Next to the changing leaves, I can’t think of too many things that are more symbolic of the change in seasons from summer to fall here in Vermont, than apples.
The orchards are beginning to burst with dozens of varieties – honey crisp, macintosh, empire, and more. Thus, it is also the time of year for apple everything. And, apples are actually an incredibly versatile fruit with a lengthy shelf-life, making them a convenient refrigerator staple that can be added to lots of dishes.
Here are my favorite ways to add apples into my meals.
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1. Apple oatmeal.
I really enjoy starting those cool, crisp fall mornings off with a hot bowl of oats. On their own, oats can be a little plain. So, during the last couple of minutes as they cook on the stove I like to toss in a bunch of chopped up apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg to add a little natural sweetness and spice.
2. Apple, sweet potato, and onion hash.
While intended as a breakfast dish, it really makes a great side dish for any meal. It’s as simple as sautéing together sliced apples, onions, and sweet potatoes (I usually par cook these in the microwave first) in a pan, sprinkling with a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon, and digging in. Top with a fried egg to balance it out, or serve as a side dish with roasted chicken or pork.
3. Omelet with apples and ham.
The sweet, crunchy apple and salty, smokey ham pair really nicely together, giving you an out of the ordinary breakfast experience.
4. Apples slices with cheddar cheese.
Sweet, slightly tart apples make for the perfect pairing with the sharp bite of cheddar cheese. Not to mention – a perfectly balanced, easy, and satisfying snack option. Hands down, this is one of my favorite mid-afternoon, or really anytime of the day, snacks.
5. Apple & onion turkey burger.
Sauté together some chopped up apple and onion then fold into ground turkey to make deliciously sweet and savory, juicy burgers. Top with a little cheddar and cranberry sauce for an autumn spin on a classic dish.
6. In sandwiches.
Mix up your typical sandwich toppings by adding a few apple slices. Try it out in a grilled cheese, classic turkey, or ham sandwich.
7. Added to salads.
Apples add a great crunch to green salads and pair nicely with lots of other yummy ingredients. I like the combination of carrots, celery, cucumber, shredded beets, walnuts, dried cranberries, and apples with a balsamic vinaigrette. To make it an entrée salad, add a piece of grilled chicken and a scoop of quinoa. Apples are also a great addition in chicken or tuna salad.
8. Apple crisp.
Warm, homemade, topped with a scoop of rich, creamy vanilla ice cream, of course.
Tell us, what is your favorite way to eat apples?
9. Apple and butternut squash bisque (recipe below).
Butternut and squash bisque is perhaps one of the dishes I look most forward to in the fall. Everything about it – the color, the smell, the warmth – just scream fall to me. And, adding a good dose of apple cider to the mix, just makes it that much more delicious.
Check out my recipe for Apple and Butternut Squash Bisque below.
Apple & Butternut Squash Bisque
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), sliced; or 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 large apple (or 2 small), peeled, cored, and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups apple cider
- ½ cup light cream
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until they begin to soften and become fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add sweet potato, squash, apple, broth, and cider. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 15-20 minutes.
- In small batches, carefully ladle mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer pureed mixture back to the pot. Or, use a stick blender to blend until smooth in the pot.
- Mix in cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.