Family Meals Matter: How do you like them apples?

October is Apple Month! Whether you make a day trip to an orchard or simply stop by the store, stock up on apples, apple juice and cider this week to celebrate one of the great flavors of fall.

Apples taste great while providing fiber and antioxidants. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research states that eating flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 percent! At the very least, one small apple a day counts as a serving of a fruit, a food group to encourage in the Dietary Guidelines.

Bob for apples then sit down to a fall festive family meal of Apple Cheddar Mac + Cheese, Braised Greens with Garlic and Baked Apple Burnette. Continue enjoying apples as part of a balanced diet all week long with recipes like Apple and Horseradish-Glazed Salmon, Gingerbread Pancakes with Apple-Berry Topping, Apple Salad and Apple Bagel Sandwiches.

“Family Meals Matter” features registered dietitian-approved recipes with foods from all the food groups to reflect Dairy Council of California’s nutrition philosophy. For more information, nutrition tools and additional family meal recipes, please visit our website,




1 1/4 cup dry elbow macaroni (5 ounces)

1 1/2 cup small diced, unpeeled, tart green or red apples

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/4 cup low-fat milk

1 small bay leaf

2 1/3 cup shredded sharp white or yellow cheddar cheese (about 10 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon dry sherry

Salt to taste

Ground white pepper to taste

1/3 cup plain Panko


1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 11/2-quart round casserole; set aside.

2. Cook pasta in large saucepan according to package directions until al dente. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking; drain well. Return pasta to saucepan. Add apples.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium heavy saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes or tender. Stir in flour; cook and stir about 1 minute or until fragrant.

4. Slowly stir in milk with wire whisk. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Add bay leaf. Reduce heat to low and cook sauce for 10 minutes, stirring often.

5. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in 2 cups of the cheese and dry sherry. Cook and stir about 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Remove from heat; season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Add cheese sauce to pasta-apple mixture; gently stir until well combined. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup cheese and panko. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven about 30 minutes or just until heated through and lightly browned. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving.


Reduce the butter by half, use fat-free milk and substitute one cup of reduced-fat Cheddar cheese to cut the fat and calories in this dish.



1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

8 cups loosely packed, torn romaine lettuce (about 1 head)

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


Combine first 3 ingredients in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add garlic; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Add romaine; toss well. Cover and cook over low heat 3 minutes, stirring once. Cook, uncovered, an additional 30 seconds or until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add vinegar; stir well. (Serving size: 1/2-cup).



4 macintosh apples

2 tablespoons raisins

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2-3 drops vanilla extract

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate


1. Preheat over to 375

2. Core apples and peel away about 1/2 inch of skin from the top of each. Prick each a few times with a fork

3. Fill each core with raisings, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and a drop of vanilla

4. Place apples in a baking dish and add water mixed with orange juice

5. Bake 30-35 minutes until apples are soft, basting occasionally with liquid. Serve warm or chilled with syrup.


Apple and Horseradish-Glazed Salmon

Gingerbread Pancakes with Apple-Berry Topping

Apple Salad

Apple Bagel Sandwiches

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