Apple season—and the bounty of delicious healthy apple recipes it inspires—is not something I take for granted. Where I grew up in California, we had two seasons: summer and slightly colder summer. The leaves never changed, I never owned a coat, and we never had a real excuse to fire up our oven. Naturally, this meant apple season wasn’t much of a thing either. Sure, there were apples at the grocery store—I’d snack on a Granny Smith or Red Delicious from time to time—but because our selection was limited to such basic varieties, I never fully understood all the hoopla surrounding the popular autumn fruit.
Until I moved to the East Coast. On a trip to the farmers market one late-September afternoon, I finally realized just what I’d been missing out on. Faced with mountains of apples, many of which I’d never even heard of, I wandered around tasting samples, trying them one by one. Each local variety was more delicious than the last—definitely way better than the waxy, watery fruit I’d known as a kid. I added more and more and more to my bag until it was so heavy I was lopsided.
That first fall I holed up in my dorm room kitchen for days, making everything from pies to pork chops with my giant sack of apples. Ever since, apple season has become something of a ritual for me. I drag my friends upstate to go apple picking, then spend weeks cooking and testing the apple recipes I’ve been eyeballing all year long.
This year I’ve got my eye on these 33 healthy apple recipes, each full of fall flavor and fiber. From breakfast and lunch to dinner and dessert, these ideas will make it easy to get your apple a day—and then some.
A note about the word healthy here: We know that healthy is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, but it’s also a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being healthy, we’re primarily talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But it also depends on your preferences, your culture, what’s accessible to you, and so much more. We selected these recipes with those basic criteria in mind, while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.