Apples are the largest and most valuable fruit crop in Michigan and in 2017, Michigan growers will harvest an estimated 20.3 million bushels of apples from 825 family-run farms.

There are many healthy reasons for adding apples to your weekly shopping cart and incorporating them into your meals. The fiber, phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins that are found in apples truly make it a delicious food with key nutritional benefits that help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Eating just one apple a day, with the skin, will provide an average of 4.5 grams of fiber and only about 80 calories.

Nearly half of all Michigan apples are sold ready-to-eat (fresh) and the remaining are processed into other delicious products like applesauce, fresh apple cider and apple juice. Here are some delicious recipes to help us celebrate fall and our marvelous Michigan apples!

Hot Spiced Cider

Makes approx. 8 servings

  • 10 cups Michigan apple juice or cider
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 ounces spiced rum (optional)
  • Cinnamon sticks and Michigan apple slices to garnish

In a large pot heat the apple juice or cider, spices and rum (if using) over low/medium heat. Stir often to blend the spices will blend into the juice. Once hot, pour into large thermos to transfer to your tailgate party. Can also serve out of a slow cooker with a ladle. Garnish mugs with Michigan apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

Apple Orchard Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 8 cups spring greens
  • 4 fresh Michigan Gala or Honeycrisp apples, thin sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup glazed walnuts (recipe below)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)
  1. Toss salad greens and apple cider vinaigrette together in bowl.
  2. Arrange diced chicken on top of greens. Sprinkle cheese to cover.
  3. Arrange apple slices in circular rows to cover (hint: apple will oxidize, these should be placed just before serving. You may want to drop in lemon juice and water to prevent browning.)
  4. Sprinkle glazed walnuts to finish.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • 1 cup fresh apple cider
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkle of ground clove to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons canola oil

Mix together all ingredients (except oil) until sugar is dissolved. Add oil and mix before serving.
Yield: Approx. 1-1/2 cups. Will refrigerate up to one week.

Glazed Walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté walnuts until slightly toasted. Sprinkle with sugar and toss over heat one minute. Place warm walnuts onto parchment paper to cool.

Apple & Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches

Makes 6 servings

  • 4 cups cooked shredded pork butt roast (look for prepared pork in deli or meat case)
  • 1 cup smoky or mesquite bottled barbeque sauce
  • 1/3 cup Michigan Apple juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 medium Michigan Apples*, cored, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon-sugar
  • 6 crusty sandwich rolls, split
  1. Combine pork, barbecue sauce and apple juice concentrate in large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until heated through, stirring frequently.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add sliced apples and cinnamon-sugar. Cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes or until apples are tender.
  3. Divide pork mixture evenly over bottom half of rolls. Spoon cooked apples over pork. Cover with tops of rolls.

For more recipes and Michigan apple inspiration visit: