Just in time for fall, this recipe for vegan crockpot baked apples is a delicious way to ring in the new season.
Made with crisp apples, warming spices, and a handy crockpot, it’s an easy and nourishing dessert to make all autumn long. Grab your coconut milk ice cream, stat.
The Health Benefits of Apples
Not only are they crunchy, sweet, and a sure sign of fall, apples are some of the healthiest fruits around.
Apples have an impressive amount of vitamin C and fiber, as well as other phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins – most of which are found in the skin of apples, FYI.
One medium apple contains roughly five grams of fiber, a nutrient essential for an optimally functioning digestive system. Fiber is also necessary for slowing down carbohydrate metabolism and keeping blood sugar levels steadied.
Phytonutrients, or compounds that act like antioxidants in the body, are abundant in apples. These include quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, all of which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and combat inflammation, according to a 2004 review on apple phytochemicals published in Nutrition Journal.
Numerous epidemiological studies associate apple consumption with decreased risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, and asthma. In vitro and animal studies have also shown that apples exhibit high antioxidant activity, can inhibit cancer cell growth, decrease lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol, according to the review.
Choose organic apples, as their conventional counterparts are number four on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list for 2017. Besides, organic apples boast more antioxidants and polyphenols than conventional apples, according to this study.
Just another excuse to don some boots, grab your flannel, and pick some organic apples to make these crockpot baked apples and celebrate fall.
- 4 firm apples, such as Fuji or Honey Crisp
- ¼ cup pecans
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 3 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Dash each of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice
- Pinch of sea salt
- ½ cup water or apple juice
- 1-2 sticks cinnamon
- In a small bowl mix together pecans, raisings, oats, coconut oil, spices, and sea salt. Set aside.
- Using a sharp pairing knife, carefully core the center of the apple. Make a small hole in the center of the apple, leaving about ½ inch of apple at the bottom.
- Gently fill each apple with nut and raisin mixture and place in crockpot.
- Pour water or apple juice into the bottom of crockpot and around apples.
- Add in cinnamon sticks.
- Set the crockpot to low and cook for 4 hours, or until apples are soft and easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove apples from crockpot and serve each with a scoop of coconut milk ice cream.
- Enjoy while warm!
Photos by Kate Gavlick