5 apple recipes to fall for

Maybe it's just me, but I think one of the most perfect dates is apple picking. It combines a few of my favorite things: being outside, doing something active (OK, maybe I'm not burning as many calories as I would on the elliptical machine, but still better than watching Sex & the City reruns) and immersing myself in food.

The first fall Dan and I dated, we went apple picking. I plan to continue that tradition this year. We're trying to eat more local food, so we're going to pick loads of apples and I'm going to cook up some delicious apple recipes.

I'll be sure to make a large batch of Apple Confit and freeze it for snacks. It takes little time to put together, then becomes meltingly tender in the slow cooker. Top with low-fat vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of toasted walnuts for dessert. Serve with low-fat yogurt and granola or muesli for breakfast.

Active time: 15 minutes | Total: 2 1/4-4 3/4 hours

3 pounds firm cooking/baking apples, such as Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Rome or Golden Delicious
1/4 cup sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peel the apples and slice 1/4 inch thick. (You should have about 9 cups.) Place the apples in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste, and toss to coat well. Cover and cook until the apples are very tender and almost translucent, but not pureed, 2 to 2 1/2 hours on high or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on low. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate until chilled (or for up to 4 days).

Makes 8 servings, about 1/2 cup each.

Per serving: 98 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 4 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 168 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Fiber (16% daily value). 2 Carbohydrate Servings. Exchanges: 1 1/2 fruit.

  • I love all things pork and Pork Cutlets with Maple-Spiced Apples & Red Cabbage is no exception. In the tradition of Japan, these pork cutlets are first dredged in flour, then dipped in beaten egg and finally rolled in panko breadcrumbs before being cooked. Although tonkatsu are usually deep-fried, our version is baked to cut down on fat.
  • Sauteed kale is one of our favorite fall side dishes. Apples give this version a touch of sweetness.
  • Red & White Salad is perfect for entertaining-beautiful and well-balanced. I'm quite fond of the dressing in this dish; whenever I make it for people, they always want the recipe.
  • Of course I'll make Deep-Dish Apple Pie-we really "heart" pie in our house. And this one has a tender, flaky crust that uses half whole-wheat flour so I don't feel as guilty about enjoying a piece.

By Carolyn Malcoun

When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.

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