Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Eats! Warm and Filling Baked Apples, Superman style!

Hello, everybody! the Fresh Pioneer is back and I have some seriously delicious food here. And it's good for you! OK, there is sugar. And butter. And more sugar. But there is some might healthy stuff in here...
  I love baked apples. But I also love to pretend that I'm eating something healthy so... let's add some things to the baked apples.
  For one: PECANS! (Let's not argue about pronunciation. It's a blog. You can read it the way you want!)
"According to the National Pecan Shellers Association, pecans are high in healthy unsaturated fat and just a handful a day can lower “bad” cholesterol. They also contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Just one ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the Daily Recommended intake of fiber. Pecans are also rich in age defying antioxidants. In fact, research from the USDA shows that pecans are the most antioxidant-rich tree nut and rank among the top 15 foods with the highest levels of antioxidants."
That's from a Shape article on Pecans here. I don't read Shape magazine. It makes me a bit depressed. But I do like to read about food!

 We buy ours from the local Coquille Indian Tribe. Organic and sustainable farming is a win-win! they harvest 100,000 pounds a year.
Healthwise, anthocyanins present in the berries fight inflammation, and are also linked to lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer. This doesn't even address the antioxidant properties!
   So, let's get started! I'm going to use my NINJA COOKER! (I can't say that without a cheesey announcer voice. It's such a funny name.)
Hollow out the apples leaving about 1/4 inch at the bottom. Now, here's the bad part. Stick some butter in there. Seriously. It's yummier that way.
 I didn't chop the pecans but you can if you like a less chunky mix inside the apples. I also didn't mix the ingredients in a bowl because we have some people who did not 'prefer' their apples with raisins.
1cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans
1 cup raisins
1 cup whole cranberries, raw
Settle the apples in the bottom of the pan (or the crockpot). Stuff each with a mix of desired ingredients. These apples won't hold much, so the leftovers go in the bottom of the crockpot with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup apple juice.  I saw a recipe that called for 1.2 cup brandy and I REALLY wanted to try it... but giving alcohol to toddlers might be a bad idea. So, no brandy in this one.
 I dribbled a little maple flavoring into the middle of the mix. With the way the crockpot heated the bottom, everything smelled great!

 After 15 minutes, I opened it up. (Now, this is the NINJA COOKER. If you have a crockpot, it will take longer. Hours probably. MMMMM, the cranberries are all cooked, raisins are puffed up, pecans are soft, and the oatmeal is perfectly done.
 One apple, with leftovers on the side. The only thing I might change would be to add more oatmeal. My daughter drizzled hers with honey from the farmer's market and that was DELICIOUS!
I know this picture is fuzzy. It's because the spoon was moving so quickly TOWARD MY MOUTH.

After one of these babies, you'll be as strong as Superman. Or maybe live as long. Or maybe just have nice skin. I'm not totally sure. We can hope for all three!

As I was working, Edna quoted something I thought was just lovely. (If she doesn't get a chance to cook, she amuses herself by throwing out appropriate literary lines.) It describes me perfectly. If I had Dr. Who's tardis, I would just hop from Autumn to Autumn, with a little stop at Spring for a change.
Until next time, my lovelies!


  1. I would embrace that quote, too!!!! And this looks absolutely wonderful, marvelous and all things superlative!!!! I'm happy looking at this!

    I love that quote... but I love winter, too because my work load around the house/farm lessens in winter and I can glean about an extra hour a day to write... Oh, for soft, snow-filled winter nights!!! :) But of course I can say that because I work both jobs at home, not facing commuter traffic. Reason enough for everyone to work from home, right? Virginia, I love these pics and I love everything apple. Bless you!!!!

    1. I think my work load is HIGHER because kids are inside and not outside playing!! but I love them anyway, and we have great times together. Vive l'automne!!

  2. looks yummy and now I want a ninja cooker!


    1. I hardly ever use kitchen gadgets so I was sort of hesitant to fork over the $80 for it... but when our oven wasn't working, it really saved my sanity! And since it cooks everything super fast, we keep trying new recipes to see what happens. I don't think we've had a real 'fail' yet!!

  3. looks good and makes you want to eat one curl up with a good book and enjoy the fall weather from inside the house

    1. Yes! Of course, with homeschooling 6 kids, I'm not really curling up with a good book, but I still LOVE FALL!!

  4. Wow. This looks seriously amazing. Thanks, from Lois Lane.

    1. *waves madly* Oh, wasn't that Superman suave? *ahem* *Sidles up, gives a smoldering glance*
      Oh, now I feel weird. Could you be Jimmy?

  5. You had me at pecans, Virginia. Love 'em. Butter, sugar, and all that other stuff isn't bad either :) I haven't done baked apples in a long time. Think I need to give it a whirl. Thanks.

    1. These are Jonagold and they were a bit bland. I think Granny Smith's would really offset the brown sugar. Or maybe a more cider-flavored apple like a Fuji or a Pink Lady. We'll try them again and let you know.

  6. Yummy!!! I love baked apples, but I've only every filled them with sugar and cinnamon and then smothered them with custard at serving time. Drool. This is a pretty darn snazzy way to sophisticate 'em up. And it never occurred to me that I could put them in the crock pot! I will have to have a few friends over and try this out. Hmmm, maybe I could convince them to come over for a leaf raking party and then serve this afterwards. :-)

  7. Work and food!! You can't lose! Let me know how it works! I'm going to make spiced cider today. I'm just allllllll into Fall right now.