Apples are an easy go-to option when you're looking for a healthy, packable snack. They're high in fiber and low in sugar and calories. But beyond the simple eat-and-go option for apples, they are also great to use in all sorts of recipes from sweet treats to salads to roasts. Check out 10 of our favorite apple varieties and a few recipes we love!
1. Granny Smith: These tart, bright green beauties are crisp and hold up very well when baked. Plus, they're easy to find at grocery stores and markets. Try pairing a Granny Smith with spicy and rich flavors. Their tartness cuts through heavy richness and gives a dish some bite! Use Granny Smiths in this tangy yet indulgent Apple Cinnamon Raisin Grilled Cheese for the perfect balance of bright apple flavor and comforting, melty cheese.
2. Red Delicious: Another classic, easy-to-find apple variety, Red Delicious apples are especially sweet, mild and juicy. However, these are not great apples for cooking, as the flesh will not hold up and instead become mealy and mushy. Use Red Delicious raw in salads and snacks. They add the perfect sweetness to Grilled Chicken and Fruit Salad.
3. Fuji: Developed in Japan, these multicolored apples are also multifunctional. With a dense, crisp, sweet-tart flavor, Fujis can be used in a variety of dishes. Stored at room temperature, they also develop better flavor over long-term storage. Fujis are great eaten out of hand and in salads, or you can even try making your own applesauce.
4. Gala: Galas have a thin skin over crisp, juicy, semisweet flesh. The light aromatic flavor of these is more delicate than intense. They are great as a snack, in a light salad, or paired with a soft, mild cheese. Galas perfectly pair with Brie in a Turkey Wrap with Apples and Brie.
5. Honeycrisp: Find Honeycrisp apples seasonally in the fall. They're well known for being incredibly juicy, crisp and firm. Honeycrisp apples are too good not to eat right out of your hand, but these large red-and-yellow flecked apples are great to use in baking and also hold up well to caramelizing. Fall is the perfect time to make these Autumn Apple Oat Bars with some seasonal Honeycrisp apples.
6. McIntosh: Grown in the northeast and Great Lakes region, this apple is one of the most popular and easy-to-find apples in the US. Eat these crisp, juicy, sweet apples in the fall when they are fresh, or use in sauces. Their flesh doesn't hold up well in pies or baked dishes. Pair McIntosh apples with seasonal cranberries for a sweet and tart sauce in this Cranberry Apple Relish.
7. Pink Lady: Pink Lady apples hold true to their name with a light red, almost pink, color. Crisp with a mixed sweet and tart flavor that is slightly tannic, Pink Lady apples will hold their shape and flavor when baked into a cake or muffin. Apple Cinnamon Raisin Muffins make a great healthy breakfast.
8. Ida Red: Increasingly popular, Ida Reds are great multipurpose apples. Very firm, crisp, and juicy, the texture makes them versatile in baking and cooking. Ida Reds have a sweetly tart, slightly spicy flavor, too. Sweet and spicy flavors meet perfectly in Skinny Apple Pie Cake to feature Ida Red's flavor and texture.
9. Golden Delicious: Yellow and sweet, Golden Delicious apples are another one of the most popular and highest produced apples in the US. With a very mild flavor, they can stand on their own or in salads. It's possible to bake and cook with them if you prefer a softer bite to your pie or dish. Try Golden Delicious in a comfort food dish, like Apple Superfood Oatmeal, that cooks quickly.
10. Cortland: The crisp, white, sweetly tart flesh of Cortlands are more resistant to browning than other apple varieties. While they make a great multipurpose apple, Cortland's flavor is especially good in salads and snacks. They will also hold their shape in baking. To lighten up an old favorite, add Cortlands to a healthy version of chicken salad for a balance of fresh crunch with creamy goodness.