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Beci Falkenberg's favorite apple recipes.

3 amazing apple recipes

Nothing says fall like the smell of warm apples baking in the oven. Beci Falkenberg, a chef at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont, recently shared some of her favorite apple recipes with us.

White Chicken Apple Chili

Apples compliment the spices in this delicious chicken chili recipe.


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 lbs. chicken tenders, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces or ground chicken
  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 apples, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans pinto or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1/3 c. water

Optional Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • Chopped cilantro or green onion
  • Baked tortilla chips


In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring until chicken is browned and cooked through; transfer to a large bowl.

In the same pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the apples and onion and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the broth and beans; bring to a boil and add the chicken.  Stir in the cornstarch and water mixture; simmer a few minutes until chili thickens. Taste and adjust with cayenne pepper or more spices, if needed.

Garnished with shredded cheese, chopped cilantro or green onions before serving with baked tortilla chips or jalapeno corn muffins.

Note: Meat Options: Substitute ground turkey or lean ground beef

Vegetarian Option: Substitute vegetable broth with 6 cups of cubed butternut squash for the chicken or add more varieties of cooked beans; add kernel corn, diced tomatoes or chopped bell peppers

Garnishes: Sliced avocado, a dollop of non-fat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream or sliced jalapenos

Apple Lady Bug Snack

This is a great snack for kids of all ages. And it’s full of protein, fiber and crunch.


  • 1 red apple, sliced in half and core removed with a melon ball scoop (if desired)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice mixed with 1 cup water
  • Raisins, cranberries or dark chocolate chips, for the spots
  • Almond butter, peanut butter or seed butter (natural, without sugar)
  • Red seedless grapes, for the head
  • Whole cloves, for antennas (or broken pretzel sticks)
  • Graham crackers


Cut apple in half length-wise; then, three-fourths down the middle to create the wings.  Coat the apple halves with lemon water to prevent browning and shake off excess liquid.

Spread a little nut or seed butter on two graham crackers and top with the cut-side of the apples. To create the spots, dab a little nut/seed butter on each raisin and place on top of the apples.

To make the head, dab nut/seed butter to a grape and place at the top end of the apples. Stick cloves on both sides of the grape for the antennas.

Note:   If preparing a large amount of apples, another way to prevent browning is to combine 1/8 tsp. salt per 1 cup of water in a bowl and soak apples in the solution for 5 minutes; drain, rinse and dry apples before decorating into lady bugs.

Hibiscus Cider

This delicious mulled apple cider provides the added benefits of antioxidants and vitamin C.


  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. star anise
  • 3 large cinnamon sticks (more for garnishing)
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. black cardamom pods, optional
  • 1 Navel orange, zest and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. dried hibiscus leaves (Jamaica flower) or 3 small Hibiscus tea bags (i.e. Tazo, Celestial Seasoning, McCormicks, etc.)
  • 2 quarts fresh unfiltered apple cider (unsweetened)
  • Garnish: 1 apple, core removed and cut into rings and cinnamon sticks


Add spices, orange/zest, hibiscus leaves and apple cider to a large pot; bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer covered for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, strain; pour into mugs and serve with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

Options:  Add a couple slices of ginger root or dried allspice; for more sweetness add a few Medjool dates (seeds removed) while mulling or a bit of honey to each mug; add ¼  tsp. red chili flakes or pinch of cayenne to the mix for some heat.

For additional healthy recipe ideas, visit Living Better’s recipe index.  

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