From apple pie, to homemade applesauce, to crisp apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with almond butter, apples have always been my absolute favorite fruit. So much so that I bought them by the case when living in Italy, gone apple picking more times than I can count, and know all the tricks of the trade on how to graft an apple tree, thanks to the apple growing expertise of my 94 year old grandfather – you could basically say a love for apples is in my DNA.
Of course, I love apples for their impressive nutrition too. Along with being a supreme source of heart-healthy and digestive-supporting fiber, apples contain important nutrients like vitamin C and K, potassium, copper, and B vitamins. They’re also loaded with phytochemical antioxidants which have shown to play a key role in reducing chronic diseases including certain cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Apples are my perfect snack when I’m looking for something healthy and sweet and can also be a bit of an indulgence when baked into a treat and topped with ice cream. Apples are just so versatile and flavorful every which way you prepare them – which brings me to these absolutely delicious date and walnut stuffed apples made with Autumn Glory apples.
I consider myself a bit of an apple connoisseur and can be (very) picky about my choice of apples. Of course, they need to be organic, as conventional apples top out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen roundup, the list of the top fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue, annually. The Pesticide Network Action Group of North America notes that the USDA Pesticide Data Program has found 47 different pesticide residues on apples, six of which are known or probable carcinogens. Yikes.
Along with being organic, I like my apples to be crisp and firm, juicy, flavorful, and sweet – no mushy, watery apples need apply. With my high apple standards, finding an apple that I actually enjoy can be a little tricky. Enter: organic Autumn Glory apples grown by family-owned Domex Superfresh Growers, one of the world’s largest growers of organic and conventionally grown apples, pears, and cherries in the Pacific Northwest. These apples are harvested late in October, unlike other apple varieties, meaning that they are available throughout winter at natural food stores and grocery markets nationwide. They’re totally a taste of fall even in these cold, dark winter days.
Not only do these crisp apples taste sweet, like caramel and cinnamon all rolled into one bite, they’re versatile and so easy to incorporate into your diet. I love taking one as a quick snack on the go along with a packet of nut butter, or adding one to my morning oatmeal. They’re even better (if possible!) when warmed up, which is why I can’t get over how delicious they taste when baked whole and stuffed with crunchy walnuts and sweet dates.
When baked whole, Autumn Glory apples still have a crisp texture, but with a bit of soft give to their skin. Their texture becomes both soft and firm, which is just the dream when warm and topped with vanilla yogurt, or ice cream if you feel like a treat! The dates provide the only added sweetness necessary and the walnuts add in healthy fats with a hint of crunch. Warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg bring out the natural flavors of the apples while providing an extra boost of antioxidants too.
You’re going to love Autumn Glory apples as much as I am, especially in this simple recipe. To make, you simply need to core your apples and stuff them, which takes all of five minutes to prep. Hot out of the oven, they’re delicious with a dollop of vanilla yogurt and a drizzle of peanut butter too. I can’t wait for you to try the apple goodness.
Crisp and sweet Autumn Glory apples + warming spices + caramel dates + crunchy walnuts = the sweetest snack ever.
Date and Walnut Stuffed Apples
4 crisp organic apples, preferably organic Autumn Glory apples
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
½ tsp cinnamon
Dash each of nutmeg and ginger
¼ tsp pink sea salt
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup dates, pits removed and roughly chopped
½ cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 F.
First core the apples. Use an apple corer or a sharp pairing knife to carefully cut out the core, leaving the bottom half of the apple in tact. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out seeds and flesh around core and discard.
In a small bowl, combine melted coconut oil, spices, sea salt, walnuts, and dates. Mix well to combine and spoon mixture into each apple, stuffing to the top.
Carefully place each apple into a baking dish and pour boiling water around them. Bake apples in the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until apples are cooked, but not overly mushy.
Remove from oven and serve warm with a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of peanut butter, and even a handful of cacao nibs if you’re feeling creative!
Note: This post was Sponsored by Autumn Glory Apples, a company who makes delicious and crisp apples that are both flavorful and delicious. All opinions, text, and photos are my own. Thank you for supporting brands who support Vegukate!
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