How about them Apples?

Fall has definitely hit here in the midwest and the harvest period for apples is here! The other day Garrett brought home a bag full of delicious apples that someone had brought him from the local farmers market. I would've loved to go to the apple orchard myself but my Saturdays are spent cheering for our kids from the sidelines! Back to the apples...did you know that apples are on the “Dirty Dozen”? Orchards tend to be sprayed with high levels of pesticides, so it's best to choose organic at the store or at the French Market if you can. We all enjoy taking a bite out of a crispy apple and so it got me thinking, how can I transform these beauties into some fun fall recipes? Cinnamon Apple Slices

Slice up fresh red apples and lightly sprinkle ground cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Apples are a low-glycemic fruit with vitamin C and potassium and are a good source of fiber. Spices like cinnamon are quite nice, too, full of a broad range of beneficial nutrients and complex flavors.

Healthy Apple Crisp

Our family enjoys the combo of warm toasted oats with cooked apples. When purchasing oats, make sure to look for organic oats at your natural grocery store - they tend to be a really great price in the bulk bins. For the apple layer:

  • 4 firm tart apples (about 1½ pounds), such as McIntosh, Granny Smith or Pink Lady, peeled and sliced thin

  • ½ teaspoon grated orange zest (optional but recommended)

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 teaspoons starch or 1 tablespoon flour mix (optional: gluten-free)

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (or pumpkin pie spice)

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 big pinch of fine sea salt

  • ½ cup maple syrup (or honey)

For the topping:

  • 1 cup almond flour (or gluten-free flour)

  • 1 cup whole rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats if desired)

  • ½ cup chopped pecans

  • ⅓ cup maple syrup (or honey)

  • ⅓ cup coconut crystals (raw sugar)

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted grass-fed butter, vegan butter (like Earth Balance), diced (or ½ cup coconut oil)

Apple & Walnut Salad This is an easy salad that is hearty, with lots of veggies and fruits. YUM! For the salad:

  • 1 bag of mixed greens

  • 2-3 apples–halved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced crosswise

  • 1 cup seedless grapes, halved

  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

For the salad dressing:

  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup EVOO

  • Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, and pepper

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)

Whisk together in a salad bowl the vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour in the extra virgin olive oil slowly and whisk constantly. Add apples, celery, grapes to dressing and coat. Add the greens and walnuts and toss; season with salt and pepper.