October is National Apple Month, so whether you prefer red or green, sweet or tart, grab your favorite type of apple and try one (or all) of these delicious apple recipes.
Apple Cran Granola Bars
Nonstick cooking spray
1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped dried apples
1/4 -1/3 cup apple juice or cider
1/3 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup slightly chopped walnuts
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/3 cup steel-ground oats
1/2 cup Agave Nectar *
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
*Light Corn Syrup may be substituted for Agave Nectar, using same measurement
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the inside of a 9-inch-square baking pan or dish with heavy foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Generously coat foil with cooking spray. Set pan aside.
2. Combine apples, juice, and cranberries in small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat about 4 minutes or until juice has evaporated and fruit is softened. Remove from heat; set aside.
3. Place quick-cooking oats, walnuts, wheat germ, and steel-cut oats in a single layer in a large, shallow baking pan. Bake in preheated oven about 15 minutes or until lightly brown, stirring once halfway through baking. Remove from oven; cool slightly.
4. Meanwhile, stir together *agave nectar, brown sugar, and oil in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Gently simmer over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
5. Immediately, stir in salt and baking soda until mixture just begins to foam. Then stir in oat mixture until evenly coated. Then stir in the apple mixture. Transfer to the prepared baking pan. Press mixture down firmly with the back of a spatula or metal spoon lightly sprayed with nonstick coating.
6. Bake about 20 minutes or until top begins to lightly brown. Cool completely in baking pan. Use foil to lift granola out of pan. Cut into bars; remove from foil. Store in a single layer in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Makes 16 bars.
Apple Cheddar Pizza with Roasted Pecans
1 (12 oz. can) refrigerated, ready-made pizza dough
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3 large apples, thinly sliced
1 cup apple juice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat 14-inch pizza pan with cooking spray. Press dough into pizza pan. Cook apples in apple juice until tender. Drain off juice and reserve. Place apple slices on dough. Dissolve cornstarch in apple juice, cinnamon, and honey. Cook over medium heat until clear. Spread sauce over apples. Sprinkle pecans on top. Top with cheese. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Apple Almond Tart
1 sheet frozen pie crust
1/2 cup almond paste (5 ounces)
1 large egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
5 cups apples, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apricot preserves, heated
Preheat oven to 425 F. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Press dough out on to rectangle on baking sheet. Prick dough all over with fork tines to prevent bubbling. Bake until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes; remove from oven. Meanwhile, in food processor, combine almond paste, egg and sugar. Process until smooth, fold in 2 cups apples. Spread mixture over dough. Layer top with remaining sliced apples. Brush with apricot preserves; broil on high until apples begin to wilt, about 1 minute. Cut into squares and serve.
Smokey Apple & Butternut Squash Soup
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large onions, finely chopped (about 4-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks (about 6 cups)
1 pound sweet apples, peeled and cut into chunks (about 3-1/2 cups)
1 cup apple juice (more if necessary)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat oil and butter in large saucepan; add onions and chili powder; cook and stir until onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add squash, apples, apple juice, chicken broth, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Cover and cook on low heat until apples and squash are very soft, about 30 minutes. Cool. Puree with an immersion blender or a food processor; return to saucepan. Add additional apple juice or broth, if needed. Garnish with toasted pecans, sour cream swirls and thin apple slices, if desired.
Yield: 7 cups
Recipes and photos courtesy of the U.S. Apple Association