How do you like them apples?
Happy September! I've rounded up my favorite (and, of course, healthy and allergy-friendly) apple recipes for you! Below I've got you covered from apple chips to apple butter to applesauce to apple muesli to apple cookies to skillet apples to apple pie granola (!) to apple overnight oats to apple oatmeal and even mulled apple cider. Phew! These healthy recipes are low in refined-sugar and vegan/gluten-free/nut-free (or provide a nut-free option). But first, why am I so obsessed with apples?
Apples really can help keep the doctor away
Apples don’t get the same buzz as popular “superfruits” such as goji berries, acai berries or pomegranates. But don’t overlook them. They are chock-full of powerful disease-fighting nutrients and health benefits, in addition to being affordable and portable.
- Apples keep you hydrated: 84 percent of an apple’s content is water. This means apples not only satisfy your hunger but can satisfy your thirst as well.
- They are low in calories (a medium-size apple has only 80), fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free and full of fiber.
- They contain immune-boosting Vitamin C, which is important for the growth and repair of all body tissues. Vitamin C also helps to heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
- They help you meet your daily fruit intake. The USDA recommends about two cups of fruit per day for most adults. A medium apple counts as a cup of fruit, so if you snack on one fresh apple while on the go, you are halfway to meeting your daily fruit intake.
Below are my top ten recipes from other food bloggers that I'm loving this September. And don't forget to try my recipe for Apple-Cinnamon Cranberry Loaf w/ Streusel Topping & Vanilla-Maple Glaze - extremely drool worthy... I mean that vanilla-maple glaze...
So without further adieu...
10 Delicious Apple Recipes To Get You In The Mood For Fall
Healthy Cinnamon Skillet Apples via Healthy Liv
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies via Light Orange Bean
Apple Pie Granola via Leelalicious (for a nut-free version replace ¼ cup almond slices with ¼ cup pumpkin seeds)
Healthy Baked Apple Chips via Leelalicious
Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats via Tasting Page
Apple Pie Oatmeal via Healthy Liv
Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce via Sidewalk Shoes
Apple and Cinnamon Buckwheat Bircher Muesli via Delicious Everyday (this recipe suggests garnishing with either toasted almonds or toasted buckwheat - if you are nut-free use the toasted buckwheat)
Mulled Apple Cider via Delicious Everyday
Slow Cooker Apple Butter via Simple Food 365
With apple season in full swing, find out how to maximize your “apple a day.”
Keep the skin on
Most of the fiber in apples comes from the skin and the pulp. When you remove the skin, you remove about half the fiber. A medium apple with skin contains 3.3 grams of fiber, whereas a medium without skin has only 1.7 grams. Applesauce and apple juice contain even less. Dietary fiber is important for weight management, because it keeps you fuller longer. Dietary fiber from fruit, as part of an overall healthful diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and might lower the risk of heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Plus, fiber aids in proper bowel function and helps to reduce constipation.
An apple’s skin is also incredibly nutrient-rich. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, apples are loaded with the powerful antioxidant quercetin, which is found predominantly in the skin. Quercetin is a phytochemical with anti-inflammatory and heart-protecting qualities, and may reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Eat the right apples
Choose apples with the stem intact. Also try smelling them — you should be able to actually smell the freshness. Apples can stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to three weeks. Keep them in a plastic bag and away from other foods with strong odors.
Make them part of your routine
Consumed whole, apples make for a mess-free and convenient snack. For a more filling option, you can slice them up and dip them into dairy-free yogurt or your favorite nut or seed butter. Diced apples also make a great topping. Try them with your morning oatmeal or lunchtime salad.
Visit a nearby orchard or your farmers market for fresh off-the-tree apples. And use them in any of these healthful recipes above. Happy apple season, everyone!