Another fall seasonal favourite is apples!
There are many different varieties ranging from yellows to greens, pinks and deep reds and can have many subtle or drastic differences in flavour. There are about 7500 different varieties worldwide! Wow! So how to know which one to choose for the purpose it’s intended? All apples are good to eat raw but what if you want to add heat to it? How will it hold up? There are some that will turn to mush and are great if you want apple sauce; but if you intend to stuff an apple, make a pie or dumpling or strudel you want one that will hold it’s shape. I used Golden delicious this time.
The 8 best types of apples to bake with for this recipe are:
- Golden Delicious
- Granny smith
- Ida Red
- Mutsu or Crispin
- Northern Spy
When out shopping for apples be sure to stop at an orchard or farmer’s market. They may have an heirloom variety that is not commonly found in stores and may be great for this recipe! Be sure to ask!
This will be a two-part recipe. Part one is the granola which would be good anytime for a snack or breakfast, adding to yogurt etcetera and part two is the baked stuffed apple. You could make the granola ahead of time and have it on hand for when you’d like to have something special ie: baked apples. You could have a raw apple with granola and your fave yogurt if that’s your choice too but having it warmed on a cool autumn day is comfort food! Sometimes we need that: to sit back, relax, and savour the flavours of the season.
You could have it for dessert with frozen yogurt or nice cream or bake the night before and have it for breakfast with yogurt.
For the granola, I used coconut oil because it is a naturally occurring saturated fat that can tolerate high heat, has a pleasing taste as well it contains vitamin E and many other benefits. Some studies have found that it can raise HDL. Of course, adding fat is done sparingly.
When looking for the rolled oats be sure to find whole rolled oats not instant or quick cooking. The least processed the better for our bodies.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can have granola on hand at any time to bake an apple with. Just heat the oven, core, fill, cover and bake for 1 person or 24. The filling is ready. You could probably use store-bought granola but if you like to keep an eye on proportions and know and control what exactly is going into your foods then homemade is a good choice. You can be creative with it too! Changing out the nuts/seeds/dried fruit for what is in season.
I chose ingredients that I thought reflected autumn: the pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds, the dried cranberries and especially the pumpkin spice blend. You could have this year round though too.
Baked apples Stuffed with Spiced granola
For the Granola:
- 2 cups raw, whole rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw nuts (sliced almonds)
- 1/2 cup raw seeds (pepitas)
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries)
- 2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice mix
For the Granola:
- Preheat oven to 300*F
- Combine all ingredients into a bowl and stir with a spoon until all the honey, coconut oil and spice have evenly coated the mixture.
- Spread out thinly and evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and stir then place back in for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool before storing in a container in the fridge or a jar in a cool dry place for about a month.
Part 2 for the apples:
- Baking apples
- 1/4 cup water
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp coconut oil per apple
- Increase the oven temperature to 350*F
- Wash and core the apples (however many you’re using) using a coring tool.
- Place into a baking dish wish high sides add the lemon and water.
- Place the cored apples into the baking dish and place the coconut oil into the hole as well as about 2 tsps of the granola, packing it down. Be generous.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes or until the apple is tender.
- Enjoy life in the pink!