Baked Stuffed Christmas Apples
4 McIntosh apples (or any baking apple)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 cup low-fat granola
1/8 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1/8 cup dried cranberries or raisins
4 tablespoons agave nectar, divided
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease muffin tin. Cut off tops of apples, set aside. With a melon baller, remove seeds/core. Hollow out enough to make room for 1/4 cup granola/nut mixture.
2. In a bowl, combine cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Rub spice mixture inside apples. Place 1 teaspoon vanilla extract inside each apple and swirl around to coat well.
3. Combine granola, nuts, and dried fruit in a bowl. Stuff 1/4 cup granola mixture inside each apple, drizzle 1 tablespoon agave nectar over granola stuffing.
4. Place apple top back on, bake in prepared muffin tin, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cut in 1/2 in a shallow bowl, serve hot. Top with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
If apples are small, you may have enough stuffing for 1 or 2 more apples. A great low-calorie alternative to apple pie, still full of flavor! About 200 calories per apple, without ice cream.
Source of recipe: My own recipe; modified from a Rachel Ray version.