As I sat down to write this post, I did a quick Google search and was surprised to see that September is NOT National Apple Month like I thought. It’s actually in October. Oops. Well, whether or not it’s officially “Apple Month,” apples and September just seem to go together in my mind. It’s back to school time and apple picking is opening up at the local orchards. In fact, I just made our reservations to pick apples at Shady Brook Farm next week!
In anticipation of upcoming trips to the local apple orchards, I thought I’d share a few apple recipes from my files. Here are a few breakfast recipes that all use apples!
Apple Breakfast Cookies
Apple, spices and chopped nuts give these chewy morsels a warm flavor that’s perfect for fall. While they’re nicknamed “breakfast cookies” because of their appearance, they’re full of ingredients that are good for you. Unlike most recipes for breakfast baked goods, this one doesn’t require flour, white sugar or eggs. Mashed bananas, apple and honey provide natural sweetness and allow the ingredients to bind together. Oats give them a chewy texture and are a great source of fiber.
While these cookies are a wonderful complement to a cup of tea or coffee on a lazy weekend morning, they’re also ideal for a healthy and convenient on-the-go breakfast. One batch makes sixteen cookies, and a serving of one or two cookies will keep you full for quite a while. Make a batch on Sunday, and store the cookies in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. With no heating or utensils necessary, they’re quick and easy for kids and adults alike.
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed until creamy
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie trays with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat like THIS* (Amazon Affiliate Link).
- In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, applesauce, vanilla, spices and honey.
- Add the oats, stirring well. Allow mixture to sit for about 10 minutes to soften the oats.
- Stir in chopped walnuts and apple.
- Drop dough on cookie sheets using a small ice cream scoop. Slightly flatten balls of dough to create circles ¼ – ½” thick.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cookies are golden and slightly firm. Cookies are chewy, so they will not get crispy edges.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Makes approximately 16 cookies.
Apple Pie Smoothie
Made with good-for-you ingredients, this smoothie is one version of an apple pie that doesn’t come with a lot of fat or empty calories. The frozen banana makes it nice and creamy, the dried figs add a bit of extra sweetness, and the combination of spices give it a warm fall flavor despite being a cold treat. Throw in some heart-healthy walnuts, and you have a smoothie that works as breakfast, a snack or even when you have a sweet craving. And because it’s made with whole fruits instead of white sugar, you’ll actually feel satisfied instead of reaching for something else to eat a half hour later.
- 1 frozen banana, cut into quarters
- 1 Granny smith apple, quartered and cored
- 2 dried figs
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons water or milk
Optional: If you like your smoothie thinner, you can add more water or milk to the mixture.
Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides when necessary. Pour into a glass and top with an additional sprinkling of cinnamon and walnuts if desired.
Apple Walnut Pancakes
Who doesn’t like pancakes?! With this recipe, the warm spices of cinnamon and nutmeg combined with apple and walnuts create a flavor that is perfect for this time of year. White whole wheat flour and old-fashioned oats increase the fiber and nutrition content. (Substitute all-purpose flour if that’s all you have.) And instead of using a lot of sugar, unsweetened applesauce and chopped apple provide most of the sweet flavor in these pancakes. While still soft and moist, these pancakes are heartier than your typical pancake. Serve plain or with toppings such as butter, a dusting of powdered sugar or cinnamon, or (as shown here) with a bit of syrup and toasted walnuts.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ½ tablespoons natural, unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup buttermilk (Or, substitute buttermilk with just under one cup milk with one tablespoon white vinegar. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before adding to recipe.)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup diced walnuts
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- Add all ingredients except for walnuts and apples to a food processor and pulse until smooth. (Ingredients can also be mixed with an electric mixer but pancakes will retain more of the oatmeal texture.)
- Stir in diced walnuts and apple.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Lightly grease with butter.
- Scoop a small amount of batter onto the pan using a ¼ cup measuring cup or ice cream scoop. Allow batter to spread and brown on both sides. Repeat until all the batter has been used, regreasing the pan between each batch if necessary.
- Serve warm either plain or with toppings of your choice.
Serves 2-3 people.
Apple Oat Muffins
I mentioned this in a previous blog post, but I went through a phase years ago where I made a different healthy muffin every week for months. They all used yogurt, banana, ground oats, eggs and honey. And then I switched out other ingredients to keep things interesting. This was a recipe I made in the fall using apple, walnuts and warm fall spices.
- 2-1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 extra ripe banana, cut in quarters for easier mixing
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 3/4 cup Greek non-fat plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup walnuts, diced
- 1 large apple, peeled and diced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin with spray or butter.
- Using a food processor, grind oats until fine. They should have the consistency of flour.
- Add all other ingredients except apples, and pulse until the batter has a smooth consistency. (Add in walnuts with the apples if you prefer more of a crunch.)
- Stir in apple pieces to distribute evenly.
- Distribute batter evenly in the muffin tin.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tops gently bounce back when touched and a toothpick comes out of center of a muffin clean.
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges of each muffin to remove from tray.