We’ve all heard the rhyming cliché that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Whether or not this is really true, sometimes it can be tough to eat enough fruit. We are tempted and tantalized by all the other yummy treats that float in front of our noses every day, and unfortunately that means that fruit takes a back seat. For some, just biting into a plain apple doesn’t sound that appealing. If you’re looking for a few ways to get that apple in your diet every day (or more often) read ahead for some fun and delicious treats that showcase the apple at it’s best.
Fresh Apple Muffins
These days, muffins have gotten even more fattening and sugary, so eating a muffin is basically like having birthday cake. If you want a tasty muffin with a shred of nutritional value, try these easy fresh apple muffins.
- 1-1/2 cup sugar 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs 1 t. salt
- 1 stick margarine 1-1/2 t. baking soda
- 1 t. vanilla 1/1 t. cinnamon
- 4 medium apples – diced 1/4 t. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Mix sugar, eggs and margarine – blend thoroughly before adding the vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture, alternating with the diced apples. Place paper liners in medium sized muffin cups and fill each 2/3 full with batter. Bake 30 minutes or until slightly browned.
Dried Apple Slices
Slice 2 large apples crosswise about 1/8 inches thick and soak in a mixture of 1/2 c lemon juice and 4 c water for 30 minutes. Remove the slices and pat with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place the slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove the pans from the oven and turn the slices before returning to the oven. Bake 1 or 2 more hours, checking periodically for crispiness. Turn off the oven, crack the door and leave the apples in while the oven cools. If you want to get creative with apple slices, you can try dipping them in dark chocolate or even cutting them into shapes before drying them out.
Caramel apples are a great fall treat, or whenever good apples are available. There are so many options for toppings that you can personalize this treat further with your favorite candy or nuts around the outside. Whatever style you go for, these are a fun treat for a cool autumn night (or anytime you feel that hankering for a caramel apple!)
- 1 bag of caramel candy
- 6 medium sized apples
- 8″ wooden skewers
Insert a skewer in the center of each washed apple.
Fill a slow cooker with about 2 inches of hot water and turn to high, place the unwrapped caramels in a heatproof bowl and place in the water. Once the candy melts it will stay soft while you dip the apples one by one. Use a spatula to scrape the excess caramel off each apple after dipping, and place on wax paper to cool.
Traditionally a popular fall beverage, you’ll likely be making this drink year round after you get a taste of home made cider. Depending on how much cider you want, pick out 4-6 apples that look good to you. You can keep the skins on, but make sure you cut out any parts that are bruised, or any sections you wouldn’t eat (like the core, or any seeds). Once the less-desirable parts are cut out, cut each of the apples into quarters. At this point, you can place the apples in a food processor and blend until the apples turn to apple sauce. The apple pros of Happy Valley Ranch suggest that you use a cider press for truly authentic cider. A cider press will allow you to press more apples at a time if you plan to make a large batch of cider for a big group. After the apples reach a consistency similar to that of applesauce, you’ll need to strain out the remaining chunks and pulp in a thin, wired strainer.
Apple Treats Don’t Have to Wait Until Fall!
There are many varieties of apples, and everyone has their favorite. Apples are not only healthy, but they can be used to make some very tasty treats. If you’re tired of eating boring fruits and veggies just as they are, there’s no need to keep things so plain! Get creative with your fruits and veggies, and you’ll find that you start eating a lot more of them. Sure, we’ll eat any fruit if it comes in the form of cake, but there are plenty of semi-healthy recipes that incorporate fruits and veggies for those who tend to avoid them.