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Toasted Steel-Cut Oatmeal With Chai Spices


Makes 3 to 4 servings | Prep time 10 minutes, plus overnight to soak oats | Cook time 30 minutes


  • 2 tsp. coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 cup gluten-free steel-cut oats
  • 2 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut, cashew, almond, or hemp milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbs. coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tbs. coconut sugar or Sucanat
  • 2 apples, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbs. local honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup pecans


The evening before: Melt 2 teaspoons oil or ghee over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Add oats and toast for two to three minutes, stirring frequently until lightly golden and fragrant. Reduce heat to low, and carefully pour in the water and milk. Add vanilla, spices, salt, and pepper, and stir. Remove from heat, cover, and cool; allow to soak in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning: Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add coconut sugar or Sucanat and stir until the sugar begins to melt. Add sliced apples and cook until brown and tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, return the oats to medium heat and simmer gently, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove oatmeal from heat, sweeten with honey or maple syrup, top with pecans and caramelized apples, and serve.

Tips: Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar. Healthy fats from pecans slow digestion and balance energy. To make  them more digestible, you can soak pecans in water overnight.

Recipes excerpted with permission from The Essential Thyroid Cookbook by Lisa Markley and Jill Grunewald, published by Blue Wheel PressTM. Text © 2017 by Lisa Markley and Jill Grunewald. Food photography © 2016 by Kenny Johnson. Excerpted from “Essential Thyroid Recipes“.

Fresh, Fruity Porridge


Makes 6 servings | Prep time 15 minutes (plus overnight chilling) | Cook time 0 minutes


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 cups plain yogurt or kefir
  • 3 tbs. honey or maple syrup
  • 2 large apples, grated
  • 1 cup mixed fruit, such as sliced kiwi or some berries (save a little extra for garnish)


  1. Combine the oats, yogurt, honey, apples, and mixed fruit in a bowl.
  2. Divide the porridge evenly among six 8-ounce Mason jars, cover with lids, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next morning, garnish the porridge with the reserved fresh fruit and enjoy.

Recipe by: Laurie David. Reprinted from The Family Cooks by Laurie David. Copyright 2014 by Hybrid Nation Inc. By permission of Rodale Books. Excerpted from “6 Home-Cooked Meals From Laurie David“.

Sautéed Apples With Maple-Glazed Pecans

A cast-iron skillet of sauteed apples with maple-glazed pecans next to slices of apple and a bowl of pecans.

Makes 4 servings | Prep time 5 minutes | Cook time 15 minutes


  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbs. butter, divided
  • 4 tbs. maple syrup, divided
  • 2 Fuji apples, cut into slices
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup apple cider or brandy


  1. Butter a heat-resistant plate and set aside. Chop the pecans and slice the apples.
  2. Heat a heavy stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and dry roast the pecans until fragrant, about four to five minutes.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Sauté until the syrup begins to crystalize, about two to three minutes. When the syrup has thickened, turn the glazed pecans onto the buttered plate.
  4. Return pan to heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and apples.
  5. Add salt and cinnamon and sauté apples for one to two minutes, until they begin to release their juices and soften.
  6. Increase heat to medium high and add remaining maple syrup and apple cider to the pan. Cook, while stirring, until syrupy and bubbling.
  7. Serve the apples topped with the maple-glazed pecans.

Recipe by: Betsy Nelson. Photo by: Colin Hayes. This recipe was excerpted from “How to Sauté, Sear, and Braise“.

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Apple Pie Protein Bites

A plate of apple pie protein bites next to a dishtowel and two apples.

Makes 8 servings | Prep time 40 minutes, including refrigeration time  | Cook time 0 minutes



  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until combined. The batter should be a sticky, thick consistency.
  2. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove and form into one-inch balls. If desired, roll balls into raw, finely chopped almonds for added texture. Enjoy or store in the refrigerator until ready to consume.

