Fall Apple Guide: The Best Varieties to Bake, Cook, Blend, and Eat

Don’t look now, but it’s apple season! With over 7,500 apple varieties grown across the entire world, it’s difficult to remember which apples are in-season, which make the best pies, and which are best eaten raw. To help you out, we’ve listed some popular apples in the United States, when they’re in season, and how you can use them. Let’s get cooking!


The Best Apples for Baking (and Pie)

There’s nothing better than a slice of warm apple pie topped with some vanilla ice cream. It’s okay to let your mouth water a little bit.

When baking, you need to pick an apple with the appropriate texture. Spending time on perfecting a fall apple dish only to take a bite of mushy apple is, to say the least, quite a disappointment! To avoid this, make sure that you pick an apple that is crisp enough to withstand the oven, and that has a good balance of sweet and tart taste.

Remember, you can also mix multiple types of apples to create a variety of flavors — it never hurts to experiment a little!

Recommended Apples —

  • Granny Smith
  • Golden Delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • Cortland
  • Empire
  • Jonathan

The Best Apples for Cider

One of our favorite parts about fall is when we see cider hit the stands in the grocery store. The sweet and spicy combination that’s unique to apple cider is the perfect companion to a crisp fall day. This year, we challenge you to make a batch of your own!

In order to get all the right flavors for a balanced cider (sweet, bitter, sharp), apple cider typically requires a blend of apples. This chart shows a standard ration of the three flavors to use when making a hearty cider. If it’s your first time making cider, try this simple recipe.

Recommended Apples —

  • Gala
  • Fuji
  • Winesap
  • McIntosh
  • Cortland
  • Honeycrisp

The Best Apples for Applesauce

You can really use any apples you would like when making applesauce, but for convenience we recommend soft apples. Not only will they be easier to cut, but they’ll also cook faster than harder apples.

Applesauce is one of our favorite fall treats because you can adjust your recipe as needed, adding more cinnamon here, a little nutmeg there. Make a big batch, refrigerate, and enjoy!

Recommended Apples —

  • Cortland
  • Jonagold
  • Winesap
  • Fuji
  • Granny Smith

The Best Apples to Eat Raw

There’s nothing worse than biting into a subpar apple. Although fall is the time in which apples are in season, some are more tasty when eaten raw, whereas other apples might be better in applesauces or pies.

The first thing to remember is that certain apples are in season during certain months. So, for the freshest taste, pick apples that are at their peak.

Recommended Apples —

  • Honeycrisp
  • Braeburn
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Golden Delicious
  • McIntosh
  • Empire


Apple Varieties by Season

We all know that apples are in season in the fall, but what some might not know is which part of fall. Some varieties are best in late August, whereas others are at their peak in November. Below are different apple varieties, organized by when they’re in season.

Summer Apples (poor storage apples) —

  • Earligold
    • In season: mid to late July
    • Flavor: tart
    • Must refrigerate
  • Hawaii
    • In season: mid to late July
    • Flavor: tart
    • Must refrigerate
  • Rambo
    • In season: mid to late July
    • Flavor: tart
    • Must refrigerate
  • Akane
    • In season: late July to late August
    • Flavor: tart
  • Mollie’s Delicious
    • In season: mid August to mid September
    • Flavor: sweet

Fall Apples (good storage apples) —

  • Gala
    • In season: mid August to late October
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Honeycrisp
    • In season: mid August to late September
    • Flavor: sweet + tart
  • Empire
    • In season: late August to mid October
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Jonathan
    • In season: early September to mid November
    • Flavor: tart
  • Cortland
    • In season: early September to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Red Delicious
    • In season: mid September to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Jonagold:
    • In season: mid September to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet

Winter Apples (best storage apples) —

  • Melrose
    • In season: mid September to late October
    • Flavor: tart
  • Ida Red
    • In season: mid September to mid November
    • Flavor: tart
  • Turley Winesap
    • In season: late September to mid November
    • Flavor: tart
  • Mutsu
    • In season: late September to late October
    • Flavor: sweet + tart
  • Stayman Winesap
    • In season: early October to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet + tart
  • Fuji
    • In season: early October to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Granny Smith
    • In season: early October to mid November
    • Flavor: sour
  • Black Twig
    • In season : early Octob er to mid November
    • Flavor: tart

Mouth watering? Check out our Holiday Cookbook for over 40 recipes >>

A Review of 7 Popular Pinterest Smoothies

If you’re looking for a new summer smoothie to try, you may have gone straight to Pinterest. Once on their site, maybe you searched “summer smoothies” and a boatload of beautiful, delicious options popped up. Naturally, you pin all of them.

