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Michigan Apples Make Breakfast Healthier!

September is both Better Breakfast Month and Cholesterol Control Month – a perfect time to talk about the many ways you can add Michigan Apples to your morning meal to obtain several healthy benefits, including their ability to lower cholesterol. Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and when Michigan Apples are included, the morning meal gets a big heart healthy boost! Check out these amazing apple health facts:

  • In a 2012 study conducted by Ohio State University, the daily consumption of apples was associated with reduced level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol. Their research showed that middle-aged adults who consumed one apple a day for four weeks lowered their levels of LDL cholesterol by 40 percent.1

  • Apples are rich in fiber. A single medium-sized apple contains about 4.5 grams of fiber, about 17 percent of the recommended daily intake.

  • A portion of apple’s fiber content is made up of both insoluble and soluble fibers called pectin. The pectin blocks cholesterol absorption in the gut and encourages the body to use, rather than store this waxy substance.

  • The fiber in apples may also help improve satiety and cause weight loss, while lowering blood sugar levels and improving the function of the digestive system.

  • Apples contain about five percent of the daily value of Vitamin C, an essential dietary nutrient that has many important functions in the body including growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body.

  • Potassium is the main mineral in apples. High intake of potassium may have beneficial effects for heart health and blood pressure control.

  • Apple peels are packed with polyphenols. These antioxidants prevent cellular damage from harmful molecules called free radicals.

There couldn’t be a better time of the year to add Michigan Apples to a healthy breakfast routine. Everyone is back to their fall routine and the fresh apples are plentiful at local stores. Take a few minutes to look at how you are starting off your day. Are you rushing around and skipping breakfast or do you have a sense of calmness? Are you consuming a well-balanced breakfast to provide your body with the energy and nutrition it needs to get the day moving in the right direction? If not, here are some tips to help you make a healthy breakfast a priority:

  • Keep healthful, quick-assembly ingredients on hand for busy mornings. Instant oatmeal, whole grain cereal, English muffins, nut butter, yogurt, milk, 100% juice, Michigan Apples, bananas and dried fruit.

  • Plan some time on the weekends to make wholesome muffins and quick breads that can be frozen for use on those super busy mornings. (Check out our recipes below.)

To get you started I’m sharing one week of delicious breakfast recipes featuring the goodness of Michigan Apples. Share these quick menus and delicious recipes with friends and family and continue the habit of eating a heart healthy breakfast all year long!


MONDAY – Apple Oats











  • Oatmeal topped with diced Michigan Apples & Walnuts

  • Fat Free Milk


TUESDAY – Apple Breakfast Parfait

  • Greek Yogurt Parfait with Sliced Michigan Apples and Granola

  • Glass of 100% Fruit Juice


WEDNESDAY – Almond, Michigan Apple & Cinnamon Smoothie


  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon – plus more for garnish

  • 1 Michigan Apples – cored (Fuji, Gala)

  • Half of a banana

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla

  • 1 tablespoon creamy roasted almond butter

  • 1 ice cube


  1. Combine the cinnamon, apple, banana, honey, 2/3 cup almond milk and almond butter in a high-powered blender. Blend, starting on low and moving to high, for 2 minutes, or until smooth.

  2. Add the ice cube and blend again. Add a little more of the almond milk if you like your smoothie on the milky side. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

  3. Serve with a whole grain English muffin.

Recipe Adapted from Blue Diamond Almonds


THURSDAY – Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup Diamond of California chopped pecans

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup vegetable, canola oil, or melted coconut oil

  • 1/3 cup smooth unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups shredded/grated apple (about 2 apples)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners. This recipe makes 15 muffins, so prepare a second muffin pan in the same manner.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pecans together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, oil, applesauce and vanilla together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir a few times, then add the grated apple. Fold everything together gently until combined and no flour pockets remain.

  3. Spoon the batter into liners, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for an additional 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 23-24 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.

  4. Serve muffins with a glass of cold low fat milk.

Recipe Source: Diamond Nuts


FRIDAY – Easy Apple Breakfast Cobbler Topped with Vanilla Greek Yogurt


SATURDAY – Apple Walnut Snack Cake

Tart Michigan Apples and crunchy walnuts make these moist, whole grain bars a perfect breakfast for on-the-go.


SUNDAY – Apple Breakfast Burritos


  • 4 large Michigan Honey Crisp Apples, sliced

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 4 multigrain tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to broil. Slice apples into wedges.

  2. Place apples in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring orange and lemon juices to a boil. Add cinnamon and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Mix cornstarch with the juices for a thicker mixture.

  3. Microwave the tortilla for 20 seconds, or until soft. Spoon 1/3 cup apple mixture onto the center of each tortilla and roll and tuck burrito-style. Lay burritos seam side down in an oval cast iron dish.

  4. Top with remaining apples and walnuts (if any), sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon over top, and broil for 3 minutes. Serve and savor.

Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1 burrito): CALORIES 284; FAT 9g (sat 0.7g, poly 4.7g, mono 0.9g); PROTEIN 9g; CARB 46g; FIBER 14g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.7mg; SODIUM 118mg

Photo and Recipe Source: Cookinglight.com



Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 5, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 493–497


Meet the Author

Shari Steinbach

Shari Steinbach, MS RDN
Shari Steinbach & Associates, LLC

For the past 26 years, Shari has worked as a dietitian in the grocery industry for two major retailers in the Midwest. In her retail roles, Shari has managed consumer health communication, health influencer partnerships, nutrition programs, and solution-selling strategies.

Shari has served as a nutrition expert and corporate spokesperson, providing food and nutrition advice through monthly television spots on ABC, NBC and FOX affiliates and local radio segments. She has also conducted numerous educational presentations to community groups and professional organizations throughout the country. Her timely nutrition and food product information and strategic social media messages have reached millions of consumers.