Recipe by: Life Time Training Team

Apple Nachos

a plate of apple nachos

Makes 8 servings | Prep time 10 minutes | Cook time 0 minutes


  • 4 apples
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced


  1. Remove the core of each apple and slice them thinly to form “chips.”
  2. Arrange the apple slices on a plate in layers.
  3. Evenly distribute and sprinkle the remaining toppings on top of the apples.

Recipe by: The Life Time Foundation Team

Apple Chips

Apple chips, cinnamon, cardamom, and apples

Prep time 5 minutes | Cook time 1.5 to 2 hours


  • 2–3 sweet apples
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (optional) and set aside.
  • Wash apples and remove the core, stem, and seeds with an apple corer, small cookie cutter, or paring knife.
  • Set a mandoline to slice apples into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. ­Arrange apples in a single layer on baking sheets, making sure slices don’t overlap.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Bake for one hour.
  • Flip each apple chip over and bake an additional one to one-and-a-half hours, until apples begin to brown and start to curl at the edges. Different apple varieties will produce slightly darker colors, so test your apple chips to determine when they’re ready to eat.
  • Baked apple chips transport well for lunches, hikes, and on-the-go snacks; store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.


  • Choose organic and local apples whenever possible, as conventionally raised versions of the fiber-rich fruit rank high on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list.
  • For a sweet-and-spicy version, combine 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 tablespoon honey, and dash of kosher salt as a topping.

Recipe by: Experience Life Staff

Apple Pie Fruit Dip

a bowl of apple pie fruit dip served with apple slices

Make 8 servings | Prep time 5 minutes | Cook time 0 minutes


  • 8 Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups plain yogurt


  1. Blend the dates until a paste forms. Add hot water and continue to blend until smooth.
  2. Fold the date syrup and remaining ingredients into the yogurt until well mixed.
  3. Serve with freshly sliced apples. Dip and enjoy!

Recipe by: The Life Time Foundation Team

Apple-Maple Butter

jars of apple-maple butter

Makes 4 half-pint jars | Cook time 30 minutes, plus 8 hours in the slow cooker | Process time 10 minutes


  • 3 lb. apples, peeled and cored (peels reserved)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbs. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice


  1. Place the apples in a slow cooker and stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and lemon juice. Place the peels on top — they contain a lot of pectin, a natural thickener that will help give your apple butter its texture. Cover the pot and cook on low for eight hours. Alternatively, cook over low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally.
  2. Transfer the apple mixture to a high-speed blender, either discarding the apple peels or including them for extra fiber, as desired. Blend until smooth. Use a ladle to transfer apple butter to jars, leaving at least a 1/2 inch of headspace. Process in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes (see, “Yes, You Can” for canning instructions) or refrigerate without canning and use within a month.

Recipe by: Robin Asbell. Photo by: Andrea D’Agosto. Excerpted from “How to Can Fruits and Vegetables“.

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Avocado Apple Chicken Salad


Make 4 servings | Prep time 10 minutes | Cook time 15 minutes

Use cooked chicken to speed up the preparation of this light, refreshing, and nutritious salad.


  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cooked
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop the chicken, cube the avocado, peel and core the apple, and dice the celery and red onion.
  2. In a bowl, combine the chicken, fruit, and vegetables with the olive oil and lime juice, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Recipe by: The Life Time Training Team

Apple Cabbage Coleslaw With Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

apple cabbage coleslaw

Makes 6 servings | Cook time 0 minutes


  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs. poppy seeds


  • 3 cups shredded savoy cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 thinly sliced gala apples


For the vinaigrette: Combine the garlic, vinegar, honey and mustard in a blender. While the blender is running, slowly drizzle in the oil to create a creamy vinaigrette. Stir in poppy seeds by hand.

For the salad: In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, onion and apples. Pour dressing over and mix well.

Recipe by: Chef Cary Neff. Excerpted from “How to Use Napa and Savoy Cabbages“.

