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Baked apples are like mini apple crisps, ready to go for breakfast or dessert. Try this spin using quinoa, instead of oats, to add a little protein to the dish. Nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin pie spice add all your favorite warm and cozy fall flavors and are also good for reducing inflammation.
4 medium apples (recommend tart apples like Granny Smith or Macintosh)
¼ cup dry quinoa
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 TBSP pure maple syrup
1 TBSP coconut oil
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup apple cider
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Add the quinoa and ½ cup water to a small pot. Cover, bring to a low rolling boil, reduce heat and simmer, until the water is absorbed. Quinoa will be al dente.
3. Remove the cores from the apples using pairing knife and a spoon. Make sure not to core all the way through, keeping the bottom in tact on the apple.
4. Add the pecans, cranberries, maple syrup, coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, nutmeg and salt to the quinoa and stir to combine. Zest ½ of the lemon into the mixture.
5. Spoon ¼ cup of the quinoa filling into each apple.
6. Fill the bottom of a 9×9 inch baking dish with the apple cider and the juice from the lemon.
7. Place the apples in the dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 15-20 minutes longer until apples soften and start to crack.
8. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Recommend to serve with Greek Yogurt or a scoop of gelato.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of JoJe Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.