Stuffed Baked Apples

 
by Jocelyn Cook
This baked apple recipe was submitted by member Jocelyn Cook. The apples are stuffed with cinnamon, dates, cashews, and oatmeal and are just spilling over with fall goodness. Throw some in the oven today and let the scent fill your whole house.
Ingredients
3 medium FDC apples, cored
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
1.5 cups almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp FDC honey, plus more for garnish
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash and core apples. You want to make the hole about an inch in diameter, so there is enough room for stuffing. Place cored apples in a lightly oiled rimmed baking dish
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.
3. Fill apples with the oatmeal mixture (pack it down slightly) and then spoon the leftover oatmeal + all liquid into the dish, surrounding the apples.
4. Bake, uncovered, for approximately 45 minutes. To test for doneness, pierce apple with a knife. If it slides through fairly easy it’s done. The almond milk should also be absorbed and the oatmeal fairly firm. Serve with drizzle of honey.
**NOTE: I prepared through step 3 the night before, then baked in the morning. Also, because the apples are smaller in size I cored then sliced in half opposed to stuffing the way I normally would with larger apples

Eggplant Through the Ages

By Wendy King

If one thinks about purple berries, maybe blackberries or grapes spring to mind. But eggplant is also a card-carrying member of the fruit clan! The eggplant also claims lineage to the ominous-sounding nightshade family, along with the tomato, pepper, and potato, and provides a lot of nutritional value. Since this fruit frequently features in savory dishes from Parmesan to pizza, its true identity is often hidden. In addition to purple, the eggplant comes in shades of green and white, which coupled with its egg shape, sheds light on how it was named.

Documented as early as 300 BC, this funny-looking fruit was first cultivated in India and China and became a staple of diets and medicine, used to treat diabetes and asthma, according to the International Society for Horticultural Science. Eggplant then worked its way across continents to Persia, Greece, Rome, and Medieval Europe. In this last stop, eggplant was interestingly dubbed an aphrodisiac as well as the culprit causing melancholy and anger. These same Europeans also accepted this flexible fruit as a good addition to the evening meal, with the right seasoning added to supposedly ward off any bad effects. The eggplant even traveled to the Americas in the Age of Exploration and was documented in Brazil in the 17th century. Continue reading