In our society today, once fall hits it is officially the time of “pumpkin spice” everything. We’ve got the pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin candles, and every pumpkin-flavored treat you can imagine. Anything and everything you can consume or smell, has a pumpkin stamp on it and is sold and posted everywhere.
But I have to be honest with you…I don’t get the hype. There it is! I said it!
I really don’t enjoy the all pumpkin everything flavors and scents. It’s just like just okay… and to be a total health nut biotch, the pumpkin spice flavor that is in everything, doesn’t actually taste like pumpkin. If you were to actually eat a can of regular pumpkin, with no sugar or seasonings added, you would see it tastes like total sh**. I know this because I have tried it once, and I am all set with ever doing that again. Regular pumpkin needs a LOT of TLC when it comes to taste. Aka, all the pumpkin-flavored everything, is really just a lot of sugar and cinnamon with a hint of pumpkin.
APPLES on the other hand, APPLES are amazing. They actually taste good on their own, they are good FOR you, and they are the PERFECT add on to SO many dishes. Personally, I don’t think they get the attention they deserve at this time of the year. They are totally overlooked, underappreciated, and yet they are better in every way. So instead of going all pumpkin everything, I am going ALL APPLE EVERYTHING.
I want to show you just how awesome apples are and how many different ways you can cook them. I am going to show you my three favorite recipes with apples that are delicious, nutritious and will totally rock your world.
Note, these three recipes are not the A-typical recipes you would think of when you think of apples, aka apple pie, apple sauce, apple crisp. Instead, I wanted to show you what amazing dishes apples are a part of, to show how they truly can enhance or make a meal, without adding tons of sugar.
Also, they are all GREAT dishes to bring to your Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving this year!!
- Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
This is a great light soup recipe that is so incredibly easy to make and incredibly delicious.
1 large Butternut Squash
1-2 Green Apples
1 Celery Stick
3 cups of Vegetable or Chicken Broth
1 cup of Water
Salt and Pepper
Step 1: Chop up all the veggies to start. It’s always easier to have everything ready and prepped before you go. *When you are cutting the veggies try to cut them all in even small cubes so they cook evenly.
Peel and cut the Butternut Squash, Apples and Carrot.
Cut up the entire Onion and Celery.
Step 2: Saute the onion in some butter (1 or 2 tabs) in a big pot on the oven. Then once those have cooked a little add the celery and carrot until they soften.
Step 3: Add the chopped butternut squash and apples, 3 Cups of Broth and 1 Cup of Water.
Step 4: Bring mixture to a boil. Then once it is boiling, bring the heat of the stove to a low simmer. Then put on a timer for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Once the timer is done, add a pinch or two of Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, and Nutmeg. *For all of these spices it’s better to start small and gradually add some because if you add too much too quickly it can ruin a dish.*
Add Salt and Pepper to your taste.
Step 6: Use an immersion blender to blend all the vegetables together. *I don’t have this so I used a hand blender which made it a little more chunky, but no less delicious.
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
This is another delicious one that you can really play around with and make it to your own liking, but I will give you my most recent and favorite way of making it.
Apple Chicken Sausage *if you like to add meat
A nut *I used shredded almonds
Step 1: Start with cooking the quinoa on the stovetop with whatever directions the package gives you.
At the same time, prep the acorn squash. You start by cutting it in half and scooping the middle seeds and guts out like you would a pumpkin. Then you place them in a baking dish and put a tab of butter in the middle of each acorn squash. Put that in the oven at 375-400 and cook for 30 minutes. You should be able to poke it with a fork and that’s how you know it’s done.
Step 3: Chop up the onions and apple and saute them in olive oil over the stove on medium heat.
If you are adding the chicken sausage, cut this up into bite-size pieces and sauted, Then you can add it to the onions and apples once they soften a little.
Step 4: Once all that cooks a bit add the baby kale to saute it in.
Step 5: Once the mixture is cooked, add the quinoa, craisins, and the nut. Mix that all up then stuff the middle of the acorn squash with the mixture.
Step 6: You can bake this all in the oven for another 10 minutes if it’s hot, or if you are reheating for dinner 20-30.
- Baked Apples with Oatmeal Filling
I couldn’t NOT add a dessert-like dish to the blog or everyone would be totally uninterested. 😉
This dessert dish is pretty much as healthy as you can get when making an apple or pumpkin dessert, and MY GOODNESS was it delicious!!
4 Fuji Apples
Butter or Vegan butter
Step 1: Core the apples. I would suggest making your whole in the apple a little bigger than mine for extra stuffing… but I am a stuffing gal, so whatever your preference is!
Step 2: Mix in bowl raisins, rolled oats, chopped walnuts, honey, and cinnamon.
Step 3: Stuff your apples with the mix.
Step 4: Bake at 375 degrees for around 30-40 minutes, or until your apples get pretty soft.
*If you want to be extra and awesome, maybe add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. 😉
Once you try these out, I am pretty confident you will start to see why I think apples are SO awesome.