2 tbsp cold unsalted organic butter, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
2 tbsp maple sugar
2 tbsp chopped dried unsweetened apricot
2 tbsp slivered unsalted almonds
1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ginger
6 red apples (such as Gala or Honeycrisp)
1/2 cup raw apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp plain Greek yogurt, optional
In a medium bowl, combine oats and flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until it resembles small peas. Add maple sugar, apricot, almonds, cinnamon and ginger, and stir. Set aside.
Using a paring knife or melon baller, remove the core from apples, leaving bottom intact. Divide oat mixture evenly into centers of apples, packing stuffing tightly. To a 5-qt slow cooker, add apples. Pour apple cider around apples and drizzle with maple syrup. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or until apples are tender when pierced with a knife. Serve warm, drizzle with sauce and dollop with yogurt (if using).
Apples are rich in fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, they contain the flavonoid antioxidant quercetin, which acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body to help scavenge disease-causing free radicals.
The slow cooker makes this moist chocolate brownie a cinch to prepare. For the topping, dark sweet cherries are simmered with maple sugar to yield a glossy crimson sauce. If you’re trying to avoid caffeine, omit the espresso powder.
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