The Case of the Exploding Apples

Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner and Registered Dietitian at Nourish Northwest

pj headshot

Nourish Northwest now has two harvest traditions: peach picking in the summer and apple picking in the fall. The past two years, Olivia and I have gone apple picking at Draper Girls farm. This year, we hit the season just right, and didn’t even have to use the ladder. I have to say, I prefer apple season. They store well, seem to be more versatile, and I just love fall flavors.


Cute, but not so helpful.
So helpful (and still cute)!
So helpful (and still cute)!













Last year, we made the most delicious sugar free Chai Spiced Applesauce. It was just as perfect this year. ┬áIt’s a great way to use lots of apples, but it barely made a dent in our 20 pound box.

Okay, so you might be wondering about the exploding apples. Thankfully, there were some good sports in our Autumn Harvest cooking class last year. Right before we pulled the baked apples out of the oven, we talked about how important recipe testing is, and how we had a minor problem with the baked apples exploding in the oven. We assured our attendees that we fixed the problem. Nope. They splattered their innards all over the oven. We ended up with a column of tasty date stuffing standing among the carnage of apple flesh.

Stuffed apple fail.
Stuffed apple fail.

Our cooking class participants were so generous that they laughed and then happily ate the wreckage.

Instead of running the risk of explosion again this year, I decided to test a new baked apple recipe. I figured that I would avoid the build up of pressure by slicing the apples in half before baking them. (Alternative theories welcome).

Feeling hopeful.
Feeling hopeful.

After about 25 minutes in the oven, I started to helicopter mom the apples. “Stay intact, stay intact…”

Recipe testing success!
Recipe testing success!

They were amazing! I just might have to “test” one more time before our cooking class this Thursday. Let me list the reasons they were so much better than other stuffed apples: No sugar added, perfect portion, nutty fall flavors, did not explode. Case solved.


Stuffed Apple Halves

Serves 8


4 apples, halved and core scooped out


4 dates, chopped

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

2 Tbs butter, vegan butter, or coconut oil

Pinch of salt


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Mix filling ingredients together in a medium bowl. Hands work best for this.

3. Arrange apple halves in a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Stuff each apple half with 2 Tbs filling.

4. Bake apples for 30-35 minutes, until tender.

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