These irresistible apples taste great warm or served close to room temperature. Purchase locally grown apples from a farmer or farmers’ market; they will usually cost less and taste better than imported gas-ripened apples. Or, buy organically grown apples (local or imported) from a natural food store. Makes 6 servings
• 1/3 cup packed, dried, unsulphured raisins, minced
• 1/3 cup packed, dried, pitted dates, minced
• 1/3 cup unsalted, unsweetened almond butter
• 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla or maple extract
• 11/4 teaspoons apple pie spice (or substitute 11/2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger)
• Grated rind of 1 orange (optional)
• 6 medium-large tart-sweet or baking apples (try Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady, or Melrose)
• 1/3 cup filtered water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dried fruit, nut butter, juice concentrate, vanilla or maple extract, and spices in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside. Wash the apples; core through the center to make a wide cavity. Mince apple bits that are free of seeds and add to the filling mixture.
2. Peel the upper 1/3 of the apples to prevent the skins from splitting as they cook.
3. Arrange the apples in a 9-inch baking pan. Stuff the apples, mounding extra filling at the top.
4. Add the water to the pan, cover with foil or a tight-fitting lid, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until fork tender.
5. Simmer the pan juices in a small saucepan to reduce to 1/4 cup, then spoon over the apples. Serve warm.
One serving: 292 calories, 4 g protein, 53 g carbs, 9 fat, 10 g fiber, 93 mg calcium, 3 mg sodium
Don Matesz has been an avid proponent of alternative medicine and nutrition for more than twenty years. More than two dozen of his articles have appeared in health and fitness magazines. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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