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Once the air begins to hint at the crispness to come with the fall season, thoughts turn to apple picking and delighting in pomaceous refreshment. Every gourmand should know how to turn common ingredients into the extraordinary, and this article will show you how. Apples are known for being a healthy choice, at 95 calories overall and gifting us with 14 percent of our daily vitamin C requirements. However, much ado is made of turning the fruit into sensational cobblers and pies. Considering all the options available, particularly the ones below, the time to revamp classic recipes or create new ones is now, using apples as a base or as a crisp, sweet or tart accent. Take a drive your local orchard for the freshest fruit possible. Once you are ready to experience a new taste, leave the ordinary behind and go on a culinary adventure with one of America’s most popular fruits.

Ancient grains – black bean and farro salad
Maintaining a gluten-free diet just got tastier with this salad that takes advantage of the forbidden fruit’s sweet nature. Start by boiling farro, an ancient grain with a nutty taste that is also popular with dieters seeking an alternative to brown rice. With undertones of barley and oat, apples make a perfect addition to this healthier salad. While farro and black beans are found on plenty of menus, pairing them with apples is quite unexpected, and the apple’s sweetness balances out the savory base of this side or main dish. Add avocado for creaminess, good fat and additional heartiness. One could top this delight with a cilantro vinaigrette for a mouthful of fall innovation.

Pork chops – apples and rosemary
Rosemary is a Mediterranean potherb that many sprinkle on bread dough or oven-baked potatoes for a savory flavor. It is a kitchen staple for a reason: it pairs well with almost every meat. Pork chops and rosemary seem to be a culinary match made in heaven. Now, add the fall perennial favorite, apples, to the mix for a bold culinary combination. The apples in this recipe can be peeled or unpeeled. When deciding, keep in mind that the peel has up to six times the antioxidants of the flesh alone. Once sliced, add olive oil and rosemary according to preference. Cook until golden brown. Serve as an easy weeknight side that is anything but ordinary.

Flatbread has been gaining popularity in recent years. The unleavened bread is traditionally cooked in a brick oven and can be eaten plain or dressed up. Flatbread pizza is a great way to cut carbs without sacrificing flavor, and apples are quite the extraordinary pizza topping once given a chance. Squash provides a base for an exceptional taste of autumn in this recipe. In place of tomato sauce, use generous amounts of olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Bake the apples and squash before adding hearty tears of mozzarella. Season with thyme for a new favorite.

Nothing is more appetizing than the aroma of a baking casserole at the end of a long day. Your oven may be used to baking apple pies, but an apple casserole is a surprising delight. This casserole recipe calls for sauerkraut, which may make the baker hesitant at first. However, whether using red or green apples, the finely chopped cabbage instills a tarty texture that allows apples to shine. Add honey, local cheeses, crackers and nuts for a meal that delights in any season.

Parties demand slaw. While traditionally cabbage has been the go-to base, apples provide a sweetness that cannot be beat.  There is a long-standing debate as to whether slaw requires mayo, and the choice is up to you with respect to taste and calories. One way to add creaminess without heaviness is via Greek yogurt. Grate the apples and carrots together or slice on a mandolin for a refined look. Mix in cabbage and enjoy as a grilling side dish or a quick snack.

Ajo Blanco
Soup recipes are great in any season. However, after coming indoors from a blistering day, the thought of heating up the kitchen may not be appetizing. Cold soups, such as gazpacho, offer the perfect antidote with their relative ease of preparation. Green grapes are traditionally used in this Ajo Blanco recipe. Substitute green –not red- apples for a tart punch. Cucumbers can also be added for a refreshing twist. The green base is astoundingly healthy and low in calories. Throw in a few tomatoes and a nice drizzle of olive oil for a taste inspired by Spain. If the soup feels more like a drink than a meal, add bread, toasted almonds or anything else you can imagine.

Take another look at apples for savory recipes that pack a flavorful punch! Like them apples? Start your journey to good taste and beloved classics by visiting the Distinctive Collection by Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate.