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How do you like them apples?

September 20, 2018

Get ready for applesauce and apple pie – it’s pickin’ time

Lori Mager, MBA, RDN, LDN, CDE, Clinical Nutrition Manager at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH)

Girl holding an apple in her hands

Apples are among the healthiest of snacks and can be used in a variety of recipes, raw or cooked. At just 80 to 90 calories for a medium apple, this fruit has been shown to aid in weight loss, protect against diabetes, prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce cholesterol. Apples reduce the risk of asthma, improve digestive health and have even been shown to have anti-cancer effects.

You may wonder which apples are best to bake a pie, or maybe you have another recipe in mind. The graphic below from Sodexo at NCH gives apple facts, varieties and delicious ways to use them.

Once you have an idea of which apple will be best for the recipe you have in mind, select an orchard close to home by searching online. Set out on a cool day and make it a family event. When arriving at the orchard, you’ll most likely be given instructions on how to pick apples without damaging the tree.

Here are a few tips:

  • Give the apple a little twist before pulling it off the branch.
  • Never shake or bend down the branch to pick an apple.
  • Use a tote, plastic bag or basket to carry the apples to avoid bruising them.
  • If you’ve picked more than you can use, share with neighbors so they don’t go to waste.

There are numerous recipes to try with all the varieties of apples available in our area. From caramel apples and apple tarts to apple slices, salads, cider, cake and juice, the possibilities are endless.

You can pair raw apples with nuts and a drizzle of honey for a protein and carbohydrate boost. Or how about eating an apple the good old-fashioned way: all by itself, right off the tree?

Try this recipe for a fruity, fall dessert that will feed the whole family.

Apple Couscous

Serves: 6


  • 4 oz apple juice
  • 5 oz water
  • 1 McIntosh, or similar apple, with skin, diced 1/4 inch
  • 1 cup couscous (dry)
  • 1 tbsp raisins, seedless
  • 1 tbsp dates, pitted, diced 1/4 inch
  • 1 dash each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
  • 1/8 tsp salt


Note: Prepare as close to mealtime as possible to avoid a sticky product.

Bring apple juice and water to a boil.

Stir in couscous, apples, raisins, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Mix well. Remove from heat. Cover tightly and let stand 10 to 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

Apple infographic

Courtesy: Sodexo at NCH