Were you wondering if we decided to leave our modern comforts and blog behind to live in the mountains off the grid somewhere? Nope (though that does sound kinda dreamy) – we’re back, leaning further into our fall obsession with this warm, comfy healthy-ish dessert.
Confession: I’m not a ‘sweets’ person. Give me a bag of chips or a basket of fries all. day. long. But a cupcake? Icing? A donut? Eh. I can usually leave it. With that said, there is something about fruit-based desserts that do entice me. Maybe it’s because they’re not overly sugar-y, or that they have a whole food ingredient that makes me feel like I’m still living in the world of (sort of) healthy.
These baked apples don’t disappoint. And honestly, they shouldn’t even be classified as ‘dessert’ because they’re filled with delicious healthy foods like walnuts and pumpkin seeds, and are only naturally sweetened with dates. Dates inside of apples – it’s like fruit inception. If you throw a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream on top at the end, we may be having a bit of a different conversation about the ‘healthy’ part, but hey – you do you. Even this salty-over-sweet girl knows that vegan ice cream is yummy.
Let’s bake some apples.
I chose Lady Alice apples for this (I’m pretty sure they’re seasonal) because they are satisfyingly sweet with a hint of tart. But a gala or honeycrisp would be great too.
Preheat oven to 350. Slice the tops off of the apples (about 1/2 inch). Core the inside with a knife and spoon (*or read a little further for a better tool) about a quarter-size in width, and almost to the bottom of the apple – without piercing all the way through. (*Pro tip – you know those $10 pumpkin carving kits you buy every year and inevitably throw away or lose? Hope you still have it – that little moon-shaped scooper is perfect for apple coring!)
Mix all other ingredients together (except water and oats) in a food processor or blender until well-incorporated (about 30 seconds). Stir oats in with a spoon. Spoon mixture into openings of apples. Pack mixture in, and let a little overflow onto the top.
Place apples in a baking dish filled with 1/4 C water at the bottom. Bake for 45 minutes (outside should be a bit wrinkled, and a knife should easily slide through).
Enjoy! If you’re feeling crazy, slice open and top with vegan ice cream or whipped topping. You should be feeling crazy here. Worth it.
Baked Apple Ingredients
(makes 4 apples)
-4 organic lady alice apples (or similar type)
-1/2 C GF rolled oats
-1/2 C walnuts
-1/2 unsweetened nut milk (almond, cashew, etc I used macadamia nut)
-1/4 C roasted/salted pumpkin seeds
-4-5 medjool dates (pitted)
-3 T almond butter
-1 T vanilla
-2 t cinnamon
-1/4 C water (for bottom of baking dish)