Must-Try Apple Recipes for an Abundant Fall Harvest

Looking for some ideas to savor the fall apple crop? When apple season is in full swing, this collection of healthy apple recipes is perfect for cooking with your abundance.

And be sure to tuck some apples away for the off season! Here’s how to store apples for the winter months.

ripe red and yellow apples rolling out of a basket

On the apple farm

Apples are one of my favorite fruits to bake with. These are (mostly) healthy apple recipes made from whole food ingredients. The best apple recipes start with flavorful, fresh apples. My favorite, bar none?

The Gravenstein apple. When I was a young girl, our first apple crop was the Gravenstein apple, usually in their prime by early August. My dad’s birthday was in July though, so every year Mom made his favorite apple pie with apples still on the green side. It was our first pie of the season, the first taste of the harvest to come.

These are the apples I grew up with and one of the first apple varieties to ripen every season. Their flavor is slightly spicy and a bit tangy. They are a tender apple with thin skin and cook up beautifully when they are ripe. A perfectly ripe Gravenstein has green skin with a slight yellow tinge and red stripes.

Gravenstein apple on tree

(There is also a Red Gravenstein apple; they are sweeter than the standard variety and tend toward mushiness, though the flavor is good.)

Gravensteins are only in their prime for a few weeks, though. Overripe Gravensteins will become a bit mushy in a pie. Not to worry — Gravensteins are also the best apple for making applesauce; if you find yourself with some very ripe Gravs, they make a wonderful sugar free applesauce.

Finding Gravenstein apples will be the most difficult trick. They don’t ship well, so unless you know someone who has a tree or live in an area where farmers grow Gravensteins, you might be out of luck.

The best apple recipes

My Grandma’s apple pie recipe is (in my opinion) one of the best apple recipes out there. Learn how to make a pie crust and serve this up to your loved ones. They’ll be so happy.

If you’re looking for healthy apple recipes, one of the easiest side dishes you can make is applesauce. Make it in an electric pressure cooker or cook up a big batch and preserve it for the winter.

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Healthy apple recipes galore!

Start with fresh apples, add some whole food ingredients, and you’ve got yourself a collection of healthy apple recipes. Now, these aren’t sugar free. Some of these recipes definitely fall in the dessert category. But they’re homemade with real food ingredients. In my mind, that qualifies these as healthy apple recipes.

When it’s harvest time in the orchard and apples are abundant, bake some up into a pie, crisp, or cobbler for dessert. Or can them for a pantry staple you can enjoy year round.

Whether you have a handful or a bushel full of fresh apples, here are some healthy apple recipes to use them.

Must-Try Apple Recipes

making apple pie. raw dough in pie plate with cinnamon coated sliced apples


ingredients for apple muffin recipe, plus an apple pie from aboveOriginally published in September 2014; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

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