Above: This healthy apple crumble has the flavors of apple pie a la mode, without the calories. One small apple has about 80 calories and delivers great vitamins and 4 grams of fiber. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
BY MELISSA D’ARABIAN
During my freshman year at the University of Vermont, I became a pro at apple picking, and at cooking up all those apples I picked. I probably know at least 20 different ways to bake an apple!
So ever since college, it just doesn’t feel like fall without a slew of apple recipes rotating through my kitchen. Luckily, apples are a great healthy choice. One small apple has about 80 calories and delivers great vitamins and 4 grams of fiber. And that means you won’t be hungry after snacking on one (or eating one for dessert). Sure, many of the calories come from sugars, but with all that fiber, it’s unlikely you’ll be sitting down to consume huge quantities of them at one time.
My favorite apple concoction is apple pie a la mode. While I love to occasionally indulge on the real deal, I scratch the cinnamon-apple and cream itch with my healthier individual inside-out apple crumbles! It’s a baked apple with the crumble cozily tucked away on the inside of the apple where the core used to be. I love individual desserts because they feel a smidge fancy. They also have their own portion control built right in. What a perfect way to celebrate fall.
INSIDE-OUT APPLE CRUMBLES
Start to finish: 30 minutes
4 small sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp or Fuji
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground dry ginger
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
Heat the oven to 400 F.
Use a melon baller to carve out the core of each apple, but leave about 1/2 inch at the bottoms (don’t scoop all the way through). The goal is to create about a 1-inch-wide cavity down the center of each apple. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, walnuts, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Break apart the butter and mash it into the sugar mixture with a fork until well incorporated. Divide the mixture among the apples, spooning it in and packing it tightly into the cavity of each apple. Arrange the apples in a baking dish, add 1 inch of water to the bottom of the dish, then cover with foil.
Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until a paring knife slides into the apples with no resistance. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, vanilla and honey. Whisk in 1 teaspoon water at a time until the sauce resembles a thick whipped cream. Serve each apple with a quarter of the yogurt cream drizzled over top or on the side for dipping.
Nutrition information per serving: 240 calories; 80 calories from fat (33 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; 36 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 26 g sugar; 7 g protein.