10 Healthy Apple Recipes

Apple Picking at Green Mountain Orchard in Putney, VT

This weekend I ventured out to Vermont for an afternoon of leaf peeping and apple picking. The first stop was Green Mountain Orchards in Putney. They aren’t organic, but at least they practice IPM (integrated pest management). Next up was a late lunch in Brattleboro. We ate at Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, a fun biergarten (the red building in the photo below) that overlooks the Connecticut River. Vermont never disappoints, but the fall foliage this weekend was especially stunning.

Brattleboro, VT

After coming home with approximately 30 apples (and that was just my half of the haul!) I am excited to get in the kitchen and start experimenting. Have you stocked up on this ubiquitous fall fruit? Here are ten healthy apple recipes (obligatory apple pie not included)…

Slow Cooker Apple Sauce

1. Slow Cooker Apple Sauce // The Kitchn

I’m always looking for ways to get more use out of my slow cooker, so this recipe was a no-brainer. Apple sauce isn’t usually a pantry staple for me, but these fragrant, stewed apples have been great to stir into my oatmeal in the mornings. For a snack, I like to stir a spoonful of natural peanut butter into my applesauce. You can also layer it with yogurt and granola, or use it to sweeten baked goods.

Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

2. Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal // Monica Matheny, The Yummy Life

This is a great recipe that I’ve turned back to over the years. These days I don’t use nearly as much sugar as the original recipe calls for, and I tend to up the flax seed as well.

Teff Porridge with Apples, Dates and Pecans

3. Teff Porridge with Apples, Dates and Pecans // Aube Giroux, PBS Food

For those that haven’t tried teff (a porridge-y , African whole grain with undertones of cocoa), this recipe is a great way to familiarize yourself with a new healthy ingredient.

Apple, Almond and buckwheat muffins

4. Apple, Almond, and Buckwheat Muffins // Green Kitchen Stories

These muffins are filled with a sweet surprise: a gooey, applesauce center. I don’t usually bake gluten free, but I love that this recipe is heavy on healthy, wholesome ingredients.

Israeli Couscous and Apple Salad

5. Israeli Couscous and Apple Salad // Delish

Crunchy apples and tangy feta are a winning combo. For a more flavorful, nutritious twist, swap out the Israeli couscous for whole wheat couscous, bulgur or quinoa.

Whole Wheat Bread, Apple and Cranberry Dressing

6. Whole Wheat Bread, Apple and Cranberry Dressing // Martha Rose Schulman, New York Times

Thanksgiving in a bowl. Need I say more?

French Lentil Soup with Parsnip & Apple

7. French Lentil Soup with Parsnip and Apple // Dana

Hearty lentil soup is one of my absolute favorite foods, so I’m dying to try this apple and parsnip studded stew.

Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf

8. Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf // Oh She Glows

While some of my friends and family will undoubtedly be turned off the idea of a veggie loaf, this nutty lentil loaf looks deliciously hearty to me. They’ll come around to meatless mains soon enough!

Roasted Acorn Squash and Apples with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Maple Dressing

9. Roasted Acorn Squash and Apples with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Maple Dressing // Edible Perspective 

I am on a huge tahini kick lately, so this autumn squash bowl is calling my name. For those that haven’t experimented with tahini (outside of its supporting role in hummus) prepare to be amazed.

Butternut Squash Apple Pear Crisp

10. Butternut Squash Apple Pear Crisp // Edible Perspective

I love that this recipe incorporates rich winter squash into the classic apple crisp, for a welcome boost in both flavor and nutrition.

– Kelly

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds 1

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Blueberries, oats, Greek yogurt, almonds… the gang’s all here! These are basically all of the go-to “superfoods” in a dietitian’s arsenal, so naturally I had to combine them into one recipe.

Instead of my usual splash of milk, thick and creamy Greek yogurt offers more protein and probiotics, and helps keep you full. I usually hesitate to add refined sweeteners to porridge, but the scant ½ teaspoon of maple syrup here (yes, I got out the measuring spoons) is just the right touch of sweetness to tie the ingredients together. This is a prime example of “everything in moderation.” I don’t necessarily say no to sugar, but I insist that it be used with care.

This recipe was inspired by my mom, who always cooks her oats with a large handful of frozen blueberries. We’re obsessed with these particular oats from Bob’s Red Mill, so she sent me home with a large package the last time I was in Houston. The texture is what makes this Scottish oatmeal unique; it’s somewhere between steel cut oatmeal and cream of wheat. But just like my tried-and-true rolled oats, this creamy breakfast is microwave friendly and ready in a flash. Plus, if you do it my way, you end up with purple oatmeal. How’s that for a Monday morning?

