Katie's Healthy Bites: My Ode to Apples

by in Healthy Recipes, September 20, 2009

We’re kicking off Apple Week here at Healthy Eats, and I thought what better way than to share some fun facts and a few recipes (both savory and sweet) that star this simple fruit. Make it a day of apples.

For breakfast: Buckwheat Pancakes with Applesauce
For lunch: Chicken Salad (with an apple and walnut crunch)
For dinner: Balsamic Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Apples

But first up, some apple trivia (I’m a nerd for this stuff!). Did you know…

  • Apples are member of the rose family, which maybe that why they smell so yummy when you take a bite!
  • The world’s top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.
  • The top apple-producing U.S. states are Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia.
  • Apples ripen faster at room temperature (and I think they taste better when they’re not stored in the fridge).
  • Keep the peel on. Most of the fiber and antioxidants are in the skin.
  • Bobbing for apples is a classic fall game. They float because they’re 20 to 25% air!
  • We grow an estimated 7,500 varieties of apples all around the world.
  • And in case you were wondering, my favorites are Honey Crisp, Pink Lady and Granny Smith…what are yours?

Now on the to good stuff — recipes! We’ve all heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, they aren’t a cure-all food, but they are a healthy and easy item to use in many meals, especially now while they’re in season.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Fresh Applesauce
Serves: 4 (2 pancakes each)


  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg

In a large bowl, stir together spelt flour, buckwheat flour, cinnamon and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients — milk, oil, honey and egg.  Back in the larger bowl, mix together the wet and dry ingredients with a wisk to avoid clumping.

Heat a griddle or sauté pan over medium heat.  Coat with cooking spray or vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using about 1/8 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides, and serve hot with warm applesauce (recipe below).

Serves: 4


  • 4 sweet apples (like Fuji or Honey Crisp)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1 tsp agave*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a saucepan, combine apples, water, honey and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then puree in a food processor to your desired consistency. Dish out on to your freshly cooked buckwheat pancakes.
*If your apples are really sweet you may not need to add any sweetener

Nutrition Info (for pancakes and applesauce combined):
Calories: 245; Fat: 6 grams; Saturated Fat: .95 grams; Protein: 7.3 grams; Cholesterol: 61 milligrams; Sodium: 354 milligrams; Fiber: 4.3 grams

Tarragon Chicken, Apple, Cranberry & Walnut Salad Sandwich
Serves: 4


  • 8 slices whole-grain bread
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup Granny Smith apple, skin on and diced
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted, roasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

Combine the cooked chicken, yogurt, Dijon mustard, apples, dried cranberries and walnuts in a bowl and mix well. Split chicken salad into four equal portions, and serve each portion with two slices of toasted whole-grain bread.

Nutrition Info:
Calories: 362; Fat: 8.25 grams; Saturated Fat: 1.6 grams; Carbohydrates: 44 grams; Cholesterol: 74 milligrams; Sodium: 497 milligrams; Fiber: 7.16 grams

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Apples & Butternut Squash
Serves: 4


  • 5 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (5 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cups apples, skin on and cubed (I like Golden Delicious)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken in a bowl or seal in a plastic bag. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine half of the oil, the Dijon, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and pepper. Pour the mixture over chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the squash and apples. Toss the apples with maple syrup and lemon juice. In a baking dish, coat squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake covered for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the apple mixture. Bake uncovered for another 30 minutes or until squash and apples are tender. Stir occasionally.

While squash and apples finish cooking, remove the chicken from refrigerator. Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Cook chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until cooked through. This works great on the grill as well.

Serve with warm squash and apples.

Nutrition Info:
Calories: 335.5; Fat: 9.15 grams; Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams; Protein: 34.6 grams; Carbohydrates: 31.5 grams; Cholesterol: 82 milligrams;  Sodium: 324 milligrams; Fiber: 4.5 grams

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, owns HealthyBites, LLC and competed in season 5 of The Next Food Network Star.

More posts from .

Similar Posts

5 Ways to Cook Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are naturally good for you — here are five ways to cook them. ...

Comments (19)

  1. Lillia Moreaux says:

    Here is my gluten free recipe, though I never measure anything as it is all in the consistancy of the batter.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut up into chunks four apples. Grease pan with butter. Line the bottom of a square baking pan, and then eveny put the apples, raisins, cinnamon and Florida Crystals dehydrated cane juice sweetner, and a couple dots of butter here and there in the bottom of the pan.

    Next combine the sweetener or sugar and one stick of butter, unmelted, add a cup of eggs and vanilla. Then add a cup and a half of brown rice flour, half a cup of millet flour, about a cup of egg whites or Egg Beaters, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla extract, a teaspoon give or take of them. One tablespoon aluminum free baking powder and mix together with that hand mixer you used on the eggs, sugar and butter.
    Do not turn the cake over onto anything, just refrigerate.
    This is one terrific cake if I do say so myself. Be careful, you may like it too much. I bake it for my boys, but only eat it before a workout for some umph in my energy.

  2. runner says:

    apple is one of the best fruits……just keep it in mind….avoid to peel them !!!only when you know that its free of pesticides

  3. Ani says:

    where does the fat in the apple sauce come from?

  4. Ani says:

    Never mind. Now realize nutrient breakdown includes pancakes. ~D

  5. andrewtan says:

    Because of the presence of pesticides, I am hesitant to eat unpeeled apples even though I know most of the antioxidants are in the peel. Can the chemicals be effectively washed out?

  6. Linda S says:

    The only apples I eat are the gala and I have to peel them because I can't chew or digest the peels.

  7. Rusty says:

    I had to do the same thing one year with my only peach tree… I got 30 dozen peaches from one tree! Just the best ones. I stood on my station wagon to reach the branches & tossed them to the kids waiting on the ground. They would catch them & sort them into bags according to how nice they were. Gave lots to neighbors but the rest were turned into 'anything peach' I could think of for the freezer. Even canned some sliced peaches. Upside down, right side up & inside out peach cakes. LOL! But they were delicious in winter! Did the same with my apples but had less at the time. I had red delicious & macintosh.
    So I can relate to your apple day… More people should get back to some of the old ways again. They were lots of fun together & gave us fresh, holsome food for our families. Can't ask for more. I miss it all since I moved 21 yrs. ago.

  8. katie says:

    If you are worried about the pesticides try to buy organic. You can also buy from a farmers market or other source…talk to the farmer…even if the produce is not certified organic some local farms practice organic growing methods but cannot afford the certification.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>