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

Simple Spinach Salad with Apples and Parmesan

Simple Spinach Salad

(pictured with a sweet potato and blue cheese frittata)

Simple Spinach Salad

Everyone has a go-to, simple salad that they love to throw together, and this one is brought to you courtesy of Ashley Higgs. Last month Ashley had some guests over for a pasta-making party, and she served this exquisite, unfussy salad on the side.

Since this is a simple dish, a high quality cheese goes a long way. In other words, this would not be the time to pull out the green shaker of grated parm (not that there ever is). Additionally, I highly recommend a good balsamic vinegar (made with grape must), rather than a cheap, imitation variety. At home, I paired this leafy masterpiece with a sweet potato and blue cheese frittata, but the mellow flavors of the salad compliment just about any dish.

Simple Spinach Salad

Simple Spinach Salad with Apples and Parmesan (Recipe by Ashley Higgs)

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 2 green apples (I used Granny Smith), chopped
  • ¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Method: Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl, and toss until mixed. Serves 4 as a generous side salad.

Nutrition per serving: 140 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 14g carbohyrates (3g fiber, 10g sugar), 3g protein, 110mg sodium, 68% Vitamin A, 24% Vitamin C, 10% Calcium, 6% Iron

– Kelly

Citrus + Avocado: The Perfect Winter Salad Companions

Citrus, Avocado, & Radicchio salad

Few things are more satisfying than biting into a sweet, juicy fruit on a hot summer day, so many are surprised to learn that citrus is actually seasonal to winter. And given the general sparseness of produce this time of year, anything remotely fresh is certainly a welcome ingredient! Additionally, while creamy Mexican avocados are available steadily year-round, the California avocado crop actually arrives in February. Together, these ingredients can create some show-stopping winter salads.

I recently enjoyed my own spin on this dish–a citrus, avocado, and radicchio salad, drizzled lightly with olive oil and champagne vinegar, and finished with a sprinkle of salt and pepper (pictured above, inspired by Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express). It was the perfect accompaniment to homemade black bean soup (also from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express).

After perusing the web, I came across several other variations of winter salads that incorporate both citrus and avocados. Check out the recipe round-up below!

Kale-Avocado-Tangerine-and-Sesame-Salad-4-e1417403296778

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad from Joy the Baker

Grapefruit, Salmon, Avocado Salad

Grapefruit, Salmon, and Avocado Salad from Martha Stewart Living (from the new ‘Clean Slate’ cookbook)

Pomegranate-Citrus-Quinoa-Salad-Diethood

Pomegranate and Citrus Quinoa Salad from Diethood

Kale-Salad-with-Citrus-Avocado-and-Feta-8

Kale Salad with Citrus, Avocado, and Feta from Two Peas and Their Pod

For more winter salad inspiration, check out my Fall & Winter Salads Pinterest Page. What’s your favorite winter salad combo?

– Kelly

Healthy Valentine’s Day Menu

It’s almost that time of year! Instead of spoiling your loved ones with sugary treats that could lead to upset stomachs and dental carries, show them that you care by cooking some extra special, wholesome meals. Here is an entire day’s menu of healthy Valentine’s meals. The images are meant to inspire you, while the accompanying text will guide you through how to keep each meal nutritious. Enjoy!

Breakfast: Heart Shaped Pancakes

Healthy Valentines Breakfast

Image 1 via More Design Please, Image 2 via a pretty cool life

You can get these lovely heart shaped pancakes by using a squeeze bottle, cookie cutters, or even a plastic sandwich baggie with a snipped off corner. Serve with fresh fruit and a protein source (such as Greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs). Make sure that you are using a whole grain pancake mix, such as one of these below.

Healthy Pancake Mixes

1) Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix, 2) Kodiak Cakes Frontier Flapjack and Waffle Mix – Whole Wheat Oat and Honey, 3) Hodgson Mill Multigrain Buttermilk Pancake Mix with Milled Flax Seed & Soy

Lunch: LOVELY Sandwiches

Healthy Valentines Lunches

Image via Lisa Storms

The possibilities with this one are endless! I love the balance with the fruits, veggies, and nuts. Just be sure to aim for a whole grain bread.

Snack: Heart Fruit Kabobs

Heart Fruit

Image 1 via Parents.com, Image 2 via Spoonful.com

A great set of cookie cutters goes a long way! Feel free to serve with either low fat or nonfat yogurt or cottage cheese on the side.

Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup for the SOUL MATE + HEARTS of Palm Salad

Valentines Dinner

Image 1 via Recipe by Photo, Image 2 via Paula Deen

This link has a great tutorial on how to make the heart shaped carrots. For a basic chicken noodle soup recipe, start here. I also like the one in my new Ellie Krieger cookbook. Paula Deen’s Hearts of Palm Salad with strawberries and spinach looks great as is, but hearts of romaine and heart shaped veggies (such as cucumber slices) would also make for a special thematic treat.

Dessert: Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes

sunday-brunch-46

Image via the Berry

It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without something sweet. I love the look of these X’s and O’s cupcakes. Instead of sugar laden box cake mixes, try this winning Red Velvet Cake recipe from the New York Times, which includes whole grain flour, cherries, apple sauce, and beets, among other healthy ingredients. Also on my list of healthy Valentine’s Day desserts to try is this Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Icing, and these Gluten Free + Vegan Red Velvet Brownies.

For more heart shaped food inspiration, check out this page on Pinterest. What will you be making this Valentine’s Day?

– Kelly