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Like you, I’m always on the lookout for healthy dessert recipes. I often find myself eating way too many sweets – it’s one of the perils of being a food blogger.
But truth be told, I have a sweet tooth and crave a little something sweet each night.
After dinner, I’m looking for what my family calls a “flavor changer.” I just want a bite (or two) of something sweet after I’ve enjoyed a savory meal. For better or worse, my children have started using these words, “flavor changer,” to tell us they want a little something sweet at the end of a meal, too.
While I’ve become quite the gluten-free baker, I do care greatly about being healthy. I have worked hard to heal myself from celiac disease, and put my disease into remission. Eating nutrient-deprived foods and sugary desserts certainly don’t contribute to my health. And while I enjoy a good gluten-free cookie or cake, from time to time, I’d rather have a sweet treat made from fruit and naturally gluten-free and good for you foods.
So I began to experiment – wanting to create baked apples. How hard could it be? You bake the apples, allow their sweetness to naturally come out, and you eat them up. Easy!
So I took two honeycrisp apples, cored them with my melon baller, and then I stuffed the core of each apple cavity with raisins and walnuts combined with real maple syrup and cinnamon.
I put the apples in the oven to bake, and awaited for my “flavor changer” to be ready. By the way, your house will smell so wonderful and fragrant as these apples bake – yummy!
I removed the apples from the oven, allowed them to cool, and then began to eat one. Success! They. Are. So. Good. And filling too!
A few things happened in the baking process:
- The apples became soft but not mushy. You could easily eat them with a fork.
- The raisins plumped up because they soaked up the juices from the apples.
- The walnuts caramelized a bit from the maple syrup, adding a bit of sweetness in addition to crunch.
These baked apples make a beautiful dessert any night of the week – and it works well when you’re entertaining or when you’re asked to bring dessert to a potluck dinner. (I don’t always like to use my gluten-free flours, which are expensive, on people who don’t need nor appreciate the gluten-free diet.)
I know everyone, regardless of their diet, will appreciate and enjoy this naturally gluten-free baked apple recipe anytime!
Baked Apple Dessert
- 2 apples of choice (I used Honeycrisp)
- 2 Tbsp. raisins or dried fruit of choice
- 1 Tbsp. crushed walnuts or nuts of choice
- 1 Tbsp. real maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Using your melon baller, core apples to remove seeds and stem - set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine dried fruit, nuts, maple syrup and cinnamon. Mix well.
- Add nut mixture into cavity of apples.
- Using a fork, poke four holes into the apple tops.
- Fill two of the muffin cavities with a little water (about 1/4 filled).
- Place stuffed apples in muffin tin and place in the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour or until apples are soft.
- Serve immediately.