An Apple a Day… In These Fun Ways

Asian Little Chinese Girl Dressed up as DoctorYou know the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It’s not hard to enjoy a nice crisp, juicy apple this time of year when apples are in season and there are so many options to choose from. However, if you’d like to jazz up your apples a bit, here are some of our favorite apple recipes from Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Hurry Up Baked Apples

Fruit Crisp

Homemade Applesauce

Crunchy Apple Roll-Up

Check out the blog from last week to help you decide which apples to use for each recipe.

Enjoy!

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.

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Hurry-Up Baked Apples

I like baked apples, but when it’s just for me, I don’t want to heat the oven up. Our featured recipe this month, Hurry Up Baked Apples, uses the microwave to do the baking. These are great as a dessert, snack, or for breakfast.

Stacie noticed this recipe on our website and commented, “I stumbled across your website when looking for healthy, easy to freeze recipes for my family and now I’m hooked on this site! I made this recipe for my 1year-old twins and they loved it! I only did two apples. They got one half and I ate the other. The second apple I saved for their snack at daycare. So easy, so good, and smells great!”

Hurry Up Baked Apples

Serves: 4 Serving Size: 1 apple half

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-size tart apples (Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cortland, Jonathan, Fuji)
  • 1 teaspoon white or brown packed sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons (total) raisins, sweetened dried cranberries, chopped walnuts or other nuts
  • 1 (6-ounce) container low-fat vanilla yogurt

Directions:

  1. Cut apples in half lengthwise. Use spoon to remove cores and hollow out a space 1 inch or more deep. Arrange apple halves, cut sides up, in microwavable dish. Cut thin slices off bottoms to keep from tipping.
  2. Combine sugar, cinnamon, oatmeal, raisins, and nuts. Fill each apple half.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap. Fold back one edge ¼ inch to vent steam.
  4. Microwave 3 to 3 ½ minutes, or until apples can be cut easily. Take from microwave. Let sit a few minutes.

Spoon yogurt over the top.

Time for a Picnic, Try Pita Pockets

This month’s featured recipe is Peanut Butter Pita Pockets.

This is a great food to take to the park, on a bike ride or just for a backyard picnic.  The pita pockets are great for holding in sweet juicy fruit, but whole wheat bread could be substituted to save a trip to the store or a few pennies.

This very simple recipe will be best with ripe fruit.   Fruit is plentiful in the market right now, but it is not all ripe.  Apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plantains and plums continue to ripen at room temperature after they’re picked. To speed their ripening, put them in a loosely closed brown paper bag. Plastic bags don’t work for ripening. Once fully ripened, fruits may be stored in the refrigerator to lengthen their storage time.  Though the outside skin of a refrigerated banana will turn dark brown, the inside will remain light-colored.

Consider teaching your kids or grandkids to make this recipes.  Let them choose a new fruit to try.

Peanut Butter Pita Pockets

Ingredients

  • 2 apples, pears, bananas, peaches, or mangoes
  • 2 medium whole wheat pita pockets
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Wash and slice fruit.
  2. Cut pitas in half to make 4 pockets.
  3. Warm each pita half in the microwave for about 10 seconds to make them more flexible.
  4. Carefully open each pocket and spread about 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on the inside walls of each pita half. You may need to warm the peanut butter in the microwave for a few seconds, especially if it has been in the refrigerator.
  5. Fill each pocket with sliced fruit. Serve at room temperature.

Waldorf Summer Salad

WOW, what an easy salad and one that kids love (it’s the marshmallows).

Because you can use almost any fruit, Waldorf Summer Salad is a great one to use with seasonal fruit. Right now, in Iowa, we have lots of luscious peaches, plums, cherries, berries and melons in the markets, so I probably wouldn’t make it with the apples and bananas shown in the picture.

Don’t make this salad too far ahead, but do let the kids help. If you need a few more servings, just add another fruit or two and a little more juice.

Waldorf Summer Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 medium apple, diced*
  • 1 banana, cut up
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup fruit juice (any kind)
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • Optional: ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts or peanuts

Instructions

  1. Place apple, banana, and raisins in a bowl. Pour juice over and stir to coat.
  2. Stir in marshmallows and, if desired, chopped nuts. Serve.
    *Invite your family to experiment with flavor combinations, such as pears, peaches, kiwi, canned pineapple, and other dried fruits.

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