Add More Flavor & Nutrition to Meals with Michigan Apples
Over the past year and a half, most of us had no choice but to prepare more meals at home. And while some of us may not have fully appreciated our daily meal prep tasks, we did discover that eating at home with our family provided many benefits including time together, affordability and nourishing meals. To keep this home cooking habit going however, many of us desire some new meal and recipe inspiration that includes the healthy benefits of nutrient-rich ingredients. According to the 2021 Food & Health Survey from the International Food Information Council (IFIC), participants were specifically looking for foods that would help them manage weight, provide energy and promote digestive health. As you strive to make mealtime both easy and healthier for your family, Michigan Apples is the perfect meal prep partner!
It’s hard to beat the juicy crunch of a Michigan Apple as a snack right out of hand, but it can be fun and tasty to use apples in a variety of recipes. There are endless possibilities for cooking with Michigan Apples and fall is the perfect time to try them in both sweet and savory dishes like salads, soups and sandwiches. Michigan Apples can be added to meals and snacks in so many ways and they pump up the flavor while adding many nutritional benefits like complex carbohydrates for energy and fiber and phytonutrients that help promote both gut health and weight management.
Here are some of the many ways to cook with Michigan Apples:
To cook apples in a microwave, make sure they are cut into pieces or the top is cut off. For an easy dessert or snack, cut an apple, like a Michigan Gala, in wedges, and sprinkle it with cinnamon, a bit of salt, and the sweetener of your choice (sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave). Every microwave will differ, but typically the apple will cook in about one and a half to two minutes. Eat it immediately as is, or serve over low fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.
It’s easy to include apples in stovetop recipes by sauteing them with meat, other fruits or veggies or by themselves. I love this easy Grilled Chicken with Sauteed Apples and Feta Cheese recipe. The apples are simply cooked in a pan with a little butter until they soften – so good with the feta, thyme and chicken!
Have a few apples past their prime? You’ll never waste one when you can make this easy and delicious stove-top applesauce recipe:
Super Easy Applesauce (fills a 16-ounce jar)
4 cups chopped apples (I leave the peels on, but you don't have to)
1 cup water
½ tsp ground cinnamon
honey or sugar to taste (optional)
Toss the chopped apples, water, and cinnamon into a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook with a lid on, stirring occasionally, until the apples have broken completely apart (about 20-30 minutes). Sweeten it a little with honey or sugar, or leave it deliciously tart if you prefer. Let cool and refrigerate.
Michigan Apples are delicious in oven-baked recipes like breads, muffins and pies of course! This Apple Walnut Snack Cake will become a family favorite and is perfect for a fall breakfast, snack or dessert. You can also roast Michigan Apples with other vegetables and meats. The tart sweetness of apples comes through when paired with Brussels sprouts and a bit of balsamic vinegar in this recipe – it’s a perfect autumn or holiday side dish.
Yes, you can even grill apples! For some family-friendly kabobs, simply combine chicken cubes with Michigan Apple chunks on skewers and throw on your heated grill. The apples will add a juicy sweetness to the chicken. For a fun dessert you can brush thick apples slices with a bit of oil or butter and cook directly on the grill until tender (about 5 minutes per side). Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve with Greek yogurt if desired.
No time to cook? There are so many quick ways to add the goodness of Michigan Apples to your meals and snacks. Here are a few of my favorites:
Add Michigan Apples to your breakfast:
- Make an apple parfait by layering chopped Michigan Apples, vanilla Greek yogurt and low-fat cinnamon granola in a glass.
- Top a bowl of cooked whole oats with ½ Michigan Apple, diced; 1 tbsp. chopped pecans or walnuts; 1 tbsp. raisins and 2 teaspoons brown sugar.
- Top whole grain waffles with homemade Michigan Applesauce and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Add diced apples to turkey sausage patties before cooking. Delicious with pancakes or waffles!
Add Michigan Apples to your lunch or dinner:
- Mix 1 (16 oz.) bag of prepared coleslaw mix with 1 large Michigan Apple, cored and finely diced; ¼ tsp. celery seed and ½ cup bottled low-fat coleslaw dressing.
- Toss Michigan Apple slices into a crunchy salad of mixed greens. Top with leftover chicken, shredded cheese and low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
- Add apple slices to sandwiches like this grilled Apple, Cheddar, Turkey Panini.
- Add apples to soups and stews. Try this Slow Cooker Spiced Beef and Apple Stew.
Add Michigan Apples to your snacks:
- Mix up a quick fruit salad with 1 chopped Michigan Apple, a small can drained mandarin oranges, a sliced banana and top with toasted coconut.
- Cut a Michigan Apple in half, core, and fill with peanut butter.
- Add a finely chopped Michigan Apple to a jar of prepared salsa. Serve with whole grain tortilla chips.
- Dip Michigan Apple slices in vanilla Greek yogurt and sprinkle with granola.
- Top whole grain crackers with 2% sharp cheddar cheese and Michigan Apple slices.