Heart-Healthy Recipe: Baked Apples

If you had to choose between warm homemade cobbler and fresh fruit, which would you choose? It's a no-brainer - right? Fresh fruit, of course.

But in all seriousness, pies, cookies and candy definitely take the cake in terms of holiday desserts - and for good reason. However, they're not exactly known for their heart-healthy benefits. Not only are they loaded with sugar, and other unhealthy ingredients, most of us enjoy one too many of these sweet treats in the name of celebration and holiday fun.

So, instead of making you choose between homemade desserts and fresh fruit, we thought combining them may offer you - and your health - the best of both worlds. Not only does this recipe include cinnamon spice and everything nice, it's also packed full of heart-healthy oats, walnuts and raisins. Plus, you can't go wrong with something warm and toasty when it's chilly outside.

 Here are a few heart-health perks this recipe offers:

  • Helps to lower LDL (aka: bad cholesterol) with nutrient-rich oats and soluble fiber found in apples.
  • Supports lower blood pressure and cholesterol with omega-3 fatty acid found in walnuts, as well as polyphenols found in apples.
  • Boosts overall heart health with raisins that offer magnesium.

This delicious and easy recipe is sure to be a new holiday favorite:

Ingredients:

(can be multiplied for larger groups):

  • 4 medium apples, such as Jonagold, Fuji, or Honeycrisp
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut in 4 pieces
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Optional garnish: cinnamon stick, nuts or candied ginger

Directions:

  • Arrange a rack in the lower-middle position of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Remove the core of the apples, cutting to within a half-inch of the bottom of the apple and creating a hole roughly 3/4-inch wide. This is easy to do with an apple corer, but can also be done with a melon baller, grapefruit spoon or a paring knife.
  • Place the brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and any extras in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Divide this mixture between the apples, packing the wells firmly.
  • Arrange the apples in a baking dish (like an 8x8-inch Pyrex dish), and top each one with a pat of butter. Pour the water into the bottom of the dish and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the apples are soft and the brown sugar has melted into a syrup, 20 to 30 minutes more. You can test the apples by poking a paring knife through the oatmeal mixture and into the interior of the apple; it should slide into the apple easily with no resistance. The skin on the apples will also become wrinkled and soft by the end of cooking.

Serving Size:

1 apple

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories 222
  • Total Fat 3.6 g
  • Total Carbohydrate 43.7 g
  • Protein 1.1 g
  • Fiber 4.8 g
  • Sodium 8.9 mg

Serves 4

This is a variation of a recipe shared on thekitchn.com

Other Heart-Healthy Recipes


About The Heart Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center

For patients with heart disease, life can be challenging. At The Heart Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, we help patients manage their heart health and lead fulfilling lives--even for those with advanced heart disease. Learn more about our program and start your journey today.