I’m always on the lookout for a sweet treat that’s also hearty and healthy. One of my fellow comrades in Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss group created this recipe. I made a tiny modification and it was an instant favorite. It’s like a mug of mulled cider by the fire on a chilly fall evening plus one of Gram’s famous hugs all wrapped up in one of nature’s prettiest packages – an apple!
4 medium apples
1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or apple pie spice)
1 Tbsp flavored balsamic vinegar (I used a combination of Cara Cara Orange and Cranberry Pear)
3-5 tsp water
1/4 c frozen blueberries
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Core apples without piercing all the way through the bottom. It can work nicely to cut the top out at an angle like you would a tomato. Then use the corer to cut all the seeds out, and a spoon to scoop out the seeds and hard parts. Leave the bottom intact to hold the stuffing.
Combine oats, cinnamon, pie spice with a fork. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir again. Add water 1 tsp at a time just until the mixture starts to hold together a little. Add blueberries and mix again. Stuff the apples with stuffing, pressing down gently so it holds together. Top each with a couple extra blueberries and sprinkle with cinnamon. Move apples carefully to a glass baking dish with a little water at the bottom.
Bake 35-40 minutes until you can pierce apples with a sharp knife. Top with walnuts if using. Drizzle with a flavored balsamic vinegar and serve warm.
Note: You could also add 1/2 – 1 Tbsp flax or chia seeds to the mixture before baking if you’re looking to add some healthy fats (and aren’t concerned about weight loss).