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally. Strain through a sieve as recipe instructs in Step 2. Return mixture to pan. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.

Yields 4 cups. Each ¼ cup serving contains Calories 132, Fat 0.0 g, Protein 0.1 g, Carbohydrate 35.3 g, Fiber 3.1 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 6 mg.

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples

Ingredients

  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Gala apple (or your favorite)
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine first 5 ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

Directions

  1. Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, ⅓ cup shallots, and ⅛ teaspoon salt; sauté 4 minutes or until apple starts to brown.
  2. Add apple cider to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until apple is crisp-tender. Stir in thyme leaves. Serve apple mixture with the pork.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 234, Fat 9.7 g, Protein 24.4 g, Carbohydrate 12.3 g, Fiber 1.5 g, Cholesterol 89 mg, Sodium 394 mg.