Saturday, September 5, 2015

Autumn is for Apples; Baked Apples - A Healthy Treat -

Autumn is for Apples 

I love walking down to our orchard and picking all the apples from our trees. For those who don't know we have what we like to call an orchard. It's not really. It's seven apple trees, a pear tree, an a couple of plum trees. But it's tucked away next to one of our younger fields of blueberries, on the lower side of our farm. We also used this space as a make shift nursery when we had extra plants from last year and the year before when we were replanting our fields. 

One of my favorite things is to have baked apples in the fall, and this is one of my favorite recipes. 

Baked Apples 
Prep Time: 20 Minutes           Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes         Servings: 4
4 medium sized, crisp apples (such as Gala or Honey Crisp)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup apple juice
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. Hallow out the centers of the apples, I use a paring knife but a melon baller also works. You'll want to remove the stem and core leaving a good sized hole, around 3/4" wide. Around the top of the apple you'll also want to remove all that skin of the apple. You can do this with a veggie peeler or paring knife. 
3. Next combine the sugar, butter, ground cinnamon, lemon zest, nutmeg, and graham cracker crumbs in a medium sized bowl. I like using a rubber spatula, but a fork works just as well. 
4. With mixed filling, pack into apple holes until  level with the opening. Place the apples into an 8X8" dish.
5. Combine lemon juice, apple juice, and honey into a microwaveable cup. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir to blend and pour around the apples in dish. 
6. Cover apples with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. 
7. After 45 minutes, uncover the pan and baste the apples with the juice from the pan. Continue baking apples for 10-20 minutes more, or until apples are very tender. Serve warm or cold with pan juices. 

Nutritional Info (per serving): 300 calories, 1 g protein, 65 g carb, 5 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 41 mg sodium. 

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