Apples are one of the most recognizable fruits to kids, and typically a favorite! Little ones (especially those who have lost their two front teeth!) may appreciate them cut into wedges, and some kids prefer the skin peeled off, but no matter how you slice it, kids love apples. They come in a seemingly endless range of varieties, some sweeter, some tarter, some softer, some crisper, but all crispy and refreshing. Apples are a good source of fiber (one medium apple has 4 grams) and vitamin C to boost the immune system. You’ll lose most fiber and crunch by peeling off the skin, so try to encourage kids to eat the skin as well.
Apple orchards are pretty easy to find in the New York tri-state area, and apple-picking is a great family activity that teaches kids about how apples grow. Plus, you’ll go home with bushels of fresh fruit for snacking and baking. While picking season is coming to an end, there are plenty of freshly picked apples available at farmers’ markets and orchards. Apples last well if kept cool in storage, so you can expect to find locally grown options abundant through the winter.
There’s nothing like taking a big bite out of a juicy autumn apple, and most people will agree that fresh apples don’t need much dressing up. However, for a more filling snack with a protein kick, try serving apple slices with a tablespoon of almond butter on the side for dipping, or with slices of low-fat cheese (cheddar goes particularly well). Also, apples are a perfect fruit for baking—apple pie is a classic for a reason! Unfortunately, pie crust is usually made with butter and/or shortening (high in trans fats), but there are healthier alternatives to apple pie. Simply baked apples, core removed and sprinkled with cinnamon, are a delicious treat for a cold night. Or, for a real crowd pleaser, check out our Apple Crisp recipe in Stacey Antine's Appetite for Life below. It’s got the scrumptious flavor of a traditional apple crisp, but with the added bonus of whole grains and no saturated fat!
There are a zillion varieties of apples—from Granny Smith to Braeburn to Gala. Whether you like them tart or sweet, you’ll love them in this recipe. Choose whatever variety appeals to you to make this treat. We’ve topped each serving with our Crunchy Granola and Walnuts recipe; because the apples are slightly warm after cooking, the result tastes just like an old-fashioned apple crisp—except now it has whole grains, fiber, and no saturated fat. The agave nectar adds extra sweetness in a natural way.
8 small apples
½ cup water
1 tablespoon agave nectar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Peel, core, and cut apples into 1-inch chunks.
- In a large saucepan, stir together the water and agave nectar; heat to boiling over medium heat. Add apples and cinnamon; cover and cook until liquid evaporates and apples are soft, 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove saucepan from heat. With a potato masher, mash apples until slightly chunky.
- To serve, spoon ½ cup of the apple mixture into each of 8 dessert bowls; top each with 2 tablespoons of granola.
Makes 8 servings (½ cup per serving)
Nutrition Facts per serving: 100 calories; 1.5g fat (0g sat fat, 1g poly, 0g trans fat); 0mg cholesterol; 22g carbohydrate (3g fiber, 15g sugar); 1g protein; 0mg sodium; 2% Daily Value (dv) vitamin A; 8% dv vitamin C; 2% dv calcium; 2% dv iron