8 Smart Uses for Not-So-Great Apples

8 Smart Uses for Not-So-Great Apples

Kelli Foster
Oct 18, 2017
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

If you find yourself with a less-than-stellar bunch of apples, or extra-soft apples that have been sitting around for a few too many days, don't worry — it happens to the best of us. But don't toss them away! Not even the ones with the nasty bruises.

Apples that are past their prime might not be great for biting into as an afternoon snack, but they've still got some life left in them. Older apples are great for cooking! As the apples break down during cooking, the remaining liquid is released and the natural sugars concentrate, transforming them into something remarkably delicious. Here are 10 smart uses for your not-so-great apples.

1. Baked Apples Stuffed with Oatmeal & Brown Sugar

I like to think of baked apples as inside-out apple crisp. They're a simple, weeknight-worthy dessert with just a few ingredients. The apple core is scooped out and filled with a mixture of oats, brown sugar, and warm spices, then baked to warm perfection.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. How To Make Applesauce in the Slow Cooker

Even if your apples are old and starting to get a little mealy, that's OK! Cut away the bruised areas and get cooking. Once the apples cook down, they'll be totally delicious.

(Image credit: Tessa Huff)

3. Slow Cooker Apple Butter

If you think applesauce is great, just wait until you try apple butter. It's absolutely amazing! Apple butter is made by slow cooking apples past the point of applesauce, until it becomes a thick, glossy, glorious spread.

(Image credit: Naomi Robinson)

4. Glazed Apple Fritters

Fry just about anything and it will be infinitely improved — and that includes apples. Deep-fried, glazed apple fritters are the best kind of weekend project.

(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

5. Steel-Cut Oats with Maple-Roasted Apples and Cheddar

Stirring chunks of apple into oatmeal as it cooks is a nice way to add some extra flavor to your breakfast. Bonus: The apple acts as a natural sweetener. If you're feeling motivated, we recommend roasting the apples beforehand!

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

6. Double-Crust Apple Pie

Fall is not complete without apple pie! This just might be my personal favorite way to use up old apples.

(Image credit: Tessa Huff)

7. Apple Zucchini Muffins

Grating apples into muffin batter adds texture to them as well as makes them incredibly moist and tender.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

8. Chunky Pork and Apple Stew

Apples pair well with so many different kinds of soups and stews. They play especially nice with parsnips, butternut squash, and even kale. This savory pork stew gets a moment of sweetness from apples.

What's your favorite way to use up less-than-perfect apples?

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