Apple, Walnut and Parsley Salad

apple walnut salad

Makes  4 to 6 servings | Cook time 0 minutes


  • 2 crisp, tart, eating apples (like Honeycrisp), cored and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbs. walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Dash of cayenne, optional
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Thoroughly toss all ingredients together in a salad bowl.
  2. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Recipe by: Betsy Nelson. Excerpted from “How to Eat More Parsley“.

Apple, Celery and Pecan Salad with Lemon Hazelnut Dressing

apple celery salad on a plate

Makes | 6 servings | Cook time 0 minutes


  • 8 stalks of celery, leaves removed
  • 1 cup toasted pecan halves, chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced, chopped or diced Granny Smith apple


  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tbs. hazelnut, walnut or extra-virgin
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. honey


  1. Cut 3-inch-long pieces of celery into thinly julienned strips or whatever shape you prefer.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the salad ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, then toss with the salad.

Recipe by: Betsy Nelson. Photo by: Terry Brennan. Excerpted from “How to Eat More Celery“.

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Lunch & Dinner

Maple-Apple Meatballs

Maple apple meatballs

Makes  24 meatballs | Prep time  15 minutes | Cook time 35 minutes


  • 3/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 green apples, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 oz. sage, chopped
  • 3 lbs. lean ground turkey


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the turkey and stir to combine.
  2. Add the turkey and mix to combine. Form the mixture into evenly-sized meatballs, about 1/4 cup each.
  3. Place the meatballs in a greased muffin tin and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. If desired, increase the oven heat to broil for the final three to four minutes of baking to form a caramelized finish on the meatballs.

Recipe by: The Life Time Foundation Team

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted butternut squash soup

Makes 6 servings | Prep time 25 minutes | Cook time 35 to 40 minutes


  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, plus a sprinkle for garnish
  • 3 tsp. freshly grated ginger, or ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 apples, unpeeled, rinsed, and cut into 1-in. cubes
  • 1 small (about 1 lb.) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-in. cubes (about 5 cups)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the allspice, cinnamon, and ginger, and stir until combined. Toss the apples and butternut squash with the spice mixture until evenly coated, and place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Pour 2 cups broth into a blender; add about a third of the roasted squash and apples, and blend until smooth, adding more broth as needed. Transfer to a soup pot over low heat, and repeat the process two more times with the remaining broth, squash, and apples.
  4. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and lemon juice. Taste; you may need another spritz of lemon juice or a pinch of salt.
  5. Garnish with olive oil, cinnamon, and parsley. Serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Recipe by: Rebecca Katz. Photo by: Andrea D’Agosto. Excerpted from “How to Cook Winter Squash“.

Carrot and Cardamom Soup

carrot and cardamom soup

Makes 6 servings | Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 30 minutes


  • 1 tbs. coconut oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green ends only, cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs. large carrots, peeled and cut into half-inch coins
  • 1/4 cup diced Braeburn, Empire, McIntosh, or Cortland apple
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 4 cups chicken stock or bone broth
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks, along with a generous pinch of salt, and sauté until translucent, about five minutes.
  2. Toss in the carrots, apple, ginger, and cardamom, and stir until fragrant. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer until the carrots are easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Mix in the coconut milk.
  4. Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and process until smooth. Or purée the soup directly in the pot with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Recipe by: Michelle Tam. Photo by: Henry Fong. Excerpted from “Nom Nom Paleo“.

Root-Vegetable “Risotto”


Makes 6 servings | Prep time 40 minutes | Cook time approx. 15 minutes


  • 4 cups mushroom or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup dried mushrooms, crumbled
  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 cups grated root vegetables (parsnips, parsley root, and celeriac are best)
  • 2 tbs. nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs. walnut oil
  • 2 crisp tart apples, finely diced
  • 30 sage leaves


  1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the dried mushrooms to the stock, and simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onions, shallots, and salt and pepper, and caramelize over medium-low heat. When the onions are golden brown, turn the heat up to medium and gradually stir in the root vegetables.
  3. Add the nutritional yeast.
  4. When the root vegetables have softened, add the simmering stock one ladle at a time while stirring to incorporate the liquid.
  5. Cover the pan, and allow to simmer gently over very low heat for five minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, for an apple-sage topping, heat the walnut oil in a small saucepan. Add the apples and whole sage leaves, and cook for three to five minutes to flavor the oil, crisp up the leaves, and warm the apples.
  7. Serve the risotto topped with the apple-sage mixture.

