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Apples are versatile staple for fall recipes
Apples are a welcome addition to most diets and, with improvements in transportation, they've become a year-round staple. - photo by Stock photo

Honey-pecan apple crisp
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
• 1/3 cup regular oats
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
• 6 cups sliced, peeled apple of your choosing (about 2-1/2 pounds)
• 1/4 cup raw local honey
• Pinch nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine flour, sugar, oats and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans.
3. Combine apples, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss well. Spoon apple mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish or 1 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Serve warm with fat-free vanilla greek frozen yogurt for an extra-special treat.

When I was growing up, the change of season from summer to fall meant many things. The air would start to turn chilly, the vibrant fall foliage would make an appearance, and apples were in abundant supply.
Empire, Rome, Cortland, honeycrisp and McIntosh are just a few favorites that are ripe for the picking at this time of year. Since apples are in season in autumn, they typically are cheaper, making them a healthy and budget-friendly snack.
Fresh and juicy apples are fabulous all by themselves, but their versatility makes them perfect for an endless array of recipes.
The old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” in many ways, rings true. Apples are high in soluble fiber, which helps fight cholesterol and eases digestive issues. This heart-healthy snack also is high in flavonols and antioxidants.
Although the days in Coastal Georgia still are as hot and humid as ever, it is still a great time to enjoy fall apples. Despite the temperatures, apples always get me in an autumn mood.
Naturally, fall desserts are a special favorite of mine. My family always sought out new and interesting recipes that incorporated apples. My recipe for honey-pecan apple crisp is part family favorite and part Georgia favorite. My alterations keep things on the lighter side without reducing the flavor.

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