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds 3

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Scottish Oats
  • 1/3 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat Organic)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds (about 16 almonds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

Method:

  1. Combine the oats, blueberries, and water in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Then stir the mixture, and microwave for an additional 2 minutes. (Trust me about the large bowl.)
  2. Let the oatmeal sit in the microwave for one minute (this is the hardest part). Then, transfer oatmeal to a serving bowl if desired.
  3. Stir in the Greek yogurt, drizzle the top of the oatmeal with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup, then top with almonds and serve.

Nutrition per Serving: 350 calories, 11g fat (1g saturated fat), 22g protein, 40g carbohydrates (11g sugar*, 8g fiber), 6mg cholesterol, 42mg sodium, 1% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 21% Calcium, 16% Iron

*Only 2g added sugars, all of the rest are naturally occuring

– Kelly

Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Don’t let cough syrup give cherries a bad rap. One taste of these juicy, summer rubies, and you’ll be declaring a new favorite fruit in no time. Fresh cherries have a pretty short season here in New England (peaking late June through mid July), but they are so deliciously addicting that most people can put down several weeks worth of cherries while simply standing in front of the refrigerator. Not that I know anything about that.

Delicious enough to enjoy straight out of a bowl, cherries are also the perfect natural sweetener, and that’s how I’m showcasing them in this chilled, chocolately recipe. These succulent little stone fruits eliminate the need for added sugars, while tangy yogurt and rich cocoa deepen the flavor. Overnight oatmeal is usually a breakfast pick, but I like to keep a bowl of this chocolate cherry concoction in the fridge for dessert, especially on hot summer nights.

Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup fresh pitted cherries (Don’t buy a cherry pitter! Use this trick)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat organic)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds

Optional garnishes: sliced almonds, fresh cherries

Method:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, mash cherries with a potato masher or a large fork, under cherries are smooshed and juices are released.
  2. Add all other ingredients to bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Transfer mixture to a mason jar or a breakfast bowl, and set covered in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Serve cold, after mixture has chilled and the porridge has thickened (at least 8 hours).
  5. Top with optional garnishes, such as fresh cherries or sliced almonds, if desired.

Nutrition per Serving: 260 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 44g carbohydrates (10g fiber, 16g sugar*), 15g protein, 4mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 16% Iron, 12% Calcium, 1% Vitamin A, 12% Vitamin C

*all sugars are naturally occurring, none are added sugars

– Kelly

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for Two

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for 2

I’ve been looking for a way to make my daily oatmeal habit more conducive to the warm summer weather, and after stumbling upon this recipe from The Oatmeal Artist, I think I’ve found the perfect solution! Usually my oatmeal recipes are single serving. However, 1 serving of this recipe would leave me with half of a grapefruit and half of a yogurt carton, so it’s easiest just to make 2 servings. If you don’t have anyone else to cook for, you can save the other bowl of oatmeal for the next morning. It will keep a few days in the fridge.

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for 2

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for Two (inspired by the Oatmeal Artist)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (divided)
    Old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 individual container (divided)
    Plain Coconut Yogurt (vanilla is also good!)
  • 4 teaspoons (divided)
    Chia seeds
  • 1 whole
    Grapefruit (segmented)
  • 1 cup (divided)
    Water

Cooking Directions

  1. Evenly divide ingredients between two cereal bowls. Each bowl gets 1/2 cup oats, 2 tsp chia seeds, half of a grapefruit (segmented and in chunks), 1/2 cup of water, and half of the yogurt cup.
  2. Mix well, cover, and place in fridge overnight (at least 7 hours).
  3. Give it a good stir before serving. Enjoy!

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for 2

Most overnight oats recipes are made in Mason jars. I don’t have Mason jars. But I do have cute Anthropologie Latte bowls! So that’s what I use. As long as you can cover it in the fridge and give it a good stir before serving, bowls work just fine. Plus, digging my spoon into the bottom of a tall Mason jar does not seem appealing. Latte bowls for the win!

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for 2

Nutrition per serving: 322 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated), 8.5g protein, 52g carbohydrates (16g fiber, 17g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 200mg potassium, 20% Vitamin A, 110% Vitamin C, 22% Calcium, 16% Iron

I do wish this recipe had more protein, but believe me when I tell you that the healthy dose of fat and fiber will keep you full for HOURS. And did I mention that this recipe is vegan?

