First posted: Jun 2, 2014

Banting Baked Apples


Tim Noakes wasn’t kidding when he called his latest book ‘the Real Meal Revolution’ – South Africa seems to be going batty for the ‘banting’ way of eating and it’s taken the foodie world by storm. Banting, if you’re still in the dark, means eating meals that are Low Carb High Fat (LCHF). You can read more about the whole story and what you should and shouldn’t be eating if you’re following the plan here.

You know what though, I’ve been a little busy lately (new (gorgeous precious) baby (Isla Faye), new book (smitten), planning our next TV show (Sarah Graham’s Food Safari)) and I haven’t actually jumped on the Banting Bandwagon with both feet. Until today. So here I sit working at a local bistro, accompanied by a plate of gorgeous wild mushrooms, crowned with a slinky poached egg and dollops of luscious crème fraîche, AND parmesan shavings, and I’m thinking this had better bloody work…

And my next thought? Let’s start with something a little fun – banting does not in any way mean no puds. No siree. Here’s just one example of a gloriously decadent and satisfying dessert that’s guilt-free. No sugar or sweeteners of any kind. I love using fruit as the hero of the dish, it always gives mother nature a real chance to shine and there’s a certain welcome smugness that goes it.

With these gorgeous baked apples, the cinnamon coaxes extra sweetness out of the fruit, and it’s all balanced off beautifully with the toasted buttery nuts and silky mascarpone. What’s not to love?

You could also use pears, or even stone fruit that you simply halve and remove the stone, such as nectarines, plums or peaches. Baked figs are another firm favourite of mine.



Cooks in:        Serves:2

  • 2 apples, cored (or pears)
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp chopped almonds or pecan nuts
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1-2 Tbsp mascarpone or cream cheese
  • Optional: Drizzle of fresh orange juice and grating of zest

What to do

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C and lightly grease a small baking dish.

2. Mix together the butter, nuts and cinnamon and divide the mixture between the two apples, filling the holes where the cores were.

3. Place on the baking tray and bake until golden and the apples are soft enough to eat easily with a fork.

Speed up the process by microwaving your cored (but un-filled) apples for 4-5 minutes before filling them and placing them in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until done to your liking.

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