ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The apple harvest is in full swing in Minnesota and all kinds of varieties are filling up the produce section of grocery stores. Many of us are happy to simply eat them raw, but with a little more time you could cook them up as well.

When it comes to cooking, not all applpes are created equal.

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“When you get to something like a Granny Smith or a Braeburn apple, they are definitely more tart and firm in texture,” Chef Adam Bartos of the St. Paul Grill said.

Meaning, they are better apples to cook.

“Yes, they basically hold their shape and size over a longer period of time,” Bartos said.

Cooking with apples is not limited to desserts. For example, you can dice, sauté and mix them with fennel to compliment fish, like Halibut.

“You could do tilapia, sure. You can dice up apples and make a, you know, it doesn’t have to be a hot sauté. You could use it as cold relish, too, for fish to draw acidity and sweetness to the dish,” he said.

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Sliced raw apples can be added to just about any salad to give it more crunch — without adding a lot more calories.

“The apple definitely adds a really great element of crispiness to the salad,” Bartos said.

An apple crisp can be a lot easier to make than an apple pie because you don’t have to fuss with a crust. But you do have to get that topping right.

“The streusel is just flour, butter, sugar and vanilla. And then we basically pack it on top of the apple crisp and bake it for an hour,” Bartos said.

Bartos says you can also bake a whole apple on the grill, and then serve it as a side dish or slice it up and serve it with baked brie as an appetizer.

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Apple Recipes
Apple Crisp
Landmark Salad
Fennel Apple Sauté