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It's Fall Apple Time

There's a feeling of fall in the air – as well there should be with the official start of the new season this Friday. Leaves are already changing color and days are turning crisp and cool.

Now is the perfect time for an outing to an apple orchard!

Apples pack a lot of nutrition into a small package. With only 80 calories, an average apple provides five grams of fiber, Vitamin C and potassium and the trace mineral boron which helps retain calcium.

Today's recipes include a variety of fall favorites, including one low in fat: Apple Black Walnut Bundt Cake, Apple Oatmeal Cookies, Honey Spiced Baked Apples, Low Fat Apple Spice Bundt Cake.

APPLE BLACK WALNUT BUNDT CAKE

3 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 T. cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. nutmeg, 3 eggs, 1 c. oil, 2 c. peeled apple, shredded, 2 c. sugar, 1 T. vanilla, 1 c. black walnuts

topping:

2 T. confectioners' sugar, 2 T. packed brown sugar

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg into large bowl with mixer. Add apple, sugar and vanilla; beat one minute on high speed. Beat in flour mixture on low until blended. Increase speed to high; beat for two minutes, scraping down side of bowl occasionally. Stir in walnuts. Put batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes; increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake 15 to 20 minutes more until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert onto serving plate.

Topping: combine confectioners' sugar and brown sugar in bowl; sift with flour sifter over cake. Makes 16 slices.

APPLE OATMEAL COOKIES

1-1/2 c. quick oats, 3/4 c. flour, 3/4 c. whole-wheat flour, 1/2 c. packed brown sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 c. raisins, 1 c. apples, chopped fine, 1 egg, beaten slightly, 1/2 c. oil, 1/2 c. honey, 1/3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl combine oats, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Stir in raisins and apples. In large bowl combine egg, honey, oil and milk. Stir in dry ingredients. Mix to form a smooth batter. Drop batter onto ungreased baking sheets, using a rounded teaspoon of dough for each cookie, leaving two inches between. Dip fingers into water. Press dough down to about 1-1/2 inch diameter. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove sheet from oven. Transfer cookies to rack to cool.

HONEY SPICED BAKED APPLES

6 lg. Gold Delicious apples, 1/4 c. walnuts, chopped, 1/4 c. packed brown sugar, 2 T. margarine, softened, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 c. dark rum or cider, 1/4 c. honey, 1 T. fresh lemon juice, 1 T. crystallized ginger, minced

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Core apples without cutting through to bottom, making a cavity about one inch wide. Using a vegetable peeler, peel apples halfway down. Put walnuts, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir until blended. Stuff mixture into apple cavities. Spoon 1/2 tsp. rum over filling in each apple, Place apples in baking dish. Put remaining rum, the honey, lemon juice and ginger in small bowl and whisk until blended. Drizzle over and around apples. Bake, basting apples with pan juices a few times until apples are tender when pierced with a knife, 45 to 55 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes six servings.

LOW FAT APPLE SPICE BUNDT CAKE

1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour, 1 c. whole-wheat flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 2 egg whites, 1/2 c. packed brown sugar, 16 oz. applesauce, 2 T. canola oil, 1 apple, peeled, chopped, 1/2 c. golden raisins, 1/4 c. walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a six-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Stir together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl until well combined. In separate bowl, beat together egg whites, brown sugar, applesauce, and oil. Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture along with the chopped apple, raisins, and walnuts until well combined. Scrape batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for five minutes. Unmold the cake onto the rack and cool. Serves 16.