(Healthy) Flowers for Shabbat
Like roses, which are somehow always perfect (and usually easily available) no matter what the occasion, this apple rose dish is one of my classic recipes that can be easily prepped with minimal time and ingredients. You should know that when I say “prepped,” I really just mean thrown together, in the most literal sense. All this recipe asks of you is to put a few ingredients into a bowl and mix. The oven will take care of the rest.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve squeezed this recipe into the 90-minute pre-shabbat block I give myself to cook, tidy up my bedroom and bathroom, finish last minute assignments, shower and make myself look like a presentable, not sleep-deprived human. (NOTE: I would recommend giving yourself more than 90 minutes for these activities if you’re interested in feeling calm on Fridays). This dish is very easy to make, and it’s likely that you have most of these ingredients around.
Whether you’re looking for an easy addition to a Shabbat meal, a healthy weekday dessert that will help keep your spoon out of the Ben & Jerry’s pint in the freezer, or for a sweet addition to your breakfast or dinner plate, you can count on this apple dish to do the trick.
Another thing that I love about this rose is that it will help you increase your fruit intake, which is something that many of us need help with, considering that the recommended daily amount of fruit for college students is 2 cups!
Only one out of 10 adults eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, according to a 2017 study done by the CDC. As a future dietitian, it’s studies like these that tell me I am going to have my work cut out for me after I graduate!
The Nutrition Pitch:
As the adage promises, an apple a day can actually help keep the doctor away – that is, if you combine that apple-eating with exercise and a balanced diet. The “healthiness” of any food must be evaluated in the context of one’s overall diet (if you only ate apples, you definitely wouldn’t be healthy!) but apples certainly have a lot going for them nutritionally.
Apples contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps with digestion, satiation and has even been shown to protect against colon cancer and lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), according to Verywell Health. Make sure to leave the peel on your apples when making this recipe, since the apple peel is the part of the fruit that contains the most pectin.
Plus, the peel looks pretty when the apples are sliced and arranged, since it adds color to the dish.
Apples are also great sources of antioxidants, which help decrease your risk of cancer by controlling the proliferation of harmful free-radicals in your body. Antioxidants can also help your lower oxidative stress, prevent chronic disease and slow aging.
I usually don’t measure the ingredients when I make this (or when I cook anything lol), but I figured it would be helpful to bring some sort of order to the chaos I call Friday afternoon, so after some recipe testing, this is what I came up with.
Ready to start cooking?
My favorite way to enjoy this dish is by itself for dessert, but, if you’re looking for something more, it also pairs nicely with vanilla frozen yogurt (but then again what doesn’t?). It also tastes good with nut butter and/or Greek yogurt for breakfast or as a snack.
(Healthy Flowers for Shabbat)
- 4 to 6 large red apples of various varieties, unpeeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a circular baking dish with oil (I use coconut oil because I like how it tastes with the apples, but any oil will work).
- Wash and slice apples. Place the thin slices in a large mixing bowl. You can substitute a pear for one of the apples if you’d like.
- Add all other ingredients and mix everything together slowly and gently using a spatula. Be careful not to break the slices.
- After the slices are evenly coated with the spice mixture, arrange them in a circular baking dish to resemble a rose. Do this by creating circles of apples and layering them on top of each other. It helps to put the larger slices on the bottom of the dish and to save the smaller slices for the middle of the rose.
- After you’re done arranging your rose, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes, until the apples are soft and juicy and can be easily cut with a table knife. Remove the foil and bake for about 15 more minutes, until the edges of the rose crisp and there is less juice floating around in the dish.
- Serve warm. This dish can last in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
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