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Anti-inflammatory recipe 13

This is a truly versatile dish.  Served warm, stuffed baked apples with blueberry sauce is a perfect heart-warming winter dessert and is equally good cold at breakfast. Each serving provides you with 1/3 of your daily fibre intake to help keep your digestive system in order, flavanoids and phenolics to protect your artery walls and vitamins A, C and E to counter damaging free radicals.

Stuffed baked apples

Serves 4 –

  • 4 Bramley apples (cored and scored around the centre to just cut through the skin and not into the flesh)
  • 100g pitted dried dates or mixed dried druit
  • 40g almonds, walnuts or mixed nuts
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice
  • 200g fresh or thawed frozen blueberries (set aside 12 blueberries to garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar

Method –

  • Preheat the oven to 180˚ (fan 160˚)
  • Whizz the dates, nuts and a few of the blueberries in a blender for 30 seconds. Make sure the mixture remains ‘chunky’ and not liquid. Add the honey and spices and stir in well.
  • Stuff the date, nut and honey mixture into centre holes of each apple.
  • Place the apples into a baking dish so that they fit snuggly together and bake for about 45 – 55 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time use a skewer to test that they are soft in the middle.
  • Just before the apples are ready place the blueberries into a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds until they start to burst. Leave to cool slightly before stirring in the agave nectar.
  • Once cooked allow the apples to cool for five minutes. Serve drizzled with the blueberry sauce around the base. Garnish with a few whole blueberries.

Tips –

  • Scoring the apples around the centre helps to prevent them bursting elsewhere.
  • To stop the stuffing mix from falling through push a walnut down the centre of each apple from top to bottom to act as a plug.
  • If you don’t have a small  baking dish pack it out with foil to ensure the apples stay upright.
  • For extra interest add a large spoon of Greek yoghurt and drop of honey to each plate.