The Amazing Apple: Dishes for All Occasions

Posted: September 23, 2022 12:30 pm

When we think of seasons, most of us think of specific foods. Spring is associated with delicate greens and the luscious taste of early strawberries. Summer is all about watermelon and peaches. Fall, of course, is the time of the apple. Apples originated in what is now China, where early plant-breeders slowly transformed trees producing small, sour fruits into trees producing the sweet, crisp fruit we know today. Apples then rapidly spread west into Europe and were transported by the early European settlers into North America.

Today, apples grow around the world in every temperate and cool climate. Around 80 million tons of fresh apples are produced per year and there are 75,000 different varieties that come in all kinds of colors, sizes, shapes, textures, and tastes. It should not surprise anyone that apples can be used in endless numbers of delicious dishes and recipes. Here are some unique ways to incorporate more apples into your diet.

Apple Bread

You’ve probably eaten cakes that included apples, and sweet, muffin-like “breads” that incorporated apples. Well, how about some real, yeast-leavened, crusty artisan apple bread that has bits of cinnamon-dusted apples inside it? This bread makes THE best cinnamon toast ever. Or just spread it with butter and eat it warm. If you have never made real bread before, this is a good recipe to start with it. It covers all of the basics of how to prepare yeast, knead the bread, and let it rise. And it tastes so good.

Chickpea-Apple Burgers

Like many of us, you are probably looking for ways to reduce the meat in your diet without sacrificing flavor. These vegan burgers are downright amazing. They have a base of healthy chickpeas, a delicious, smoky flavor due to the complex mixture of spices, and a touch of sweetness from the apples. It is important to use a sweet apple such as a Gala in this recipe, not a tart variety. The burgers can be baked or pan-fried. Serve them on buns with all the fixings. We thought they were amazing with caramelized onions and Gouda, and they were equally good topped with fresh tomatoes and tender raw greens. Some people like to drizzle them with sweet barbecue sauce and put a bit of bacon (or vegan bacon) on top.

Apple and Cheese Soup

This amazing soup is a variant of the cream of potato soup that makes such a hearty lunch in the fall. This version is loaded with cheddar cheese, bacon, and sweet apples, and it has a delicious, savory tang from the combination of onions and apples. Serve it hot loaded with croutons, extra cheese, chives, and bacon crumbles with a side of fresh-baked bread.

Apple Pizza

Well, technically this dish is a “flatbread” since the crust isn’t leavened with yeast. However, you could put all the toppings on your favorite pizza crust if you prefer. This goat cheese and apple flatbread makes an excellent lunch or light dinner. If you have a pre-made flatbread or pizza crust, it comes together in minutes. The toppings include tangy goat cheese, sweet apples, spicy arugula, and crunchy pecans.

Apple Meatballs

If you are looking for a unique appetizer for your holiday gatherings, this recipe is what you have been seeking. These apple-turkey meatballs reflect all of the delicious tastes of fall and cause most people to start reminiscing about their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Serve these juicy meatballs on toothpicks next to a cranberry dipping sauce, or mix them with the sauce to be eaten on small plates. The lean turkey and sweet apple content will not dull your guests’ appetite; in fact, these meatballs tend to work perfectly as appetizers by stimulating the senses and preparing people for the main course.

Savory Applesauce

This isn’t the sweet, textureless substance you are familiar with. It’s a delicious, savory sauce that is served with meat. In particular, it goes extremely well with pork. It is best served over roasted pork loin, but it goes well with any cut of pork, such as thick-cut grilled pork chops. It starts with a very tart baking apple, like Granny Smiths, and adds onions and sherry. The original recipe suggests making it into a puree, but most people seem to prefer it as is after cooking. You can add some spicy mustard to really bring out the flavor of your pork if desired. Spoon it over some hot sliced pork loin and watch your guests go “wow”.

Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes

Latkes, of course, are potato pancakes, and they are often served with applesauce. So why not make some latkes with the apples already baked inside? In fact, why not ditch the white potatoes and use some healthy sweet potatoes along with your apples? And thus the vegan, gluten-free, and utterly delicious sweet potato and apple latkes were invented. These crisp, mildly sweet pancakes can be served as a side dish to any main dish or can be eaten as a main dish with a green salad on the side. They also make a good snack or even a breakfast.

No-bake Apple Tarts

These delicious little tarts don’t contain any added sugar, are gluten-free, vegan, and don’t even require any cooking. How can you not love these bite-sized treats? They consist of a cup made out of dates, coconut, and almonds, which is filled with chopped apples seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg. They can be served chilled, at room temperature, or gently warmed up, and can be topped with ice cream, whipped cream, or a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. Before making these tarts, carefully consider your apple choice. Since the apples themselves will be eaten raw with no added sugar, it’s important to select a type of apple that is very crisp and naturally sweet, such as the Pink Lady or Honeycrisp.

Apple and Goat Cheese Cake

If you are looking for a sophisticated dessert for the dinner party you are throwing in order to impress, look no further than this decadent Apple and Goat Cheese Cake. It is a dense, moist, delicious cake laced with apples and spices, and then it is covered with a layer of tangy goat-cheese frosting. Right before serving, pour the hot caramel sauce over the top. This cake looks and tastes like you spent a week in the kitchen but it is really quite easy to put together and requires only basic cooking skills, plus of course some tasty apples and goat cheese.

We hope you enjoy these unique ways to cook up apples. Of course, we also expect that you will continue to cook apple fritters, apple pies, and baked apples in addition to these unique dishes. We selected these recipes to highlight just how versatile the apple truly is. Whether eaten raw or consumed as part of a burger, you can’t go wrong with an apple a day.



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