8 Easy, Nutritious Ways To Eat Apples at Breakfast—From Gut-Friendly Apple Bread to Anti-Inflammatory Cider Muffins

Photo: Stocksy/Ina Peters
There are so many reasons to delight in the arrival of cooler temperatures and sweater weather, but few are sweeter than the joy of fresh, crisp fall apples. And while you could make pies and gratins and compotes galore with your newly-found orchard haul, one of the best ways to utilize these protein-packed, gut-friendly fruits is to put them in your breakfast.

Whether you’re a home cook or a critically-acclaimed chef, apple-based breakfast recipes are hard to beat. “As a kid growing up on Long Island, I loved making apple cider doughnuts from apples we picked up at the farmstand in the fall,” says Chef John Doherty of BLACKBARN in New York City. “So when I first opened BLACKBARN, I immediately began to make apple cider doughnuts tossed in cinnamon sugar to order. The only thing left to do is dip them in a caramel sauce and have a good espresso.” Talk about the dreamiest fall morning meal... ever.

While apple cider donuts are an October breakfast classic, to help give your first meal of the day some variety, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite nutrient-rich apple recipes for you to experiment with throughout the fall season and beyond. Thanks to the plethora of gut-friendly fiber found in apples, as well as the protein from other ingredients found in these delicious dishes (oats! nuts! yogurt!), you’ll be on your way to a super energized and delicious day.

8 easy apple breakfast recipes packed with health benefits

1. Cinnamon Apple Skyr Bowl

Photo: Getty Images/Cavan Images

This recipe is packed with protein and creamy deliciousness thanks to the use of vanilla Skyr, a thick and nutrient-dense Icelandic style of yogurt. Top it with apples and honey, or get fancier and add some of your favorite nuts, seeds, and oats for even more protein, magnesium, and fiber. No matter which way you’re headed, the crisp crunch of apples paired with yogurt is a winning combination.

Get the recipe: Cinnamon Apple Skyr Bowl

2. Apple muffins

Photo: Cookie and Kate

We couldn’t leave you without at least one apple muffin recipe, and this one from Cookie and Kate is both delicious and nutritious. Made with 100 percent whole wheat flour (read: major fiber and protein) and sweetened with maple syrup or honey, this recipe yields fluffy, irresistible muffins that you’ll want every morning... and evening, and afternoon.

Get the recipe: Healthy apple muffins

3. Apple cider donuts (baked)

Photo: Two Cups Flour

While most apple cider donuts only call for apple cider and apple pie spice to provide the apple flavor, we love Two Cups Flour's recipe because it packs real-deal chunks of apple. In addition to freshness factor, this means the donuts pack an extra punch of fiber. Plus, these apple cider donuts are baked rather than fried, so you can make them at home in your oven (or air fryer) rather than needing a deep fryer.

Get the recipe: Apple cider donuts

4. Loaded apple bread

Photo: Well Plated

Packed to the brim with chunks of apple and walnuts, this is a protein-rich, fiber-heavy apple bread that is absolutely scrumptious. Cinnamon adds a sense of warmth to Well Plated's recipe, and you can also add some of your other favorite fall spices (we like nutmeg and allspice here). Thanks to the use of applesauce rather than oil, this bread is both moist and nutritious.

Get the recipe: Loaded apple bread

5. Apple thyme tart

Photo: Le Petit Eats

We love a good apple tart, and we really love a savory breakfast. Luckily, we can have both in the same recipe thanks to Le Petit Eats' divine apple thyme tart recipe that's packed with Gruyere cheese, yellow onion, thyme, and Dijon mustard.

Get the recipe: Apple thyme tart

6. Apple sweet potato hash

Photo: Fresh Off the Grid

Fresh Off the Grid's one-skillet hash gets popped in the oven for the easiest baked breakfast you’ve ever had (bonus: it doubles as a cozy fall dinner, too). Thanks to the addition of eggs, this is an especially protein-rich way to start your day. Plus, you can add whatever other vegetables your heart may desire–customize this recipe to suit your own preferences... or whatever's laying around in your crisper drawer.

Get the recipe: Apple sweet potato hash

7. Apple-filled crepes

Photo: JUST Egg

We love this crepe recipe that can be prepared as either a sweet or savory breakfast, depending on your filling choice. Best of all, it’s vegan thanks to the quick swap of traditional eggs with JUST egg. Simply stew some apples to go inside and you’re ready for whatever life throws at you. While the recipe below calls for pears, we’ve found that swapping in apples is a delightful substitute. And as a bonus, you can also opt for a savory filling.

Get the recipe: Buckwheat crepes

8. Peanut butter baked apples

baked apples recipe
Photo: W+G Creative

Why yes, we would like some peanut butter with our apples, and better yet, we’d love for them to be warm. This recipe is basically fall in your oven, and it’s almost comically easy to make. Taking the core out of the apples makes plenty of space for a filling packed with maple syrup, oats, raisins, pecans, cinnamon, and ginger. Once they're done baking, simply top each one topped off with a peanut butter caramel sauce.

Get the recipe: Peanut butter baked apples

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