Well, it’s finally “after the chagim” and it’s beginning to feel a lot like autumn (all eight days of it). It’s time to talk about a perfect fall/winter dessert that can also double as a wonderful evening snack. I am talking about baked apples.
I grew up on baked apples and then they kind of fell out of favor and interest (for me) for something like thirty years. What’s lovey about baked apples is that they are easy to make, wonderful to eat warm or at room-temperature and are a great points-friendly dessert!
Don’t worry, I did hear your thinking about how well they go with ice cream and I have chosen to ignore that comment!
Yochi's Baked Apples
1. Apples. I am sure there is an entire “torah” regarding which apples are considered the best for baked apples. Since my new favorite fresh apple is green and tart, I like to use a sweeter small to medium-size red apple for this dish.
2. Lemon juice
3. Fake sugar
6. Baking dish that is deep and wide enough to fit the apples comfortably. The depth of the dish should be able to accommodate (at least) over half the height of the apples.
How to work:
1. Choose apples that are whole, firm and without blemishes, gashes or soft spots. The size of the apple is up to you; just keep in mind that if the apple is too small, it is much harder to clean out the heart (center) of the apple without damaging the ‘meat’ of the apple and the skin and will leave a very small portion to eat. If the apple is too large, it may take a long time to cook and may leave you with only half-cooked, hard apples.
2. Carefully cut a circle of flesh around and including the stem (top) of the apple and set aside. I like to place the "top" back on during baking.
3. Using a paring knife, carefully cut into the heart (center) of the apple; from the top of the apple until about a thumb nail size above the bottom of the apple. Using a rotating motion, cut out thin layers of the heart of the apple until all the seeds and the hard shell of the seeds are removed from the apple.
4. If you accidently cut or pierce the bottom skin of the apple, use some of the apple you cut out to “plug” the hole.
5. Place each apple into the baking dish. I like to fit the apples snuggly together, so that they can’t fall over, but not too tight that they are pressing on each other.
6. Pour lemon juice into and around each apple, to prevent the apples from turning brown.
7. Pour cinnamon and sugar into each apple, filling the entire hole. As you all know, I love cinnamon, so I add A LOT of cinnamon.
8. Pour lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and water into the pan around the apples, until about a third of the way up the pan. You can mix the ingredients before you pour them into the pan or simply pour each ingredient separately, like I do. During the baking process, this mix will turn into a wonderful golden brown sauce that you can pour over the apples before you serve them.
9. Bake in a preheated oven to 180°C for about an hour. Baking time may vary according to oven, baking pan and apple thickness.
10. First bake uncovered for at least half the baking time, to ensure the apples come out golden and then cover to help keep the apples and the sauce in the pan from drying out.
11. If the sauce around the apples begins to dry out, add more water and a bit more sugar and cinnamon.
12. The apples are done when their skins feel soft and flexible to the touch.
13. You can even finish this dish or re-heat the apples in a microwave oven.
One apple is one serving. That was easy enough!
How to store:
Always store in a covered container in the fridge.
Getting Back-to-the-Basics II
Drum roll please: If you best friend hasn't told you yet, then I will: It’s after the chagim. So I am continuing my talk about getting back to the basics. The only way to get yourself back on track is to get back to the basics.
So let’s all take a deep breath.
If know that you “have sinned” over the chagim; well then I forgive you my dear. So get over it. If you have not weighed yourself since Chag ended because you are afraid of what you will see in the little dial - DON’T WEIGH YOURSELF YET.
Get back to the basics.
Take charge of your life again and then and only then you can weigh yourself.
So today begin at the beginning. No matter what diet program you choose, there is always these rules are always part of the common denominator:
1) Keep a food journal of what you ate and how much you ate. Be thorough and be honest.
2) Count and measure your portion sizes.
3) Eat on small plates and eat s-l-o-w-l-y!
4) Be mindful of everything you put in your mouth.
5) Chew your food. Really, chew each mouthful – and put down your fork while you are chewing.
6) Eat THREE MEALS ADAY. Begin with breakfast. Have a healthy snack between each full meal.
7) Never start a meal hungry!
8) Plan your meals at least one day in advance.
9) Take healthy snacks (and meals, if you plan to be out of the house for a whole day) with you when you leave your home.
10) Weigh yourself on a regular weekly basis. Weigh yourself at the same time of day, wearing similar clothes.
Want more tips or need to just talk to someone about your lifestyle? Contact me.
Do you enjoy reading this blog, please LIKE me on Facebook, tell your friends and follow this blog on email!
NEW! Want to change your eating habits and change your lifestyle? I now provide one-on-one weekly mentoring meetings and weekly group classes. Learn to cook healthy meals, set your own goals and learn to love yourself! Contact me today!