We all get carried away on Pinterest from time to time, and if you’re anything like us, you probably haven’t tried all of the recipes that you’ve saved.

That’s why we decided to review them for you.

To save you time, energy, and money, our team at Readers.com has reviewed 7 smoothies that you may have pinned, but have yet to try. Let’s get down to it.

peach strawberry smoothiepeach smoothie

1. Blueberry Mango Lemonade Smoothie via Stacy Homemaker

  • Pinned: 2.7 k
  • Favorites: 245
  • Our score: 7/10

Although this smoothie has a lot of good flavor, we were not a big fan of the consistency. It’s a seedy-smoothie (in texture, that is) with a fair amount of pulp from the lemon. Overall, we give it a 7 out of 10. Plus, it’s healthy!

2. Watermelon Cucumber Smoothie via J.R. Organics

  • Pinned: 2.4 k
  • Favorites: 195
  • Our score: 3/10

While a case could be made that this smoothie is refreshing, to us it feels a lot like you’re drinking a watermelon. If you love watermelon, you might love this cool drink, but most of our team did not love the watery texture. We will say, though, that Julie from our merchandising department thought it was a delicious summer drink! So if you’re feeling healthy and you love watermelon, go for it.

3. Pineapple Coconut Smoothie via Gather for Bread

  • Pinned: 21.7k
  • Favorites: 1.8k
  • Our score: 7.5/10

Firstly, we loved the texture and the aroma (it smelled phenomenal)! The unsweetened coconut in the smoothie definitely adds a lot of rich, coconut flavor, but can make the smoothie taste a little chalky. Regardless, we were definitely a fan of this pseudo piña colada summertime smoothie.

4. Triple Berry Kiwi Smoothie via The Pretty Bee

  • Pinned: 167.4k
  • Favorites: 17.4k
  • Our score: 8.5/10


Holy taste buds! One of the most popular Pinterest smoothies we taste tested, this smoothie hit the spot for us. Filled with antioxidants, we were impressed by the flavor, color, and texture of this top-notch smoothie. Although a little tart, we would highly recommend trying this recipe for yourself!

5. Peach Green Tea Smoothie via Recipe Runner

  • Pinned: 44.7k
  • Favorites: 4.1k
  • Our score: 5/10

If you’re not a fan of smoothies with plain greek yogurt, then we recommend trying a different smoothie. And although the honey and green tea add a creative twist, this smoothie was unfortunately not our favorite.

6. Peach Strawberry Smoothie via You Should Craft

  • Pinned: 7.4k
  • Favorites: 628
  • Our score: 9.5/10

summer smoothie
This smoothie was by far our favorite! We loved the thicker consistency of the smoothie (although it was, we’ll admit, a bit of a pain to blend), and felt that it was flavorful, refreshing, and filling all at the same time. We recommend giving this recipe a shot this summer!

7. Orange Creamsicle Smoothie via The Recipe Critic

  • Pinned: 2.9k
  • Favorites: 237
  • Our score: 8/10

With a vanilla aftertaste, we will admit that this smoothie does, in fact, taste like a creamsicle. Needless to say, we’re a fan.

Speaking of Pinterest, do you follow us? Click here to see what we’re pinning!

5 Summer Recipes with 5 Ingredients (or Less)

Temperatures are rising and the rain is (hopefully) subsiding — it’s almost summer! As the days become longer, our minds are focused on the refreshing food of the season. Plus, there’s nothing we love more than a hearty, mouth-watering cookout. Whether you’re looking for a quick side dish to bring to a friend’s house, or simply want something convenient and fresh for the family, we’ve found five easy recipes that only require five (or fewer) ingredients.

summer zucchini recipes

1. Strawberry Salsa via Gimme Some Oven

No, you did not misread that. It is, in fact, strawberry salsa! For a fun, different take on traditional salsa, try this sweet and spicy recipe! Quick list of ingredients includes:

  • Strawberries
  • Jalapeño
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Lime

2. Zucchini Fritters via Just a Taste

Both versatile and delicious, take advantage of summer zucchini and fry up some of these pancake-like fritters. You can serve them with a variety of sauces, top them with some sour cream, or simply enjoy the crispy texture. These delicious zucchini fritters only require the following five ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Scallions
  • Vegetable oil

3. Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli via Passion for Savings

Time to fire up the grill — this easy chicken and broccoli recipe might just become your new go-to summer meal. And if you don’t count non-stick cooking spray as an ingredient (we don’t), then it only requires the following five ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Broccoli
  • Ranch dressing mix packet
  • Colby jack cheese
  • Red pepper flakes