Recipe by: Betsy Nelson. Photo by: Terry Brennan. Excerpted from “Root Vegetables: Recipes, Techniques, and More“.

Baked Squash and Apples With Ginger and Pecans

baked squash casserole

Makes | 6 servings | Cook time 40 minutes


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus butter to grease the baking dish
  • 1 1/4 pounds squash, such as butternut, kabocha or acorn, peeled and seeded and sliced into ¼-inch wedges (about 4 cups)
  • 2 medium baking apples, such as Granny Smith, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 2 tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish and layer the squash and apple slices overlapping each other.
  3. Melt the 1/4 cup butter, add the ginger, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you would like to add a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, add a  1/2 teaspoon to the butter mixture.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the squash and apples.
  5. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for about 15 minutes, then uncover and continue to bake for another 25 minutes or until squash is tender.
  6. Top with pecans.

Recipe by: Betsy Nelson. Photo by: Terry Brennan. Excerpted from “Winter Squash: Recipes, Techniques, and More“.

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Apple Tart-Tatin With Almond-Flour Crust

Cast-iron cooking is shown.

Makes 4 servings | Cook time 12-18 minutes


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 6 to 8 baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Haralson, peeled, cored, and cut into slices


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix the almond flour, salt, coconut oil, almond extract, and egg together in a food processor until a smooth dough forms. Shape into a flat circular disc on a piece of wax paper and chill while you prepare the apples.
  3. Heat the maple syrup in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet and arrange the apple slices to cover the skillet bottom. Cook over medium-low heat until the bottoms of the apples are caramelized and brown. Remove from heat.
  4. Roll out the almond pastry dough to make a 12-inch circle, place the pastry on top of the apples, and tuck it down the sides of the pan.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 12 to 18 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and place a plate on top of the pastry.
  6. Carefully flip the pan over onto the plate to invert the apple tart.
  7. Allow the tart to cool on the plate for at least 20 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve with a scoop of ice cream or a drizzle of yogurt if desired.

Recipe by: Betsy Nelson. Photo by: Terry Brennan. Excerpted from “Iron Chef: Cooking With Cast Iron“.

Gluten-Free Apple Cobbler

apple cobbler made with biscuits

Yield 12 servings | Prep time 10 minutes | Cook time 50 minutes


  • 1 tbs. butter to grease the pan


  • 6 to 8 medium apples (Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Jonagold, or a mix), cored and diced, about 6 cups
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice


1 cup rolled oats
1 cup almond flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
6 tbs. cold salted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
¼ cup milk of choice
2 tbs. raw cane sugar, plus more for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9-x-13-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the apples, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil and cook for about five minutes, until the apples are slightly softened.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the water, cornstarch, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour into the boiling apples and stir, then cook until the mixture has thickened, about two to three additional minutes. Transfer the apple mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Prepare the biscuits. Add the oats to a food processor and blend into a powder. Transfer to a large bowl and add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter to the bowl, and use your fingers to quickly rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is in pea-size pieces.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and sugar. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Use your hands to divide the dough into roughly ⅓ cup portions, then distribute them evenly over the apples. Sprinkle the biscuits with additional raw cane sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe by: Maddie Augustin. Photo by: Terry Brennan. This originally appeared in “5 Fall Apple Recipes.”

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Experience Life magazine
Experience Life Staff

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  1. I love these recipes. I can’t wait to try them. I really enjoy Experience Life magazine and always find helpful inspiring information. Thank you!

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