The farm gave us some apples the other week that I had never heard of before; they were called Calville Blancs or ‘baking apples’, as was written on the paper bag that they came in. I wanted to know a little bit more about these apples (and what to do with them) so I googled it to find out that they’ve been referred to as the world’s ugliest apple – or something to that tune. Poor Calvilles. Definitely not the most desirable nickname. But low and behold, folks, another testament to why you can’t judge a book by its cover:
Supposedly, these apples are the gourmet culinary apples of France. Who’da thunk, right? I guess they are excellent for baking because they retain their shape when cooked and are actually referred to as the ideal apple for french tarts or ‘tarte aux pommes’.
Oh, and they have a higher vitamin C content than an orange. Very naaice.
So next time you are out and about or it’s apple season don’t stray away from the ugliest varietal of the bunch. Forgo the bright, shiny, round apples – that are usually doused in pesticides anyway if not organic – for a nice ugly, lumpy, pale green apple that goes by the name, Calville, Calville Blanc (Not a typo.. it was supposed to sound like ‘Bond, JAMES bond’ and add some dramatic effect).
Anyway, last year I made a bomb baked apple oatmeal and thought there was no better way to put these baking apples to good use than using them for that recipe.
I decided to add some Goji berries this time because goji berries are quite remarkable. If you’ve never heard about them, they are bright red berries that grow from a bush native to China. Just like many types of berries, they offer a variety of nutrients and may aid in promoting calmness, eye health, sleep quality and overall happiness and well-being. They are apart of the night-shade family so it makes sense that they have the potential to offer such benefits.
On a side note/tangent, I’d like to say that I’m a huge proponent of variety. I think it’s safe to say that blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are very common where I live. Although those berries are good and also offer beneficial nutrients for the body, it never hurts to introduce new foods that have differing nutritional profiles. I see our bodies as big, beautiful, connected systems that use the nutrients we absorb to cater to the different processes and operations that take place within our bodies and the more plentiful and diverse the nutrients are, the more there’s a chance that our body can successfully carry out these operations more optimally. In my humble opinion, the more nutrients and variety of nutrients, the better.
Alright, goji berries, you may make your grand entrance now. Okay, are you ready for this recipe now?
I bet you are, but one more thing. Hehe.
There is no added sweeteners or sugar added to this recipe. If you haven’t read my last post ‘Be Sweet, But Don’t be a Sweet Head‘, you will understand why I intentionally didn’t add any sugar to this. Really though, it does not need it; the fruit sugar from the apples, raisins and apricots is totally sufficient. I added a dab of raw honey at the end because it added a really nice flavor, but that part is completely optional.
And about the apples…
If you can find Calville Blanc apples, by all means use them! I think they made a huge difference; they tasted phenomenal. They were perfectly tart with just a hint of sweetness. If you can’t, I’d use any tart, crunchy apple that you really like.
For those of you in a time pinch, this is great to make up and have for a couple days in a row. You can just heat it up on the stove with a little bit of milk, and it is just as tasty. This recipe yielded about 3-4 servings so you can just double the recipe if need be to make it last longer.
Alright, enough chatter. Here you go:
- 2 cups organic oats
- 2 cups milk
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- handful of raisins
- 10 apricots, sliced in quarters
- 1.5 tsp goji berries, cut in half
- 3 apples, diced
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 2 pinches of sea salt
- nutmeg, clove, allspice (optional)
- raw honey (optional)
- Preheat the oven at 350.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Make sure everything is distributed evenly throughout. You can sprinkle additional seasonings on top (I did allspice and nutmeg).
- Place everything in a baking pan (I used an 8 x 6 in. one), and bake for 35 - 40 minutes.
- Divide into squares and devour! You can add a dab of raw honey for some extra flavor.
Let me know if you try the recipe and what you think!