Apples are good for you and are usually plentiful, so why not turn your everyday apple into a memorable snack?
Try a baked apple.
Most any apple will do, but for best results in the oven look for a Rome, Gala, or Granny Smith.
“Baked fruit can be an excellent substitute for pies and desserts that are often high in fat and sugar,” says Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Wesley Delbridge, national spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. ” It also helps your kids to see that fruit can be fun in many different forms.”
To make, preheat your oven to 375 degrees while you prepare your fruit. Wash and dry your apples and, using a paring knife or corer, remove the core—leaving at least a half-inch of the apple intact at the very bottom. You may choose to fill the center of the apple with a mixture of chopped nuts (pecans work well), raisins, sugar, and cinnamon. You might also wish to place a small amount of butter atop the center.
Pour boiling water (about three-quarters of a cup will do for four apples) into the bottom of a baking dish and bake for roughly 30 minutes. Keep an eye on your apples so they don’t become too mushy or collapse. Before serving, be sure to baste the apples in juices from the bottom of the baking dish.
For a real treat, serve your apples with a dollop of vanilla ice cream—or go with yogurt if you prefer.
Of course, there is an easier way. You can actually bake your uncovered and sweetly-stuffed apple in a microwave for two to two and a half minutes on high. Let stand for about five minutes before breaking out the ice cream.
For variety, you might also try a pear. Boscs work best for baking or roasting.
When baking, it’s easiest to cut your pears into halves, removing the core and stem. Keep the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 25–30 minutes. Baste throughout the baking process with a sweet topping (two teaspoons honey, ¼ cup of chopped walnuts, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon works, as does a mix or maple syrup and finely chopped pecans). Don’t forget to drizzle a bit more of the sweet stuff and add yogurt or ice cream!
“By pairing the fruit with nuts and low-fat yogurt, you create a balanced and healthy snack that will make kids smile and keep them full for a while,” Delbridge says.
Like most snacks, there are many variations on this theme. Please share your favorite baked fruit recipe with your fellow readers in the comments section.