Amazing ways to cook with apples

Apples are one of the easiest fruits to eat. You can just pick one up and chomp down if you need a quick snack. They're also very healthy — they have lots of fiber and can even help you work out longer. But sometimes, eating a raw apple isn't enough. If you want to be a little more creative with your apples, check out these great recipe ideas.

Bake them into tasty apple pie bites

Apple pie is delicious, but let's face it — sometimes, you just don't have the time or desire to bake an entire apple pie. Luckily, there's another option: Apple pie bites. They fit into your mouth, can be made in under 30 minutes, and only require a few ingredients. You don't even need to be an expert pastry maker to master these. 

All you need is brown sugar, apples, Pillsbury crescent rolls, butter, and some spices. Check out this recipe fromThe Blond Cook for step by step instructions. She even includes drool-worthy pictures for each  step. These are great for fall potlucks or kids snacks. You can also just keep them around the house for when you want a sweet treat you can feel good about. After all, they're made with apples. That has to count for something, right? 

Bake them into bread

If you're looking for a fall sweet bread to mix things up, consider baking up a tasty and satisfying apple bread. It's a great way to use up your apples. 

There are many different apple bread variations to choose from, as well. You can go the traditional route and make a simple yet delectable apple bread with a touch of cinnamon. Or you can mix it up and add orange zest, pecans, or cream cheese topping. It's the perfect fall potluck or breakfast treat.

Dry them to eat as snacks

If you're intimidated by the idea of making dried apple snacks, don't be. You don't need a fancy dehydrator to make apple chips or dried apples. All you need are apples and an oven, with the optional addition of cinnamon. If you have a mandolin slicer, that'll help you get thin slices of apple, but if not, a knife will do as well.

Check out this recipe for dried apple chips from The Pioneer Woman. She suggests using different types of apples and noticing the different star shapes you can see in the middle. You can sample the varying flavors and see which you prefer, as well. Pro tip: If you want to make dried apples rather than crispy chips, just leave them in the oven for less time.

Make them into popcorn balls

Popcorn balls are the perfect decadent treat. Bring them to the office and wow your coworkers, or bring them to a Halloween potluck party for an irresistible dessert. Adding apples to them makes them even better, and a tiny bit healthier, as well. 

Check out this recipe from The Food Network for apple caramel popcorn balls. The recipe recommends making them the size of tennis balls, but really you could make them bite-sized, as well. 

Brew up some homemade cider

One of the best things about fall is apple cider. It's the perfect drink to warm you up when the temperature starts to drop. You could head out to the store and buy a bottle of pre-made cider,  but why would you, when the homemade version is so much fresher? 

Try this recipe from Tastemade. They recommend boiling fresh apples with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. But it's your cider, so you can mix it up if you want. Get creative and add allspice, anise, vanilla, or ginger. Want an alcoholic version? Add bourbon or rum to the mix. 

Turn them into monsters

What's a better Halloween treat than caramel apples? Monster apples, of course! They're not only fun, they're healthy, as well. And they even have googly eyes!

Isn't it cool that you can take apples, nut butter, strawberries, and sunflower seeds, and make them into these goofy faces? 

For a variation, try spreading jam in the mouth instead of nut butter and replacing the sunflower seeds with slivered almonds.

Put them in your pancakes

A plate of hot apple pancakes is one of the best fall breakfasts you can make. Pancakes are quick and simple to put together, and adding apples gives them an extra crunch and a bit of sweetness, too.  

You can make your pancakes with apple rings at the center, or alternatively, put applesauce in the batter and then add small chunks of apples in before you cook them.  

Cook these for a surprise breakfast in bed for your partner, or make them on a lazy Sunday morning when you can take time to lounge around and enjoy yourself. 

Stuff them with cinnamon rolls

Have you ever noticed that apples are the perfect size and shape to hollow out and make little cups? But once they're hollow, what do you put in them? 

Cinnamon rolls, of course! Cinnamon roll-filled apples may sound like a fancy dish, but it's really quite simple to make. They only contain four ingredients — apples, butter, cinnamon, and a roll of frozen cinnamon rolls. As long as you don't tell anyone where you got the cinnamon rolls, your guests will be both satiated and impressed. 

Make them into slaw

The sweet tanginess of apples will make your coleslaw even more scrumptious and interesting. Apples are the perfect compliment to the cabbage and carrots because of their crunchy texture and fresh flavor. You can just add apples to a traditional coleslaw, or get even more creative by adding cranberries and almonds.  

Serve apple coleslaw as a side at your next family barbecue, put it in your pulled pork sandwiches, or eat at a picnic in the park with a turkey sandwich and potato chips. 

Add them to your stuffing

One of my favorite things to eat on Thanksgiving is stuffing! It is so warm and filling I could almost skip the turkey. But it's also very heavy. A great way to lighten it up is to add apples. This simple stuffing includes onions, stuffing cubes, apples, and celery, for a sweet, tangy, and still comforting stuffing. Throw in some fresh herbs as well for good measure.

Put them in your sausage

Add chicken sausage with apples to your breakfast of eggs and toast or put it into a hamburger bun and eat it for dinner alongside your apple coleslaw. While you can buy chicken sausage at the store, it's much healthier and yummier to make your own. It's not difficult, either. 

Check out this recipe from Chicken Farmers of Canada. They recommend using sage and onions in your sausage. But you could also switch out the sage for maple syrup, thyme, or rosemary for a slightly different flavor.