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A Guide to Apples and How to Enjoy Them

There are so many different types of apples across the sweet-tart-crisp-crunchy spectrum (and at Whole Foods Market, there’s a wide selection of organic options too). But what’s the difference between, say, a Gala and a Fuji? And what apples are best for applesauce? And chips? And other perfect fall recipes? Here are some favorite varieties and what to do with them, based on their textures, flavors and sizes. Because it definitely matters.

Photo of baked oatmeal

Gala

Mildly sweet and juicy with a vanilla-like fragrance, this apple is an ideal addition to a berry oatmeal. Its thin skin makes it kid-friendly, and it’s also perfect for slicing and serving raw.

Try them in: Apple-Berry Baked Oatmeal

Photo of honeycrisp sandwich

Honeycrisp

If there was ever a perfect apple for snacking, this might be it. It’s fragrant, sweet and tart. Plus, its shatteringly crisp texture works well when used as a topping on open-faced sandwiches.

Try them in: Open-Face Apple Tahini Sandwich

Photo of Spiced Apple-Pear Butter

Fuji

These ultra-sweet, crispy and juicy apples make them a go-to for snacking and baking, as well as homemade baby food or apple butters because of their low acidity.

Try them in: Spiced Apple-Pear Butter

Photo of apple sauce

Granny Smith

Crunchy, tart and juicy, this is the ultimate apple to pair with a classic applesauce. Toss in a few cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon for extra flavor.

Try them in: Applesauce

Picture of Kale Waldorf Salad

Red Delicious

These apples have a crunchy skin with a floral aroma. Best when uncooked and used in fresh preparations, like a smoothie or kale salad.

Try them in: Kale Waldorf Salad

Photo of baked apple chips

Golden Delicious

Firm, very delicate and sweet, these all-purpose apples don’t brown as quickly as other apples. Bake them for a crunchy snack.

Try them in: Baked Apple Chips

Photo of  Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon French Toast

Lady Alice

These all-purpose apples have floral accents with hints of tartness. They’re sweet, juicy and great for cooking because of how well they hold their shape.

Try them in: Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon French Toast

Photo of Warm Spinach Salad with Apple and Robusto Cheese

SweeTango

Available only in the early fall, their crispness and sweet-tart flavor are hard to resist on their own. These apples also shine with a caramel or chocolate fondue.

Try them in: Warm Spinach Salad with Apple and Robusto Cheese

Photo of Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Shallots

Braeburn

This variety is crisp, firm, sweet, tangy and juicy. Leave the skins on to make a rosy-hued applesauce or toss them in with Brussels sprouts and shallots to add a little crunch.

Try them in: Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Shallots

Apple Sandwiches

Cameo

Sweet hints of citrus and slightly tangy finish. Extra crispy and crunchy, they’re almost made to be sliced and smothered with almond butter.

Try them in: Apple Sandwiches with Granola and Peanut Butter

Photo of Apple, Sage and Turkey Meatloaf

Jonagold

Characterized by a crispness and juicy, honeyed sweetness, these hold up well for baking and cooking but are also great for juicing.

Try them in: Apple, Sage and Turkey Meatloaf

Pink Lady

These pink-red apples are crisp with a juicy flesh and a complex sweet-tart flavor. Well-suited for a fresh fall salad.

Try them in: Carrot and Apple Bistro Salad

Selections, Storage and Prep

Look for apples that feel firm, smooth and heavy for their size, with no bruises or wrinkling on the skin. As apples ripen, they give off ethylene gas, which shortens the storage life of some other vegetables, so keep them in a bag in your refrigerator’s crisper. And remember to wash apples before eating them, but avoid removing the skin if you can — that’s where the bulk of the fiber is.

See? Not all apples are created equal.

*Valid 10/9–10/15/19. Limited to organic apples only. While supplies last. Quantities limited and some quantity limits apply. No rain checks except where required by law.

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