4. Fried Breaded Zucchini via Briana Thomas

You may notice that this is the second zucchini recipe we’ve mentioned, but what can we say? Zucchini is in season and we can’t get enough! This recipe is especially good for those allergic to gluten, as it gluten-free and has no added sugar. Fry up some zucchini using these five ingredients:

  • Butter or coconut oil
  • Zucchini
  • Egg
  • Golden flax meal
  • Salt and pepper

5. Coconut Popsicles via Little Spice Jar

Cool, creamy, and filled with coconut. Really, could anything be more perfect for summer? Cool down after time spent in the sun with these coconut popsicles. You’ll only need these four ingredients:

  • Full fat coconut milk
  • Sweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Heavy cream

What’s your favorite summer recipe? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

5 Reading Glasses to Wear on Halloween

reading glasses to wear on halloween
Halloween is right around the corner … have you thought about your costume yet? Whether you’re passing out candy to trick-or-treaters, or heading to a monster mash, we’ve got a few costumes (for both women and men) that pair well with your favorite readers.

Take a look, and happy haunting!

For Women

1. Witch Costume

Witch Costume

A little bit spooky, a little bit chic. Add a little color to a classic witch costume with pops of green and a purple dress (that you can totally wear again).

Wear: The Lynn Polka Dot Reader

2. Flapper Girl Costume

Flapper Girl

Take it back to the days of prohibition and Gatsby with this roaring ’20s costume. With a swingy dress and a few fun accessories, you’ll be the life of the Halloween party.

Wear: The Ingrid Rhinestone Reader

3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s Costume

Breakfast at Tiffany's Costume

You can’t go wrong with this timeless classic. Channel your inner Audrey in strands of pearls, a rhinestone tiara, and of course, a tinted pair of retro square reading glasses that radiate cool.

Wear: The Arizona Bifocal Sun Reader

For Men

4. Where’s Waldo Costume

Where's Waldo

Pull from items you likely already have in your closet for this humorous Halloween costume everyone will love. The finishing touch on your Where’s Waldo costume are our round, thick-framed readers you’ll wear over and over again.

Wear: The Architect

5. Mad Scientist

Mad Scientist

Wacky and weird, this mad scientist costume is sure to put a smile on some faces this Halloween. Find an inexpensive white lab coat, and top it off with lab-inspired accessories like a clipboard, bottles, and reading glasses.

Wear: The Walter Bifocal

No matter which costume you choose to wear on October 31, we hope you have a fun, safe Halloween filled with sweet treats and friends. Happy Halloween!

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4 Apple Recipes for Fall

4 Apple Recipes for Fall

Fall is one of the best (if not THE best) season for getting creative in the kitchen. Last fall, we focused on cooking with pumpkin, but this year, we’re ready to bring some apples back into our recipe rotation.

Although it’s one of the most traditional of fall ingredients, here are four unique ways to cook with apples.

1. Kielbasa and Homemade Applesauce

From Bests and Bites

Homemade Applesauce and Kielbasa

Kielbasa? Applesauce? We know what you’re thinking. This combination is untraditional. But trust us, this recipe is a favorite among friends and family of the two foodie bloggers behind Bests and Bites.

The sweet and savory combo makes for a great appetizer around the holidays, or a unique sharable dish to bring to your next potluck.

2. Apple Stuffed Chicken

From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Apple Stuffed Chicken

Take a break from sweet pastries and desserts to bake something a little more savory, Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

While the combination of cheese, apples, and chicken might seem a little off-putting, trust the chef here and give this quick, easy recipe a try for you and your family. We know you’ll love the unique sweet and savory combo.

3. Apple Pie Rice Krispie Treats

From Yellow Bliss Road

apple pie rice krispie treats

Add a little fall flair to your typical rice krispie treat recipe with this apple-pie inspired one by Yellow Bliss Road.

This one-of-a-kind recipe uses rice krispies, dried apples, white chocolate, and marshmallows to create a sweet snack you and the kids or grandkids will love.

4. Autumn Fest Salad

From Treble in the Kitchen

Autumn Salad

Another unique combination of ingredients come together to make this delicious seasonal salad. Using the freshest produce autumn has to offer, Treble in the Kitchen’s Autumn Fest salad is a great recipe to make in bulk and eat as a side dish all week long.

The best part about this recipe? Everything is super healthy! Brussel sprouts, apples, and walnuts are chock full of vitamins and minerals. That’s a win in our book.

Looks like you’re gonna have a busy season in the kitchen! Don’t forget your readers to help you follow along with the great recipes listed here along with all of your other fall favorites.

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