appleYou have a bag of apples around your house, don’t you? You probably don’t think much about those apples, except as a healthy alternative to potato chips when you want a crunchy snack. You just want to think of something to do with them before they get all wrinkled and brown. No worries. If you’re willing to put a little effort into it, you can come up with fun things to do with apples.

Growing Your Own Apples

Have you ever thought about how many hands your apple has to pass through to get from the orchard to your table? It seems like a lot of effort for something that most Americans take for granted. In terms of total effort, not to mention savings, it might make sense to have an apple tree or two.

Common Apple Varieties

  • Golden Delicious: A versatile variety that is good in recipes that call for baking or cooking your apples, freezes well, and maintains its flavor. The skin is so thin that you usually don’t have to peel it for most recipes.

  • Jonathan: This variety is most often used in pies and applesauce. It can also be used for cider.

  • Honeycrisp: So called for its mild sweet flavor and exceptionally crispy texture, this variety was developed at the University of Minnesota. It’s good for snacking, applesauce and salad.

  • Fuji: This variety is best for eating whole and also does well when baked and made into applesauce. When stored properly, it can also improve in flavor with time.

  • Gala: Does well when made into applesauce or added to salads.

  • Granny Smith: A tart variety that is a favorite for baking and sautéing.

  • Winesap: Has a spicy wine-like flavor. Most Winesap apples are used for apple cider.

  • Jonagold: A blend of the Jonathan and Golden Delicious varieties that is good for eating or cooking.

Apple Stuffed Pork Chops

Caramalized Onion-Apple Soup with Blue Cheese Croutons

Total time: 55 minutes Yield: 6 cups (4 servings) Image credit: U.S. Apple Association
Total time: 55 minutes
Yield: 6 cups (4 servings)
Image credit: U.S. Apple Association


For soup:

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 large white onions, peeled and chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 cups 100% fresh apple cider, straight from the cider press if you can get it.

  • 2 10½-ounce cans double-strength beef broth

  • 1½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1½ cup tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes

For croutons:

  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese

  • 1 tablespoon softened butter

  • 12 lightly toasted baguette slices


Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until softened and slightly brown, about 20-25 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one minute more. Gradually add cider to avoid splattering and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer about 15 minutes until cider is reduced by half. Add broth and Worcestershire sauce; bring to simmer. Add apples. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until apples are tender.

For the croutons, mix the blue cheese and the butter until just blended. Spread mix evenly over baguette slices. Broil in oven broiler or toast in a toaster oven until cheese mixture is bubbly, about 1 minute. Serve soup with croutons on top or on the side.

Classic Apple Crisp

Bacon and Apple Sliders

Total time: 35 minutes Yield: 4 servings Image credit: U.S. Apple Association
Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Image credit: U.S. Apple Association

Apples in a burger? Sure, why not? With the right apples, you get an interesting twist on the slider and everybody knows bacon and apples go good together.


  • 1 pound lean beef

  • 2/3 cup unpeeled, shredded sweet-tart apple

  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped

  • 3 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, fully cooked and sliced into small pieces

  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • ½ tsp dried thyme

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • 3 ounces Swiss cheese slices, cut into 12 pieces

  • 12 cocktail buns or small “party” rolls, split

  • Fresh spinach leaves or lettuce leaves, cut into small pieces

  • Thinly sliced apple for topping

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip

  • 5 teaspoons frozen apple juice concentrate


Stir together mayonnaise and apple juice in bowl; keep in fridge until ready to assemble the sandwiches. Preheat oven broiler. Mix ground beef, shredded apple, onion, bacon, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt and pepper until just mixed. Do not overmix, because this can dry out the beef. With damp hands, form the beef mixture into 12 evenly sized patties ½ inch in diameter. Arrange patties on a rack in the broiling pan. Broil patties 4 inches from heat for 8 to 12 minutes until meat is 160 degrees in center of patties, turning patties over about halfway through. Place one piece of cheese on top of each patty. Broil another 30 to 60 seconds until cheese is melted. Spread an equal amount of mayonnaise mix on each bun. Top with patties, apple slices and spinach or lettuce leaves. Place tops of buns on each sandwich. Skewer each sandwich with toothpick or bamboo skewer to hold them together. Serve as an appetizer at your next football party or get-together.

Apple Cider

Chicken, Apple and Basil Sausage Patties

Time: 45 minutes Yield: 8 servings Image credit: U.S. Apple Association
Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Image credit: U.S. Apple Association


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 ½ cups unpeeled, sweet-tart apples, finely chopped

  • ½ cup finely chopped sweet onion

  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil

  • 1 tsp rubbed sage

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp ground coriander

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • 1 ½ pounds ground chicken or turkey


Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add apples and onion; sauté until nearly tender, about two minutes, stirring often. Stir in garlic; sauté another 30 seconds. Transfer mix to bowl and allow to cool. Stir basil, sage, salt, coriander and pepper into apple mixture. Gently mix in ground chicken or turkey with your hands, being careful not to overmix. With damp hands, form meat mixture into 16 patties, ½ inch in diameter. At this point, patties can be refrigerated or frozen on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap until needed. Thaw frozen sausage patties in refrigerator. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage patties. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, turning halfway through, until a meat thermometer inserted into the patties’ center reads 165 degrees.

Southern Fried Apples

Do More With Apples


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