Coconut Cinnamon Roasted Apples [Vegan]

2 medium organic apples (I used fuji)
~1/4 c. no sulfur organic shredded coconut
3-4 T. organic raw (unsalted) pumpkin seeds (unshelled)
~5 oz. organic coconut milk (or lite coconut milk or whichever "milk" you prefer. Hemp milk would be a great substitute here.)

cinnamon (a lot, it is great tasting and lowers the glycemic index of the apples)
ground cloves
ground ginger

If you have five minutes to chop an apple and sprinkle on your favorite healthy seeds, holiday spices, and shredded coconut, you might try this. First preheat the oven to 400 degrees (350 will work also, but you'll have to bake them longer). Coat a small loaf or other baking pan with nonstick spray.

Slice or chop the apples and toss them into the pan. Cover with the raw pumpkin seeds and pour over the coconut milk. Shake on the spices to your liking; I use a ton of cinnamon since it helps improve insulin response, blood sugar levels, and tastes great! Sprinkle over the shredded coconut and place the dish in the oven. Bake for at least 10 minutes or until the apples are soft. I am an energy-conscious multi-tasker; if I am using the oven for a main dish such as Baby Rosemary Purple Potatoes, Fruity Sweet Potato Casserole, or my Black Bean and Roasted Squash, I often pair these with little oven-required side dishes such as these roasted apples. You could alternatively cook these apples in a fancy convection toaster oven. Since I baked this along with other longer-cooking recipes, this batch of apples bakes for ~ 20-25 minutes. I took the apples out once I smelled the cinnamon "baked" fragrance, the apples were soft, and the coconut was toasted brown.

Anyway you choose to do it, this is an easy and healthy dessert. The roasted apples are similar to the innards of an apple pie or reminiscent of apple crisp (minus the "crisp"). My shortcut version here avoids all the added simple sugars, carbs, and bad fat which are typical of a real pie or crisp. I use the coconut, a great source of healthy short chain fatty acids, to help boost metabolism and heal the body. The fat from the pumpkin seeds and coconut help slow the digestion and absorption of simple sugars (here, the natural apple fructose). This means you don't get a sugar spike followed by a hypoglycemic low after munching down on this already low glycemic index and ~ low carb dessert. Leftovers from these baked apples make a great base for another dessert or even great additions to breakfast porridge.

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