Apples make for a tasty plant-based dish, be it a breakfast item or a dessert. If you’ve ever seen a large apple selection at a farmer’s market or grocery store, you know these fruits vary so much in color and flavor. Which do you choose when you want apple pie, and which do you choose for fresh, raw salads? Check out these common apple types below and the right ways to use them:

Ambrosia

Ambrosia apples are best eaten raw, either whole, in slices, or in pieces to top salads. It is best not to use this apple for baking or cooking. Instead, use it for raw vegan desserts.

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Braeburn

This versatile apple is great when eaten raw, and also for cooking and baking. They are not the best variety to choose if you want to make dried fruit, so stick to raw slices or baking a pie. Try this Vegan Apple-Of-My-Eye Pie with Gluten-Free Crust.

Cortland

Like Braeburn apples, Cortland apples are also great when eaten raw, or for cooking and baking, but not the best for dehydrating.

Empire

This variety is a very versatile type of apple. Use them any way you like with no regard to rules. They’ll taste awesome no matter how you prepare them, be it raw, baked, or mashed into sauce.

Fuji

You do not want to dehydrate these apples or use them for cooking. However, feel free to bake with them for delicious pies. You can also eat them raw and on a salad.

Granny Smith

Use Granny Smith apples for salads, cooking, and baking, but they’re not the best choice for dehydrating. They are also not the best choice for making applesauce or cider, so stick to salads, baking, and cooking.

Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp apples can be enjoyed any way you like. Across the board, honeycrisp apples are great eaten raw, baked into pies, sliced over salads, cooked into other dishes, made into a sauce, and dehydrated into a dried snack. Try these Frosted Apple Almond Butter Vegan Cookies.

Jonagold

These apples are good for making applesauce. You can eat them raw, cooked, or baked, but do not dry them.

McIntosh

Do not dry these apples or bake with them. However, feel free to eat them raw and bake them into pies and cobblers. Because this type of apple is so juicy, you may need a thickener when using in for baking pies. Try them in this Raw Vegan Caramel Apple Pie.

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Pink Lady

Show off these apples on top of salad, eat them raw, and bake with them. But they are not the best choice for cooking, making applesauce, or making cider.

Red Delicious

These apples should only be eaten fresh, perhaps sliced and put on a salad. Do not bake or cook with them. Try them with nut butter in these Raw Apple Sandwiches with Date Caramel and Almond Butter.

York Imperial

Unlike most of the apples on this list, York Imperial apples are best for cooking and baking, but not to be eaten raw. You can use them to make a sauce, but choose another variety for topping salads or making apple and nut-butter sandwiches.

Lead image source: Apple-Almond Butter Pancakes

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