Prep Time: 2 hours Cook Time: 30-60 min Yield: 4 large or 6 small servings
WHAT YOU NEED
- 3 firm apples
- Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Braeburn if you like 'em sweet
- Gala, Granny Smith, or Jonagolds if you like 'em tart
- 2 cups steel cut oats (rinsed, soaked for 2 hours, then drained)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- zest of 1 mandarin (optional...if you're feeling zesty!)
- 7 Medjool dates, chopped
- 2 tbs ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I got for walnuts or pecans)
- 2 cups vanilla almond milk (or plain milk + 1 tsp vanilla bean)
- pure maple syrup or raw honey for drizzling
WHAT TO DO
Preheat oven to 350F.
Wash and core your apples. If you don't have a corer, like me, use a paring knife and cut a 1" square around the center of the apple from the top and bottom. Then push the cut portion out through the top.
In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Then add the soaked (but fully drained) oats and milk and mix until well combined.
Put your apples in a deep baking dish greased lightly with butter. Mmmmmm.
Fill each apple with the mixture and then spoon all of what's leftover around the apples. Pack it all down too.
Place dish on the center rack of your oven, uncovered. If your apples are small, they'll probably take about 30 minutes to bake. If they are large, they could take close to 1 hour. Peek in on them around the 30 minute mark. You'll know they're ready by how they smell and look, how easily a knife penetrates through the apple, and whether or not the oats have soaked up all the liquid and are set in the dish.
Get creative with how you enjoy this dish. It could easily be part of a dessert as well! Have fun!