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13 Inventive Ways to Use Apples (Besides Eating Them!)

Got a bounty of apples from your fall apple picking? Here’s how to put them to good use.

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Ripe green apples and apple slicesObchoei PR/Shutterstock

You can use an apple a day in more than one way

Apples are one of the most versatile fruits to cook and eat (like these 52 recipes, from sweet to savory), but sometimes you buy just one too many. Don’t let that produce go to waste! There are so many other uses for apples that you’ve probably never heard of. Read on for some of the inventive ways to use apples.

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Jazz Apples or cultivar Malus Domestica Scifresh a hybrid of Royal Gala and Braeburn developed in New ZealandD. Pimborough/Shutterstock

Make an easy craft for kids

Entertain little ones by making stamps out of apples. All you have to do is get some paint or ink (preferably washable or water-based), cut the apple in half, dip the inside and press it on construction paper or cloth. You can experiment with all sorts of colors and create patterns, making this simple art activity a fun one. Check out these steps to make a stamper from fruits and vegetables.

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Green tomatoes. Agriculture concept.isak55/Shutterstock

Ripen green tomatoes

You can quickly ripen green tomatoes up by placing them—along with an already-ripe apple—in a paper bag for a couple of days. For best results, maintain a ratio of about five or six tomatoes per apple. You can use this strategy to ripen an avocado, too.

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man doing ab workoutIVASHstudio/Shutterstock

Give your core a workout

Put some extra punch in your crunch by placing an apple between your thighs and squeeze it while you do your crunches. Trying to hold the apple in place will make you work your hip flexors and adductors in addition to your abs. Or, turn to these healthy apple recipes instead

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Brown sugar in bottle on wood table, retro color stylepatpitchaya/Shutterstock

Fluff up hardened brown sugar

Brown sugar has a habit of hardening up when exposed to humidity. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to make this a temporary condition. One of the best uses for apples is to soften brown sugar. Simply place an apple wedge in a self-sealing plastic bag with the chunk of hardened brown sugar. Tightly seal the bag and put it in a dry place for a day or two. Your sugar will once again be soft enough to use. Try these other food storage tricks to make food last longer.

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Chocolate cake. A slice of chocolate cake. Selective focus; Shutterstock ID 1499400482; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHLesya Dolyuk/Shutterstock

Keep cakes fresh

Want a simple and effective way to extend the shelf life of your homemade or store-bought cakes? Store them with a half an apple. It helps the cake maintain its moisture considerably longer than merely popping it in the fridge. Make sure you know the 10 most common cake mistakes.

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Glazed roast chickenTaste of Home

Roast a juicy chicken

If your roasted chicken comes out dry, don’t fret. The next time you roast a chicken, stuff an apple inside the bird before placing it in the roasting pan. When it’s done cooking, toss the fruit and get ready to sit down to a delicious—and juicy—main course. Here’s how to roast a chicken like a pro.

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The chef preparations spaghetti and pasta, salt water, against a dark background, the concept of cookingVasiliyBudarin/Shutterstock

Absorb salt in soups and stews

Salting to taste is one thing, but it is possible to overdo it. When you find yourself getting heavy-handed with the saltshaker, simply drop a few apple (or potato) wedges in your pot. After cooking for another 10 minutes or so, remove the wedges—along with the excess salt. Here are 15 new types of apples you should try.

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Candle in apple - beautiful table decorationAgnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock

Make a cozy candlestick

A great way to get crafty during your next fall season gathering is to create candle holders out of apples. You’ll need to de-core the apple, carve out the center and smooth the bottom, so it stands up straight. Add in a tea light candle, and you have yourself an adorable rustic candle holder. These vintage apple recipes should definitely be served alongside these candle holders.

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Ripe apples with cinnamon sticks on wooden table, on bright backgroundAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Make potpourri

One of the most creative uses for apples is potpourri. Skip the pricy stuff and DIY. Set your oven to 250 degrees, thinly slice the apples, and bake in a single layer for about an hour and a half. After they dry, mix them with spices like cinnamon or cloves. Stick them in a jar and voila. Or, turn them into homemade dried fruit.

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Apple centerpieceDIANA0403/SHUTTERSTOCK

Create a decorative centerpiece

The apple of your eye might be a creative centerpiece using apples. Fill a vase with green Granny Smith apples or bright Red Delicious apples, to create an eye-catching centerpiece for any fall occasion. You could even use sticks to create what looks like an apple bouquet for the table. This seasonal centerpiece is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table setting.

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Make a simple DIY Christmas gift

It’s almost never too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts. Take a DIY approach and make ornaments out of applesauce and glue. You’ll need applesauce, cinnamon, craft glue, cookie cutters and decorating materials. Mix them all together and bake them for an easy, fun craft.

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Create edible place cardholders

Fresh apples make great place cardholders. Cut a leaf shape out of green construction paper and write down the name of your dinner guest. Place it near the apple stem for a quick and easy hostess DIY project. Now that you know all these uses for apples, learn how to keep apples from browning, so these placeholders last for a while.

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young curly woman using skin cream on in a mirrorAll kind of people/Shutterstock

Give yourself a mini facial

Apples are great when it comes to reducing inflammation and the appearance of fine wrinkles. All you have to do: Peel an apple and grate the core and then apply it to your skin. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and rinse it off with warm water. By the way, this is the best type of apple of an apple pie.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest