Food & Nutrition

30 ways to use all the apples you've picked

Put your autumn apple picking haul to good use with these tasty, SmartPoints-friendly apple recipes.

Whether you got a little apple happy at the pick-your-own farm or the grocery store, it’s easy to put autumn’s unofficial fruit to good use in sweet or savory dishes.

Sure, you could easily eat an apple a day, straight up: After all, apples are ZeroPoint food for good reason: They’re a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Tip: To get the maximum nutritional benefits, you’ll want to eat the skin—so don't peel before eating.

If plain old apples don’t whet your appetite, a sweet or savory dish that features apples as the star (or sidekick) might entice you to indulge. But remember: The flavor profile of apples can vary widely. Read on to make sure you’re reaching for the right ones and keep scrolling for apple recipe inspiration.

The best ways to use different apple varieties

There are nearly as many varieties of apple as there are seeds on a strawberry, so we’ve narrowed down the selection to our favorite — and most readily available — types. And we threw in a few newcomers to look for at the farmer’s market, too.

 

Braeburn
Spicy-sweet, with streaky orange-red skin, Braeburns are juicy and crisp. They’re also extremely handy — enjoy them raw or baked, in pies or applesauce.

Fuji
Large, round, and red with green undertones, this Japanese variety is a relative newcomer to the apple scene, but it’s become extremely popular thanks to its supersweet, juicy flesh. They’re best eaten raw or made into sauce.

Gala
On the small side, Galas are pale red with golden stripes. The flavor is very sweet, making them perfect for eating raw or cooking into applesauce.

Golden Delicious
Golden Delicious are excellent for eating and baking, their flavor indicated by color: Yellowish-green apples are less mature and faintly tart, while a deep, buttery shade will be considerably sweeter.

Granny Smith
Crisp, green and so tart they’re almost sour, Granny Smiths are excellent eating apples — and since their flesh browns slowly, they’re great in salads. When cooked, they hold their shape nicely, making them lovely in pies.

Honeycrisp
Introduced in the 1990s, Honeycrisp have taken apple connoisseurs by storm. They’re exceptionally juicy and crisp, with what many consider to be the perfect balance between sweet and tart. Dappled red, with yellow underneath, they’re excellent for eating, cooking and baking.

McIntosh
Medium-size, with red and green skin, tender white flesh, and a flavor that is both sweet and tart, McIntoshes are ideal for eating raw. If you cook with them, you may want to use a thickener: McIntoshes are superjuicy.

Red Delicious
What many of us picture when we hear the word “apple,” Red Delicious are best eaten raw. They’re deep red, with a thick skin and very crunchy, mildly sweet flesh. Shop carefully for firm, glossy, heavy-feeling specimens — older ones turn mealy.

Ginger Gold
A newer variety of apple, Ginger Golds are sweet, with a hint of tartness. They have yellow-gold skin with a red blush, and a firm texture. Best for snacking.

Jazz
Another newbie, Jazz is the result of Gala apples crossed with Braeburn. They’re tangy, sweet and crunchy. Round, with bright-red skin and yellow touches, these are best eaten raw.

Lady Alice
Very new to the market, Lady Alice is being hailed by some as the next Fuji. Crunchy, with a deep, complex flavor reminiscent of almonds, they’re great for eating but also work well in cooking. 

How to keep apples fresher longer

An old wives' tale that's actually true: One bad apple spoils the bunch. Damaged apples produce higher levels of ethylene, a hormone that stimulates the fruit around it to ripen faster. This is handy if you want to ripen green bananas, but not so great for apples that are already ripe. When buying, look for ones that are firm and shiny, with no visible bruises or tears and a mild aroma. Refrigerate immediately, and they'll stay good for at least 4 to 6 weeks.

30 amazing apple recipes