My 5 Favorite Apple Recipes for Fall.

Now that it’s almost October, I’m starting to get on board with all the fall things! The weather has turned a little bit cooler and the leaves are starting to change, so I’m starting to accept the fact that summer is over and fall is here.

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Yesterday my friend and I picked apples and  now I have no less than 50 apples to use up. So, here are my favorite apple-based recipes in case you pick up some fresh fruit, too! These recipes scream fall to me and are tried-and-true. Some of them are pretty indulgent, so enjoy in moderation.

Easy Crock Pot Apple Butter

If I have to choose one apple recipe to make each year, it’s this one!! It’s fool-proof. I’ve been making this for years and it always turns out fantastic. It’s so easy to do because I let it cook in the crock pot overnight. In fact, I made this last night and woke up in the middle of the night to the sweet aroma of apples and cinnamon. I LOVE the way it makes my house smell, and the taste is even better! Make a large quantity and freeze some of it for later.

The Best Apple Pie Ever. 

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Now, if my husband could pick just one apple recipe for me to make, it would be this one. I use my one-minute homemade pie crust to hold in those sweet, juicy apple slices. They get tossed in a rich butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture before baking, and some of that lovely mixture gets brushed on the crust. It is sooooo ridiculously good.

Apple Crisp Muffins

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Super sweet muffins with real chunks of apple in the batter, then finished with an oat topping reminiscent of an apple crisp (hence the name). There’s enough sweetness that these can be dessert instead of breakfast!

Autumn Chopped Salad

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This salad is ahhhhmazing. There’s lots of yummy things like crunchy romaine, feta, peanuts, cranberries, bacon, a pear, and (of course) an apple! Toss the whole thing in a combination of poppyseed dressing and balsamic vinegar (seriously, so delicious) and dive in!

Easy Crock Pot Apple Sauce

Here’s another super easy crock pot recipe. You can make this refined sugar free by simply omitting the sugar. Like the apple butter, it all cooks down in the crock pot, but the apple sauce takes about half the time (6 hours). When it’s done it looks like this:

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What is your favorite apple recipe? Let me know in the comments!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

If you love Starbuck’s pumpkin spice lattes as much as I do, you desperately need to run to your kitchen and whip up this cozy fall beverage now. This homemade version makes enough for 2 pumpkin spice lattes at a fraction of the cost (almost $4 for a tall in the store? Yikes!) and only requires a few extra minutes worth of effort to create. Added bonus: you can enjoy this at any time, without ever having to get out of your pj’s on a chilly Saturday morning. Or any morning, for that matter!

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If fall could be encased in a coffee mug, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, with its subtle hints of cinnamon and pumpkin, does just that. No one flavor is overly pronounced, but instead they blend together perfectly. Coffee, milk, pumpkin, vanilla, and array of fall spices come together to create THE hot beverage of the season. Move over, apple cider, the PSL is here!

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I made this one day after having bought a PSL from Starbucks the day before, and I was so shocked with how similar the two tasted. If given a taste test of the two side by side, I do not think I would be able to tell the difference. The ratio of this particular recipe is spot-on, unlike a few others I have tried in the past. This recipe makes enough for 2 large lattes, but can easily be halved for one person. I used skim milk and did not add whip cream to keep the drink light, but you can adjust the recipe to suit your tastes!

The one step that should NOT be skipped or altered is blending the mixture. Many recipes will tell you that whisking it is a perfectly fine substitute; I can tell you from experience, however, it is not. You need to use a blender (or immersion blender) to really disintegrate all of the pumpkin into the milk, otherwise you will be left drinking what seems like coffee with pulp in it. Not appealing, I know!

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Once the milk is blended with the pumpkin and spices, it will be very frothy. Pour the desired amount of coffee into a mug and top with the foamy, spiced milk. That’s all it takes to make your very own PSL at home!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (for two)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk (your choice–I used skim)
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • Scant 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 2/3 cup of very strong brewed coffee, which is what I used)

1). Brew coffee/espresso.

2). In a saucepan, combine milk, pumpkin, and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender (or immersion blender) and process for 15 seconds until foamy. *Do not skip this step!*

3). Pour the espresso/coffee into two mugs. Add the milk mixture on top. Enjoy!

Servings: 2. Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 152 Carbs: 23g Fat: 0g Protein: 9g Sugar: 22g Fiber: 1g   WW PointsPlus: 3 

Recipe adapted from http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/pumpkin-spice-latte/

 

Crock Pot Apple Butter

One of my favorite fall activities is going apple picking. My good friend and I recently made the 90 minute trip up to the local orchards to pick apples, and I used a large portion of those apples to make this fabulous recipe. Did you know you can make apple butter effortlessly in the crock pot? The only time-consuming part is slicing the apples, but if you have one of those peel/slice/core machines it doesn’t take long at all! If you don’t have one, you really should get one…they are amazing!

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Back to the recipe. All you have to do is combine sliced apples with some spices and sugar, and the crock pot does the rest. It cooks down so well that in the morning all it takes is just a quick swirl of a fork or whisk and the apples completely disintegrate into a jam-like consistency. The worst part about this recipe is having to wait 12 hours for the final product. But the best part of this recipe, other than the delicious apple butter,…

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…It makes your ENTIRE house smell like a holiday candle. I let this cook overnight and we woke up to the most amazing autumnal smell of cooked apples and cinnamon.

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This recipe makes a lot of apple butter, which is perfect because you can freeze apple butter to have year round or give it to friends in a cute jar as a gift. Mine made 11 cups!! We love having homemade apple butter at our disposal year round. We seem to use it often on top of homemade breakfast items such as biscuits, pancakes, french toast, muffins, etc. If you are really feeling bold, toss a spoonful of it into a milkshake. My husband makes himself milkshakes all the time and does this. It tastes like apple pie!

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An important note about this recipe: it is easily adaptable and you should feel completely comfortable tweaking it to your taste. I suggest starting with the recipe below and adjusting from there. You will want to add more sugar based on the tartness of the apples you use, and you may want a stronger flavored apple butter. I always taste the apple butter after the initial 9-11 hour cooking window and add more spices then. Also, I have used various types of freshly picked apples in the past and it has always turned out amazing!

It is October, fall is here, and you MUST make this recipe!

Crock Pot Apple Butter

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/2 lbs of apples (about 15 for me), peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 2-2 3/4  cups of sugar (add more if you have very tart apples…I usually start with less sugar and add more if needed)
  • 2 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Spray your crock pot with cooking spray. Place chopped apples in the crock pot and combine with sugar and spices. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.

2. Cook on low for 9-11 hours (I always do this overnight). It should be dark brown and thickened. Uncover and cook on low (I sometimes kick this up to high) for 1 hour or longer until thickened to desired consistency.

3. Allow to cool; place in containers. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Serving size: 2 tbsp. Nutritional Information per 2 tbsp: Calories: 31 Carbs: 8g Fat: 0g Protein: 0g Sugar: 8g Fiber: 1g

WW PointsPlus: 1

Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/all-day-apple-butter-2/detail.aspx