Baked apples are in my blood. I mean, not literally, obviously. But ever since I can remember, soft, warm baked apples with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream were a staple at my house.
They hold the same fond associations for me, as foods like pies, rice pudding or angel food cake hold for others I’ve talked to. Luckily, as far as desserts go, baked apples are up there on the ‘healthy list’. And for me and my fellow Ontarians, apples could be considered one of our local superfoods.
Just like turmeric, maca, matcha and goji berries, which we import from around the world, apples grow happily in our backyards and offer many of the same astounding power properties as other revered ‘superfoods’.
While apples are naturally sweet, further enhanced by baking, they actually help to regulate blood sugar! The fibre found in apples as well as the phytonutrients help to prevent spikes in blood sugar.
For those looking to break this down even further, scientific studies have found that the polyphenols in apples lessen the absorption of glucose from the digestive tract; they stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to secrete insulin; and to increase uptake of glucose from the blood via stimulation of insulin receptors.
All that to say, if you’re reaching for something sweet, an apple is a most excellent choice. Additionally, these baked apples are paired with cinnamon, the spice god of blood sugar regulation. As well, I’ve ditched the traditional topping made with oats and added my own combo of yummy sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Full of vitamin E, anti-microbial properties, fibre and healthy fats, these seeds will help to further regulate your blood sugar while keeping you full and nourished.
Blood Sugar Balancing Grain-Free Apple Crisp
4 gala apples
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup cranberries
1 tbsp coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 375F.
Peel and core apples. Cut into slices.
In an glass baking dish or bowl, mix all ingredients except shredded coconut.
If using a bowl, transfer mixture to glass baking dish.
Cover and bake for 15min.
Uncover and sprinkle with coconut. Bake for 5-10min more depending on size of apple pieces until apples are soft and coconut is lightly toasted.
Serve as-is, with a scoop of non-dairy vanilla ice cream or coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!