Ambrosia-Apple-Pico-De-GalloSpring is a time to awaken your senses.  The snow has melted, the sun is shining, and the landscape has exploded with color.  As the weather warms, it’s natural to crave light, fresh foods – making it the perfect time to heat things up in the kitchen with apples.

Citrus is a perfect companion to apples and a great way to add a little zing to your spring.  A simple squeeze of lemon can bring out the sweetness in apples, as well as prevent browning.  But don’t stop there:  Take your flavor combinations one step further with lime, lemon or orange juice to give your crunchy apples a bit of Mexican, Thai, Indian, or tropical flavor.

Mexican: Whether you’re using it to top chicken or fish, or as a dip for chips, apple salsa is always a fun and tasty addition.  Toss chopped apples with lime and chipotle and add to burritos, or mix with orange juice and cilantro to garnish a Mexican bean soup.

Thai: Take your apples Thai with an apple-based version of papaya salad.  Just grate green apples and toss with lime, fish sauce and red pepper flakes for a sweet-and-sour pairing that can’t be beat.

Indian: In the mood for Indian?  No problem!  Mince apples with fresh ginger, mint and lemon juice to make an apple chutney that pairs perfectly with Indian dishes.

Tropical: Give your apples an island vacation by pairing them with seared seafood, coconut milk, and a refreshing squeeze of lime.

No matter what flavor palate you’re in the mood for, you can’t go wrong with apples – just remember that some varieties are “spicier” than others.  Turn to Braeburn for an apple that is sweet, tart and spicy, or try SweeTango for citrus, honey and spice flavors.  Cortland is alluringly floral and spicy, while Ginger Gold has subtle hints of spice and sweetness.  Starting with an apple that already packs a spicy punch means you are halfway there as you season your salsa or chutney.

Spring forth with fresh energy, as you add some spices to your life this season.