A crisp, fresh apple is one of life’s sweetest pleasures. We adore biting into a gleaming apple, or crunching on apple slices for a quick and easy snack. With apple season now in full swing, you might be looking for inventive ways to use apples and novel apple recipes. We’ve got all the apple inspiration for you here, guaranteed to keep this produce staple exciting!
Health Benefits of Apples
Apples are a powerful food with a multitude of culinary nutrition benefits. They are rich in:
- Antioxidants that help protect us from cellular damage
- Fibre, an essential macronutrient for digestion, blood sugar balance and cardiovascular health
- Polyphenols, compounds that protect the gut, support the gut microbiome and have anti-cancer properties
- Quercetin (found in apple skins), which helps to block the inflammatory, seasonal allergy response
- Immune-enhancing Vitamin C
How to Choose Apples
You can find apples at the grocery store year-round, and they will typically taste fresh all year long with good storage. That being said, peak apple season here in North America is August through November – during this time, you’ll find the freshest apples at local markets (or you can go apple picking yourself!).
Choose apples that are:
- firm and smooth
- unblemished and unbruised
- smell fresh and fruity
If your market or grocery store has imperfect produce, you may be able to find gently bruised, scarred or misshapen apples at a great price. We recommend using these apples right away, rather than trying to store and save them long-term. Check out the recipes below for inspiration!
How to Store Apples
- In the fridge: Store loosely in the fridge or in a paper bag (ditch the plastic bag). If washing first, dry completely before they are stored.
- On the counter: Store in a large bowl for up to a week.
- In a pantry/cold storage: If you have a cellar, cold pantry, attached garage or basement, you can store your apples for months. Be sure to choose apples without cuts and bruises, as one bad apple can literally spoil the bunch. Wrap each apple individually, so they’re not touching each other, for long-lasting storage.
Note: Apples release ethylene gas, which can quicken the ripening of other fruits and veggies (and potentially spoil them). Keep apples away from grapes, onions, avocados, bananas, carrots, potatoes and citrus fruits. Unless, of course you are trying to ripen items faster!
Learn more about ethylene-producing and ethylene-sensitive foods.
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Best Flavour Pairings with Apples
Apples are incredibly versatile, and play nicely with all kinds of herbs, spices, sweeteners, vegetables and fruits. These are a few of our faves!
Herbs and Spices
- Coconut sugar
- Maple syrup
- Root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, etc.)
- Winter squash
- Dark leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
Nuts and Seeds
- All, but we especially love to pair them with almonds, walnuts, pecans and hemp seeds
- All, but we adore pairing apples with oats, wild rice, rice, millet and quinoa
- Dairy-free yogurt
- Dairy-free cheese
37 Ways To Use Apples
Don’t get us wrong – we love a good gluten-free apple pie as much as the next person, but we also love exploring many other incredible ways to use apples. (Don’t worry, we’ve included apple pie and variations on apple pie below too.)
Try one – or more – of these ideas and apple recipes!
Thinly slice your apples and bake or dehydrate for a crunchy, satisfying snack.
Recipe To Try: Apple Chips by Meghan Telpner (*Culinary Nutrition Expert Program Founder + Director)
Cooking and blending apples into applesauce makes their fibres much easier to digest. If you have a strong blender or food processor, you can keep the peel on too for extra nutrition.
A fantastic option if you have extra apples on hand, or snagged an excellent sale on imperfect ones.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (or ACV for short) is an incredible fermented food that you can make yourself if you like fermentation experimentation. And there are tons of different ways to use it.
It doesn’t get much better than a sweet and simple apple stuffed with a tasty filling. This is one of those ways to use apples that will really impress your guests!
This luxurious spread, made from apples simmered down until they are a thick, jammy texture, will become your new favourite substitute for jelly or nut butter.
Gluten-Free Apple Cake
Apples make the ideal filling for a rustic sweet or savory gluten-free galette.
Recipe To Try: Mini Gluten-Free Apple Galettes by Macy Diulus
Apple Crumble or Crisp
Apples shine in this simple dessert that, truth be told, we also have for breakfast sometimes. One of our favourite ways to use apples!
Apple Fruit Leather
A treat for all ages that you can make in the oven or a food dehydrator. An excellent apple recipe for school lunchboxes, too!
Apple Pie or Tart
We can’t talk about apple recipes without including apple pies and tarts! One of the classic ways to use apples because it never gets old.
You can grab more apple pie recipe inspiration in this roundup of gluten-free pie recipes.
Apples, when baked into muffins with delectable spices, make the ideal snack.
Need a simple breakfast you can meal prep for easy mornings? Pack some nutritious apples into your baked oatmeal for a delicious way to start the day.
Slather with Nut Butter or Chocolate Spread
All you need to jazz up your apple slices is a little nut butter, chocolate spread or date ‘caramel’.
A lovely condiment you can pair with sweet or savory recipes.
Energy Bites or Granola Bars
Apples are already a hand-held, portable snack – so why not incorporate them into bite-sized energy balls or granola bars?
Pancakes and Waffles
Make a fall-inspired brunch with apple-stuffed pancakes or waffles. Extra points for adding cooked apples on top!
Pancake, Yogurt or Ice Cream Topping
Steamed, baked or sautéed apple slices are a naturally-sweetened topper condiment for all kinds of breakfast recipes and sweet treats.
The sweet-tangy apple flavours translate well into all kinds of hot and cold mocktails.
Ever the versatile culinary ingredient, chia is a great partner for apples. Chia pudding is a make-ahead breakfast or snack that also happens to be great for digestion!
Why should humans be the only one to enjoy apple recipes? Don’t forget about your four-legged friends by whipping up a homemade batch of apple-y treats.
Savory Apple Recipes
Apples aren’t just for treats and baked goods – they work beautifully in savory dishes too. Check out these savory apple recipes!
Pork and Apples
Pork and apples are a delicious combo you have to taste.
Burgers and Patties
Apples are a sweet complement to both vegan and meat burger patties.
Apples (and pears) may seem like an unconventional pizza topping, but we highly recommend them. The key is slicing them very thinly for the perfect sweet-salty bites.
Recipe To Try: 20 Best Gluten-Free Pizza Recipes
Add a touch of sweetness to your soup recipes – especially ones that include winter squash and root veggies.
Braised Apples and Cabbage
Cabbage is one of those veggies not everyone knows what to do with – and pairing it with apples makes it much more deliciouis.
A fruit-heavy salad that includes loads of apples and grapes. Yum!
Apples give standard coleslaws and salads a sweet crunch.
An apple recipe that proves you can pickle anything.
A quick pickle recipe that uses vinegar (rather than fermentation with salt).
Spark new interest in your classic holiday stuffing recipes by including some apples.
Applesauce is a typical condiment for potato lakes, so why not add shredded apples directly to the recipe in the first place? Genius.
Try Apple Crafts!
We normally like to reserve our apples for eating (and to reduce food waste). Yet if you’ve got some extras you simply can’t eat, use or freeze for later, try some fun apple-inspired crafts!