You don't have to eat apples to benefit from them.

Here are some creative uses:

Ripen green tomatoes, bananas and avocados.

Place unripe fruits in a paper bag with an apple. Apples emit a substance that speeds ripening.

Absorb salt in soups and stews.

If your dish is too salty, just drop a few apple wedges into the pot and keep cooking for another 10 minutes or so. Then remove the wedges (along with excess salt).

Add moisture to roasted poultry.

Stuff an apple inside your bird before placing it in the roasting pan. Remove the fruit before serving, then sit down to enjoy a delicious, juicy meal!

Keep cakes and baked goods moist.

Store your cakes and baked treats in an airtight container along with half an apple – the moisture of the apple will keep them fresher longer.

Soften brown sugar.

If your brown sugar has hardened, add an apple slice to the (airtight) sugar bag or container. The sugar will be soft again in just a few days.

Make a refreshing facial mask.

Grate a peeled and cored apple and apply to your skin. Let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water. The pectin in apples is said to reduce inflammation and the appearance of fine wrinkles.

Feed the birds and dogs.

Most birds and dogs love apples. Slice the apples and remove the seeds before giving them to your pet or placing them on your platform bird feeder.

Decorate your holiday tree.

A garland of dried apples, cored and sliced and threaded with your choice of ribbon or twine, makes a lovely natural tree decoration.

Create a beautiful centerpiece.

Forget the flowers – vibrant red and yellow apples are an affordable way to add color and life to centerpieces. Try placing them in tall glass vases along with decorative accessories.