An apple a day does wonders for our health, from satiating appetite and sweet cravings to increasing fibre intake and improving vitamin status. And, of course, it can keep visits to the doctor at bay by fuelling the body with antioxidants to protect our cells and immune system from the stress and cold of winter. But what about an apple turned into something even more wonderful, and healthfully decadent? With flavours of chai spice, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, and a delicious filling of nuts, apricots and vanilla, these Baked Chai Spice Apples are sure to keep any sweet cravings at peace, whilst boosting the body with all the nutrients it needs to be nourishing and strengthening our immune system.
Baked Chai Spice Apples
4 medium sized apples, cored and left whole
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup organic Turkish apricots, chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest and juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking dish with greaseproof paper.
Combine walnuts, zest, cinnamon, vanilla and rice malt for the apple filling in a small bowl, mix, then divide and fill each of the apple cavities. Place in baking tray and pour orange juice over the top. Place in oven to cook for 20-25 minutes (smaller apples take less time), baste a little orange juice over the top of the apples throughout the cooking process. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly while making the chai spice cream. Place all ingredients for the cream in a small saucepan and whisk together on medium heat to warm. To serve, place apples in bowl and pour over the cream. Top with toasted coconut flakes, if handy, and eat.
Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, practicing nutritionist, author of Seasons to Share and director at The Brown Paper Bag.