Can You Eat Crab Apples?

Crab apples, more commonly called the wild apples, are the ancestors of the cultivated apple we usually eat. Crab apples are small, round fruits that often do not grow larger than a lemon.  They are green or golden yellow in color with a pinkish-blue hue and ripen in September and October.

If you are wondering if you can eat crab apples just like the cultivated apples, read on to check the facts.

Is it safe to eat crab apples?

Yes, you can eat crab apples. These small and sour fruits can be used to make some amazing recipes. They have a raw, tangy and tart apple flavor. The sour taste makes them ideal for making fruit jams and jellies. The high amount of pectin in crab apples is what turns them into a desirable addition to your diet to improve your health.

Health benefits of Crab apples

  • Crab apples have loads of Vitamin C that can boost your immunity and improve your body’s defense mechanisms against infective pathogens. Research studies have suggested that including crab apples in your diet could reduce the risk of infections. This fruit contains essential fatty acids, phytosterols, and tocopherols that have a natural antimicrobial activity. It can destroy harmful pathogen thereby protecting you against infections. [1]
  • Your body is exposed to dangerous chemicals and toxins on a daily basis. The toxins in the forms of additives and preservatives in food, pollutants in the environment, and artificial chemicals in cosmetics can cause considerable damage to the healthy organs. You can avoid the effect of these toxins and chemicals by eating crab apples regularly. The natural phenolic compounds and amino acids in this fruit produce a powerful antioxidant action that can protect the tissues and organs against free radicals, toxins, and dangerous chemicals and thus, restore health. [2]
  • Research studies have revealed that dihydrochalcone compounds extracted from crab apple trees possess anticancer effects. This means crab apples can protect you against the risk of cancer. It can reduce the chances of developing cancers of the esophagus, stomach, rectum, colon, and ovaries. [3]
  • Crab apples provide vital vitamins to our body including vitamin D, which can safeguard the functions of the heart and prevent cardiac diseases such as hypertension.


Whether it’s jams, jellies, or fruit salads, you can include crab apples in your diet in a variety of ways and make the most out of this nutrition-dense, juicy and sour fruit.


  1. Radenkovs V, Kviesis J, Juhnevica-Radenkova K, et al. Valorization of Wild Apple (Malus spp.) By-Products as a Source of Essential Fatty Acids, Tocopherols and Phytosterols with Antimicrobial Activity. Plants (Basel). 2018;7(4):90. Published 2018 Oct 24. doi:10.3390/plants7040090
  2. Dadwal V, Agrawal H, Sonkhla K, Joshi R, Gupta M. Characterization of phenolics, amino acids, fatty acids and antioxidant activity in pulp and seeds of high altitude Himalayan crab apple fruits (Malus baccata). J Food Sci Technol. 2018;55(6):2160–2169. doi:10.1007/s13197-018-3133-y
  3. Qin X, Xing YF, Zhou Z, Yao Y. Dihydrochalcone Compounds Isolated from Crabapple Leaves Showed Anticancer Effects on Human Cancer Cell Lines. Molecules. 2015;20(12):21193–21203. Published 2015 Nov 27. doi:10.3390/molecules201219754