One A Day

Easy options for apple season
Photos and Recipes by Marisa McClellan,

Though I adore the strawberries, plums and peaches of summer, by the time fall rolls around, I’m ready for apples. They’re at their peak in September and October—crisp, sweet and so, so crunchy (nothing like those mushy storage apples you find in grocery stores come January). Here in the Philadelphia region, we are fortunate to have access to an abundance of orchards, so our apples can go from tree to table in a matter of hours.

One of the things I find most delightful about apples is their versatility. They can be eaten for any meal, and happily fall in line with both sweet and savory treatments. Try them cooked into overnight oatmeal (a life-saver on busy mornings), as the star in a gingery lunchtime salad, or paired with onions and roasted under chicken.

Overnight (slow cooker) Apple Oatmeal

1     cup steel cut oats
4     cups water
2     apples, cubed
½     cup half and half
1     tsp. cinnamon
½     tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
½     tsp. salt

Before going to bed, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a medium-sized slow cooker. Turn on and allow to cook all night. In the morning, scoop into bowls and serve. Top with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if you feel it needs additional sweetening.

Roasted Chicken Breast with Apples and Onions

2     tbsp. olive oil, divided
2     crisp apples, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
1     small onion, cut into thin half-moons
2     bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1     tsp. kosher salt
4-5 grinds of black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  
  • Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a small roasting pan. Toss the apples and onions in the oil to coat. Set the chicken breasts on top of the apples and onions. Drizzle the remaining oil over the chicken and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.  
  • Cover with foil and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is brown on top and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Gingery Apple Salad

2   Ginger Gold apples
(or any other tart variety)
2   Gala apples (or any other
sweet, crisp variety)
2   tsp. lemon juice
½   cup Greek yogurt
3   tbsp. honey
2   inches of ginger root
½   cup chopped and toasted walnuts

  • Cut the apples into matchsticks (if you have a mandoline slicer, the julienne blade works really well for this) and put them in your serving bowl. Toss with the lemon juice and set aside.  
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and honey. Peel the length of ginger and grate it on a fine grater (a Microplane is ideal) into the yogurt and honey. Stir to combine and then pour over the apples. Toss to coat. Top individual portions with the toasted nuts and serve.