The start of the winter holidays means that healthy eating and being abstemious go on the back burner until the New Year. The Christmas party season results in a diet mainly consisting of champagne and canapés, which is always fun until you find yourself exhausted with mild alcohol poisoning wearing Spanx in order to fit into your jeans come January... oh the shame! If you have a sweet tooth but want something delicious that won't punish your waistline one bit, then look no further than my healthy baked apple recipe.
Wow your friends with this easy peasy pudding, which I have slightly adapted from my go-to health conscious cookbook, Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Good. Now I know Gwyneth is a bit of a Marmite figure in the UK, but let's face it, she doesn't have an inch to pinch and her personal chef who co-wrote her cookbook knows what it takes to eat healthy and look your best without sacrificing taste.
So without further adieu, here is my step-by-step fool proof recipe for delicious and nutritious baked apples. Your skinny jeans will thank you for it!
Before you get started, pre-heat your oven to 360° F/180° C and put on a festive apron. This recipe takes up to 25 minutes to prep and cooking time varies between 35 - 45 minutes depending on your oven. Ingredients you will need to serve 6 are:
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 6 of your favourite type of apples
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- a pinch of fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons honey
Now you're ready to begin! Start with placing 1/2 cup of raisins into a big mixing bowl.
Then add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the mixture...
Place your nuts into a durable bag so you don't make a crushed nut mess in your kitchen.
Think of your ex, doing your taxes, or your least favourite thing in the world, and give the bag a good whack against a counter or with a rolling pin for extra effect until the nuts start to crumble into smaller pieces.
Pour your crushed nuts into the raisin, cinnamon, and salt mixture and add 3 teaspoons of maple syrup.
Last but not least, pour three teaspoons of honey on top of the mixture.
Mix everything thoroughly together in the mixing bowl and let it sit.
After you have washed and dried your apples then start removing their cores, leaving a nice spacious centre so you can stuff your apples with the nutty mixture.
I'm sure there is a handy dandy machine that does this much more efficiently, but you can easily do this yourself with a sharp knife.
Once all your apples have been cored, then place them on a baking sheet with a sheet of tinfoil (or 'aluminium' as we say in the UK) underneath.
Carefully start scooping your sticky nut mixture into the cored centre of the apples with a small spoon until the apples are filled and there is an overflowing component on top.
Do this to all of your apples and add any leftover mixture for extra nutty effect! Then put your apples into the oven and check on them after 35 minutes.
Let your baked apples cool for 5 minutes so you don't burn your mouth and then serve immediately. Prepare your tastebuds for a real treat, because these bad boys are finger lickin' good.
Here's to the healthiest pudding you will devour this holiday season- bon appétite!