It happened again last week, the first time I baked apples this year.
Every fall, when we dig into warm, sweet-scented baked apples, I say to my husband, “Why am I not making these year round?”
For me, baked apples are one of the only fruit desserts that don’t seem like a substitute for something
better unhealthy. Baked apples aren’t apple pie on a diet – they are stand alone wonderful.
Part of the appeal is that they require about five minutes an apple to prepare, and there’s not much peeling or mess. It’s difficult to give an exact carb count for apples, because nutrition depends on size and variety. That said, apples are used in many heart-healthy and blood-sugar friendly eating plans. Apples contain some fiber and contain a lot of water, which makes them filling.
Since a plain apple has no fat and no refined sugar, I feel fine playing around with some add-ins in addition to cinnamon.
I also add small amounts of brown sugar, chopped nuts, reduced sugar Craisins and light butter. Used very sparingly, dried fruit and sugar add big flavor to the baked apples with only an extra three carbs (yes, I figured it out 😎) and make them feel like a “real” dessert instead of a good-for-you dessert.
As for choice of apples – I used to study those charts about what apple works best for what use, but now I keep it simple and just use Honey Crisp, which hold their shape and are naturally very sweet. A medium Honey Crisp has about 20 carbs and also about 3-4 grams of fiber.
In addition to serving as a dessert, a leftover baked apple – straight from the fridge or rewarmed – would make a fine cold weather breakfast teamed with some Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or even a couple of reduced fat cheese sticks.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’m thinking about serving baked apple halves as a healthy side dish. A half apple will take up space on my plate; this means slightly less room for stuffing and other carby/fatty/high calorie treats.👍🏻
- 1 Baking pan
- 1 Apple I use Honey Crisp but any baking apple is fine
- 1/2 Tsp. Brown sugar can omit
- 1 Tsp. Light butter I use Land o Lakes Light Butter With Canola Oil
- 3-4 Reduced sugar Craisins sub raisins or omit entirely
- 2 Pecan halves, chopped walnuts can be substituted
- As Desired Ground cinnamon