An apple a day benefits your whole body. A fresh medium apple contains many nutrients as well as fiber. Fiber slows down digestion and helps you feel full longer. For this reason, you may be less likely to snack on high fat snacks and maintain your weight, instead of gaining. A medium apple has about 80 calories and 3 grams of fiber. Apples are plentiful in markets at this time of year and are budget-friendly when bought by the bag.

For a nourishing snack, try cutting an apple into thin slices and leave the skin on. If you are concerned about pesticides, rinse the apple well before cutting. For added protein, try adding a tablespoon of peanut butter or other nut butter as a dip for the apple slices. Fresh apples keep best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Tart baked apples with ground cinnamon make your whole house smell wonderful and you will be ready to eat as soon as they cool. Following is a recipe for Spicy Baked Apples from Spend Smart Eat Smart by Iowa State Extension Service. This recipe would make a hearty breakfast or a delicious dessert.

Spicy Baked Apples

You will need:

2 medium tart apples, rinsed well and dried

1 teaspoon white or brown sugar (I like brown for the color)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

2 tablespoons oatmeal

2 tablespoons raisins, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, or other nuts

1 container (6 ounce) low fat vanilla yogurt


Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Cut apples in half lengthwise. Remove core and hollow out a 1-inch space in the center of each half.

Arrange apple halves, cut sides up, in a microwaveable dish. Cut thin slices off the bottom of each half to keep it from tipping.

Divide butter into four pieces and place one piece in the center space of each apple.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, oatmeal, raisins, cranberries and nuts.

Fill the center space of each apple half with mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap but fold back ¼” at one edge to vent steam.

Microwave 3-3 ½ minutes or until apples are tender.

Remove from the microwave and wait 3 to 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Spoon any juice in the dish over the apples.

Spoon yogurt over the top of each apple half and enjoy for a snack or dessert.

This recipe contains 100 calories per serving.

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