Home Cooking with Michigan Apples
The fall season typically signals back-to-school time and a return to “normal” family routines, but this year has been anything but normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our new routines include social distancing, face masks, and an absence of sports and events. The pandemic also triggered an increase in home food preparation with more families sitting down for meals together. According to a recent study by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), this trend toward more home cooking will last beyond the COVID crisis as many of us are now viewing home cooked meals as a solution for saving money and eating healthier. We are also recognizing that a balanced diet, full of nutrient-rich foods, can support a healthy immune system to keep us well.
It’s hard living in these uncertain times, but as you prepare for whatever the fall may bring, we know you’ll be seeking some easy, affordable ideas for healthy meals. Since Michigan Apples will be abundant in your local grocery store and farmers markets very soon, be sure to stock up so you have plenty to include in your weekly menus. Michigan Apples are not only delicious, but they contain many important nutrients like fiber and vitamin C. In addition, apple skins contain quercetin, a type of plant pigment flavonoid that supports your immune system and reduces inflammation.1 Adding Michigan Apples to your diet is a simple, easy way to add amazing flavor to your meals while benefiting from their many healthy attributes.
If you’re wondering about the best apple types to use in home cooking, take a look at this Michigan Apple Usage Chart which provides guidance on which apples to use in recipes or for eating fresh. It’s fun to experiment with the many options for using apples so go out of your comfort zone to try a few new varieties. Below are my top 10 ways to add fresh Michigan Apples to my home meals along with some delicious recipes and a link to my healthy living menu plan:
Shari’s favorite ways to use Michigan Apples:
- Diced and added to cooked oatmeal with walnuts and cinnamon
- Diced and layered with vanilla Greek yogurt, granola and a drizzle of honey
- Chopped into a green salad with a light balsamic vinaigrette
- Sliced with sharp cheddar cheese
- Sliced and spread with peanut butter
- Sautéed with a bit of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Served over pork chops or chicken
- In an easy apple oatmeal crisp (I make this Gluten Free Apple Crisp for my husband)
- Diced and mixed with low fat cottage cheese and cinnamon
- Thinly sliced and added to a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread
- Grated into muffins or quick breads
ABC (Apple, Banana, Carrot) Muffins
These moist muffins are chock full of nutritious ingredients and are perfect for breakfast or snack time.
Makes 1 dozen muffins
1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup almond flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large Michigan Apple, grated, peeled if desired
1 cup grated carrot
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners or spray with vegetable cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, oatmeal, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil, milk, banana and brown sugar with whisk until smooth.
Add egg mixture to dry ingredients; blend well; fold in the apple and carrots until well combined.
Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and the top springs back when touched lightly, approximately 20 to 23 minutes. Allow muffins to cool completely before storing.
Nutrition information (per muffin): 193 Calories; 8g Fat; 26g Carbohydrate; 2.6g Fiber; 4.5g Protein: 266mg Sodium
Winter squash and Michigan Apples are so good for you and they pair deliciously in this recipe that includes brown rice and chicken sausage. All you need to complete this meal is a prepared green salad.
Crunchy sweet Michigan Apples, glazed walnuts, chicken, greens and Swiss cheese combine for this main dish salad that’s full of fabulous flavor. Use shredded rotisserie chicken to make prep super easy.
For a complete one-meal menu plan that promotes health and well-being click here: https://www.michiganapples.com/Recipes/Healthy-Living-Menu-Plan
1 Boyer J, Liu RH. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutr J. 2004;3:5. Published 2004 May 12. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-3-5