Apples are my all-time favorite fruit! They are crunchy and also soft. They can have a sweet flavor and can also have a tart zingy flavor. They are always in season. Apples are rich in flavonoids, antioxidants and soluble fiber. The soluble fiber in apples can help maintain fullness, lower LDL cholesterol and improve digestion. This type of fiber in apples also feeds the “good bacteria” in the gut to help keep us healthy and protect us from many chronic diseases.
I recently found out about Pazazz apples and I am SO glad I did! Pazazz apples have that perfect combination of crunch, tart and sweet – which is basically the gold standard for apples. They are a descendent of the Honeycrisp apple, but they have a flavor all of their own. Looking for the perfect time to purchase your Pazazz apples? The time is NOW! Pazazz apples are harvested in late fall but don't reach their perfect, peak flavor until they arrive on the store shelves from January to April. If you’re in Florida, I got my Pazazz apples at Winn-Dixie.
This scooped apple salad I created is easy, fun and a nice way to impress guests at your next dinner party. The scooped apple looks so fancy, but it’s not that difficult to execute. Just slice off the top of the apple about a ½ inch from the top. When you scoop out the insides, you’ll scoop out the core too. Save the insides in a bowl because they are used for the dressing.
Making the dressing isn’t difficult at all. It’s flavorful, refreshing and light in taste. I love that we use the inside of the scooped apple in the dressing! It gives a nice texture and flavor and reduces food waste.
You can play around with the salad portion you create for the inside of the apple bowl. Since space is limited, you should keep it to about 4 ingredients, but if you are dairy free, great substitutes for the feta cheese would be pomegranates, dried cranberries or pumpkin seeds.
To cut the spinach, I like to stack the spinach leaves and roll them into a log. I then cut the log of spinach into little slivers. This produces a nice visual for the spinach leaves as well as the ability to make them small enough to fit in the scooped apple bowl.
I like to serve on a plate of spinach so guests can have the option to dump the salad contents from the “apple bowl” onto a bigger plate. Alternatively, they can just eat the salad right from their apple bowl too. Serve the dressing on the side and enjoy.
Check out the recipe below.
Scooped Apple Salad with Pazazz
Yields 1 scooped apple salad
1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs Apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Mint leaves
3.5 Tbs Lemon juice
1 tsp Lemon zest
1 Tbs Agave nectar
1/3 cup of Scooped apple**
Salt, Pepper and a pinch of Cayenne to taste
Scooped Apple Salad:
2 Pazazz apples total needed for this recipe**
> 1 apple for each bowl / use inside scooping for dressing**
> ¼ cup diced apple for inside of the salad (you’ll need to use a new apple for this)
1/3 cup chopped spinach
> Extra spinach may be necessary for garnish or additional salad on plate
2 Tbs chopped walnuts
2 Tbs crumbled reduced fat or fat free feta cheese
Take 1 Pazazz apple and chop the top of the apple off.
Using a knife and a spoon and carve out the core and much of the insides, to create your bowl. Save the insides in a separate bowl.
Squeeze some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in the “apple bowl” to prevent it from browning.
Use 1/3 cup of the scooped apple for the dressing.
Add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, scooped apple, mint leaves, lemon juice, lemon zest, agave to the food processor and blend together.
Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
Set dressing aside or keep cool until use.
Combine finely chopped spinach, 1/4 cup iced apples, walnuts and feta into a small bowl and mix together.
Scoop the mixture into the “apple bowl.”
Serve alone or on a bed of spinach with the dressing on the side.
Thank you to Pazazz Apples for sponsoring this post and for supporting the JuliENERGYnutrition blog. Please check out their website www.pazazzapple.com for more information!