Confession: I may be a dietitian, but I most definitely have a sweet tooth. I was really craving something sweet over the weekend, so I decided to bake some apples. This was actually the first time I had ever baked apples, so I researched a few recipes before creating my own. I liked certain components of each recipe that I found, but there wasn’t one specific recipe that I absolutely loved. So, I kinda just had to wing it when creating a recipe, and I think it turned out pretty good. The final product resembled a lighter version of apple pie à la mode and totally satisfied my craving.
The baked spiced apples alone are actually healthy. Apples are a great source of vitamin C and fiber, while walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants. Raisins are loaded with fiber, iron, potassium, and antioxidants (raisins actually have more antioxidant capacity than fresh grapes!) The optional ice cream and caramel sauce topping wasn’t the healthiest, but I indulged anyway. Hey, it’s ok to have a sweet treat every once in awhile! Here’s the recipe:
Baked Spiced Apples:
Makes 2 servings
- 2 medium-sized red apples (Gala apples work well for this recipe!)
- 1/2 cup shelled, chopped walnuts (Make sure to check the package label to ensure that the walnuts were not processed on shared equipment with wheat ingredients.)
- 1/4 cup raisins (You can also use dried cranberries or dates, if you want!)
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup water
- Optional: vanilla ice cream and/or caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Wash and core the apples to remove the stem and seeds—just be sure not to cut all the way through the bottom! (This probably works best with an apple corer, which I have but couldn’t seem to find when I needed it. Coring the apple with a small knife also gets the job done and is a nice wrist workout.) After coring the apples, slightly hollow them out by removing a small amount of the inside of the apples, so there is room to stuff them.
- Combine the walnuts, raisins, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small mixing bowl; toss together so that the walnuts and raisins are evenly coated.
- Place the apples in a small baking pan. Spoon the mixture into the apples. (Depending on the size of your apples and how deep a cut you made inside the apples, you may have extra mixture that doesn’t fit inside or on top of the apples. You can spoon the extra directly into the base of the pan surrounding the apples.)
- Pour the water over the apples into the base of the baking pan to keep them moist so that they don’t dry out during the baking process. (If you have extra walnut/raisin mixture floating in the bottom of the pan, it’s all good. It can be scooped out once the apples are finished baking and used as a topping.)
- Drizzle the apples with honey, and bake the apples for 20-25 minutes or until slightly tender. (If you are worried about the walnuts burning, you may want to initially cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and remove the foil halfway through the baking process. I didn’t cover my pan at all and a couple of the walnuts on top were a little toasty, but not burned.)
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
- Optional: top each apple with one scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with warm caramel sauce. If you have leftover walnut/raisin mixture in the bottom of the pan, drain the water from the mixture first and then put on top of ice cream. (This step is optional depending on how healthy you want this dessert to be, but when ice cream is an option, how can you say no?!)
Hope you enjoy this perfect fall treat!