– Kelly

Daily Oatmeal [UPDATED 11-8-2014]

[NOTE: The recipe, text, photos, and nutrition facts were updated on 11-8-2014 to reflect the new way that I make my daily oatmeal. The old version did not have flaxseed, and had brown sugar instead of date paste.]

Daily Oatmeal

This recipe is the reason that I wake up excited in the morning. Some people need their morning coffee, I need my morning oats. And not just any bowl of oatmeal. This bowl of oatmeal.

This porridge is a simplified take on an Ellie Krieger recipe. I updated this recipe to include flaxseed, and use date paste as a sweetener instead of brown sugar. After all, the maximum added sugar recommendation from the American Heart Association is 6 tsp a day for adult women, and 9 tsp for adult men.

Most people don’t even make it out of the house before exceeding these sugar limits, so re-purposing fruit as a sweetener (imagine that!) is a great healthy habit to start. If you don’t have dates on hand, add them to your grocery list. In the meantime, mashed bananas are another great way to naturally sweeten your morning porridge.

Daily Oatmeal

Oatmeal with Raisins & Almonds (aka Kelly’s Daily Oatmeal)

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon date paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (it needs to be ground, rather than whole, to release the nutrients)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk (I use organic)

Method:

  1. Pour oats into a microwave safe bowl and then evenly pour 2/3 cup water on top.
  2. Microwave for 2 minutes (you may have to stop halfway through to stir if your oatmeal is prone to spilling over the edges of the bowl).
  3. After oats are done cooking, stir in the date paste and flaxseed.
  4. Top with raisins and almonds, and finish with a splash of milk (about 1/4 cup).

Nutrition: 330 calories, 8.5g fat (1g saturated), 59g carbohydrates (8g fiber, 22g sugar*), 11g protein, 4% Vitamin A, 1% Vitamin C, 15% Calcium, 16% Iron

*all sugars are naturally occurring- none are the dangerous added sugars

Daily Oatmeal

A note on microwave cooking: I find that my Fiestaware Cereal Bowl is the PERFECT size for cooking 1 serving of old fashioned rolled oats in the microwave, without the risk of spilling over the sides. (Unfortunately, the only Fiestaware bowls I have are forest green and mauve, my mom’s rejects from the early 90’s).

Why am I so crazy about oatmeal? Oats have a healthy dose of soluble fiber which binds with the cholesterol inside of your body and helps it to exit your body. Any other oatmeal lovers out there?

  • Check out one of my favorite blogs: The Oatmeal Artist. This website is filled with creative (and oftentimes vegan) oatmeal recipes. Chai and Pear Oatmeal, anyone?
  • Check out my oatmeal board on Pinterest. This board is my collection of yummy oatmeal (and other hot breakfast cereal) recipes that I can’t wait to try.
  • And for a real indulgence, JP Licks makes an oatmeal cookie flavored low fat frozen yogurt. I tried it in September and haven’t quit talking about it since!

-Kelly

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal

[UPDATED ON 1-18-2015 WITH NEW PHOTOS & UPDATED RECIPE]

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal, with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

After having so much success making this delicious Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal in the slow cooker, I decided to tweak the recipe and create an overnight pumpkin steel cut oatmeal. Fresh cranberries and chopped pecans round out the fall flavors.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal, with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup milk (I used organic nonfat milk)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup uncooked steel cut oats
  • 2/3 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Method

  1. Coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Pour water, spices, maple syrup, vanilla, flax and pumpkin into a separate bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Pour pumpkin mixture and oats into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Then, evenly sprinkle cranberries and pecan pieces on top.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 4.5 to 5 hours. I use a programmable slow cooker so that I can get more than five hours of sleep and still wake up to warm oatmeal. Once the oatmeal is done cooking, the slow cooker holds the food warm.
  5. Divide into 4 bowls and serve immediately, or put leftover servings into the fridge for later. Sometimes I like to stir in a few tablespoons of milk upon serving to produce a more creamy oatmeal. To reheat individual servings, add about ¼ cup of water and microwave on high for about 1 ½ minutes. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal, with Fresh Cranberries and Pecans

Nutrition per serving: 350 calories, 11g fat (1g saturated fat), 52g carbohydrates (10g fiber, 16g sugar*), 12g protein, 30mg sodium, 193% Vitamin A, 8% Vitamin C, 16% Calcium, 18% Iron

*9g added sugars (2 1/4 teaspoons) from the Maple syrup

-Kelly