The founder of Joyous Health, Joy McCarthy is a certified holistic nutritionist, bestselling author and TV personality. Her latest book, Joyous Detox, was designed as a plan and cookbook for detoxing naturally every day. All the recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free and emphasize specific detox-friendly foods that are simply delicious and fully nourishing.
Ma McCarthy’s Baked Apples
This was a healthy sweet treat my brother and I had as kids, especially in the fall when apples are in season. Coconut butter wasn’t available back then, but it’s a welcome addition today because it lends the perfect sweetness and texture to this wonderful recipe. Use an apple that holds its shape when baked. I find Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Granny Smith apples all work well.
Makes 8 servings
1 cup (250 mL) raisins
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
2 apples, unpeeled
2 pears, unpeeled
1/2 cup (125 mL) apple juice or filtered water
1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut butter
2 tbsp (30 mL) dark real maple syrup (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
In a medium bowl, stir together raisins, walnuts and cinnamon. Set aside.
Cut apples and pears in half and remove the cores. In a shallow baking dish, arrange apples and pears cut side up. Pour enough apple juice over fruit to come 1/2 inch (1 cm) up the side of the pan. Spoon raisin-walnut mixture into the fruit cavities. Cover dish with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes or until soft.
Once fruit is cooked, place coconut butter in a small pot and warm it over the lower heat until it becomes creamy. (It will not melt the way coconut does.) Be sure not to burn it.
Serve apples and pears topped with warmed coconut butter and drizzled with maple syrup if you’d like.
Apples are a detox superfood because they are a rich source of fibre that keeps you fuller for longer, balances blood sugar and feeds good bacteria in your gut. Leave the skin on the apples and pears because this is where most of the nutrients are found, including the fibre and antioxidants.