Baked Apples with Almond Butter Crumble

by Carolina Jantac, MS, RD, LD
Yum

Before we check out today’s recipe for Baked Apple with Almond Butter Crumble, a bit about food habits.

At least twice monthly people ask me the same question: what should I be eating? As a registered dietitian, that is just something that comes with the territory. People will watch what I eat, often ask what they should be eating, and every once in a while, challenge my choice of foods at the table. What catches them by surprise is that my first answer is not about choosing a specific food, but rather actually about creating a “food habit” to set life on a healthier path. I encourage people to plan their meals and take the time to eat them. Often the reaction is a loud sigh followed by “I wish I had the time to do that,” But reality is, you do! It is a matter of changing your habits and your perspective on how you look at meal times. Eating is not something we just do to survive as human beings, it is also a time when you are nourishing your body by giving it everything it needs. What you eat today will help your body to thrive over the next few days. It is continuous work that requires dedication and some planning.

When you take the time to eat, even if it is 15 minutes, you are likely to consume fewer calories and a better quality of foods. Focusing on your meal and disconnecting from electronic screens allows your body to send back signals about when you are full. Mindless eating is a top issue for people dealing with weight management issues. Taking the time to also chew your food well will ensure good digestion. Poor mastication of food leads to sub optimal release of saliva, which is the first step of digestion. No need to go into the details, but you get the idea: When taking shortcuts on the digestion process, you will likely extract fewer nutrients from your food .

Having a slower paced meal is also therapeutic. Concentrating on what you are putting on your fork gives you time to take stock of how your day has gone so far, what you can do to improve your mood and how you plan on finishing your tasks. It will also lead to a much deserved half- day break! So as hard as it may seem, take the time to eat. Savor your food and ingredients while taking just the few minutes to focus on yourself. And if you can splurge the extra minutes, pop an apple in the oven and go for dessert. This type of dessert allows you to complete your meal by adding quality of nutrients such as this baked apple with peanut butter crumble to your diet. It takes literally seconds to put together, and while this speedy wonder bakes, you can tackle a few items of your to-do list. Or prepare it before you eat lunch, and take the time to eat the rest of your lunch while it is in the oven. Either way, make time for this one, and you won’t regret it —, it is that good!

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