This week's JUST DO THIS column is about organic apples. Like most of us, I have spent most of my life eating conventional apples and felt pretty virtuous whenever I'd choose an apple over a cookie. On some level i knew it was better to buy organic but who wanted to spent $2.99/lb on organic Honeycrisps when conventional were $1.49/lb? Then a friend sent me the Environmental Working Group's list of "The Dirty Dozen" and it brought me up short. I was stunned to learn that not only were appleS at the top of the list of dirtiest fruit, but that 98% of apples grown in this country still have up to 48 kinds of pesticide residue even when they are cleaned and peeled!! It makes me angry that the U.S. food supply is tainted with toxins all in the name of beautiful, blemish-free produce. I now use the EWG's "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean Fifteen" when deciding which produce to buy organic. Check out their site to get a pocket sized copy. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy a nice bowl of warm organic apples baked with oatmeal and walnuts.
BAKED APPLES WITH OATMEAL
4 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup
1/2 c. Almond, Soy or Coconut Milk
1/3 c. Oatmeal
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
3 Organic Apples, unpeeled and sliced into 12ths
1/2 c. Walnuts or Pecan, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except apples, nuts and 1 Tbsp maple syrup in a large bowl. Add apples and toss until well combined. Pour into a 9x9 baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Uncover, stir once, recover with foil and bake for 20 minutes more. Toss nuts in maple syrup, sprinkle on top of apples and bake 5 additional minutes uncovered.