This post was sponsored by the California Strawberry Commission. These Easy Baked Apples with Strawberry Oat Filling are so simple to make! You only need 6 healthy ingredients to make this delicious baked apple in the oven🍎
Heathy baked apples always intrigued me but I wasn’t sure if they’d turn out or if anyone would even try them (let alone like them.)
Thankfully, this baked apple recipe got the “this is the best baked apple I’ve ever had” approval from hubby.
(I’m not sure what the count is on how many varieties of baked apples he’s had buuuut I’ll take it.)
The combination of oats, cinnamon, brown sugar and strawberries in this baked apple recipe really give it a delicious flavour profile.
Guys, this recipe is like a mini apple and strawberry crisp!😋
Here's what you'll need to make these easy baked apples:
- 4 apples
- Gluten-free oats (I love Only Oats)
- Brown sugar
- Becel or butter
See recipe card for quantities and full instructions.
Are strawberries good for you?
California strawberries are a tasty, healthy, convenient snack, literally any time of day. They’re always around my house (and in my kids tummies.)
Usually on Sundays when I do some food prep, I’ll wash and core a whole bunch of them so they’re in the fridge and ready to go whenever we need them - after school, mid-afternoon or as part of bedtime “snack plates” for the kids.
Now that I’m back to making school lunches day in and day out, California strawberries are one of my go-to fruits for the kids lunch.
Which brings me to one my favourite foods for post-school snacking: strawberries!
I also love putting strawberries into other recipes and today, I’ve got a delicious example for you: my Easy Baked Apple Recipe with California Strawberry Oat Filling😋
Are baked apples healthy?
Absolutely. Baking apples in the oven doesn't destroy the nutritional properties of the apple, which are many🍎
That's right: the humble apple, the universal logo for all that is health and nutrition, packs a strong punch!
Check out these nutritional qualities in apples:
- They have a type of fibre called “pectin” which can help lower cholesterol
- Baked apples provide vitamin C - and a good dose of it!
- And apples give us with antioxidants to fight free radical damage in the body
Now, almost any dish can go from pretty healthy to not-so-good-for you in the blink of an eye.
So keep the toppings smart on this baked apples recipe: if you want a cool scoop of something on the side of this recipe, go for 2% Greek yogurt.
What kind of apples are good for baked apples?
These are the best apples for baking in the oven because they hold up so well:
- Golden Delicious
- Pinky Lady
Different type of apples in Ontario:
The varieties of apples are in the 100s!
In Ontario, the top varieties (in order of popularity), include:
- McIntosh, a deep red color with a green background
- Red Delicious, deep red, elongated shaped and five bumps on bottom
- Empire, dark red, blush with a splash of yellow or green
- Idared, bright red with greenish-yellow patches
- Crispin (or Mutsu), greenish-yellow exterior with an orange blush
- Golden Delicious, yellow or greenish-yellow exterior, elongated shape, five bumps on bottom
- Spartan, dark red skin
- Cortland, bright red with yellow cheek
- Northern Spy, red-striped skin with green color. Northern Spy is the number 1 baking apple
What should I do with my apples?
Here are some ideas to use up your apples:
- Slice them up and dip them in peanut butter for an after school snack
- Chop them up and throw them on top of oatmeal in the morning
- Make this Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding - a delicious way to start your day
- Having brunch with some people over? Wow them with this super healthy and vegetarian option that's apple-forward: Sweet Potato and Apple Hash with Superfood Brekkie Links
- Or just you know, eat 'em as is😄
Make ahead tips for this recipe:
Scoop out the insides of the apples
Up to 8 hours in advance, you can scoop out the inside core of the apples. This is where the delicious oat, cinnamon, brown sugar and strawberry filling will go😄
Use a pairing knife and carefully cut out the inside core. Once you have the apples cored, store in the fridge for up to 8 hours in a dish wrapped with saran-wrap.
Because you'll be baking these apples, it's totally fine if the inside of the apple starts to brown a little.
Once the yummy oat-filling is in there and all baked up, you won't care about a little browning (in fact, the whole apple will be baked and browned, really!)
Mix up the oat filling
Up to 8 hours in advance, mix up the oatmeal and strawberry filling (see recipe card below for complete instructions.)
Keep the oat filling in the fridge in a container with a lid until you're ready for it.
Fill the apples with the oatmeal filling
And if you core the apples and mix up the filling, well then my friend: you may as well fill the apples with the mixture ahead of time too!
Place the apples into a baking dish with sides if you have one, and then fill each apple to the brim with the filling.
Press the oatmeal filling down as you fill up the inside of the apple - get that brown sugar and cinnamon goodness in there!
Then you can place the whole dish, covered, in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
Baking the apples with water (or not?)
Water in the pan or no water in the pan? Many recipes on the internet for baked apples will call for water in the bottom of the baking dish.
I find that this causes the very bottom of the apple to become a little soggy, which is no fun.
I don't put any water in the dish and they turn out perfectly every time.
Coat the outside of the apples before baking
This part is a bit messy but the yummy results are worth it.
After you've filled the apples with the oat-filling, take any extra filling and smear it all over the outside of the apple.
It'll fall and it won't be perfect. But when you do this, you're letting that cinnamon-brown sugar-strawberry-oat mixture a chance to create a party in your mouth from the outside and the inside.
This step is optional, of course😉
Bottom line: this healthy, easy baked apple recipe is one that you can throw in the oven and forget about it while you eat supper.
And forgetting about it quickly is great because your preschooler will start to loudly protest that the green beans are actually on his plate (again.)
These healthy baked apples were a hit in my house and I hope they are in yours too🙋♀️
This was originally posted on October 3rd, 2016 and was updated with new pictures, re-tested the recipe and re-posted on March 1st, 2022.
For more healthy and gluten-free recipes, check out these:
- Baked Feta and Cherry Tomato Pasta (gluten-free)
- Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast
- Powerhouse Veggie Bowls with Whipped Avocado Cilantro Dressing
- Smoked Salmon Potato Salad
- Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (gluten-free)
- Lemony Brown Rice, Broccoli and Feta Salad
- Easy Weeknight Ground Turkey Soup
Easy Baked Apple Recipe with Strawberry Oat Filling
- 4 apples
- ¼ cup oats
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup strawberries, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon non-hydrogenated margarine or butter
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Core the apples with a sharp pairing knife (be careful!) creating a nice "tube" in the middle of the apple for the filling to go into.
- Mix the oats, brown sugar, strawberries, cinnamon and non-hydrogenated margarine together in a bowl with a fork or your hands.
- Stuff each apple with the oat and strawberry mixture. Push it down to really pack that goodness in there.
- Place apples in a baking dish and bake for 50 minutes.
- After the 50 minutes, take them out of the oven and check them. The apple will give a little when pressed and the topping will be golden brown.
- Let cool for a few minutes before eating.