Today in Poland we celebrate Fat Thursday…Similarly to other Catholic countries, we celebrate the last day before the fasting season of Lent begins. Fat Thursday is our own version of the French Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). As tradition says, with Lent “forbidding” sweets and treats, Fat Thursday allow for indulgence and the Poles purchase at the local bakery, traditionally made doughnuts with rose jam filling.
I did not managed to prepare healthy version of doughnuts (pączki). But instead, this morning, I prepared baked apples stuffed with sweet millet and banana, with taste of cinnamon, cardamon and vanilla.
Easy to prepare, it can serve as a sweet breakfast or dessert. For dessert I would suggest to make it sweeter and serve for example with home made vanilla sauce.
- 4 apples
- 6 tablespoons of millet ( not cooked, after cooking it is a bit more)+ at least double amount of water to cook it. This amount is a bit less of a half cup, so I use around 1 cup to cook it
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 2 seeds of fresh cardamom (you can use a pinch of powdered cardamom)
- 6 nuts- I used hazelnuts
- 2 teaspoons of coconut oil+1 for millet and 1 for baking
- 2 tablespoon of coconut sugar
- pinch of natural vanilla powder (or some drops of natural vanilla essence- if you have it. It is not necessary, but of course it add extra taste)
- 5 tablespoon of coconut milk
- 6 tablespoons of water to add for baking the apples
Preheat the oven to 180-200 C degrees. Remove the cores from the apple and hollow the apples with a spoon, leaving sturdy shells. Set aside half cup of apple pulp (without the core and seeds).
Before cooking the millet, rinse it in the water, to avoid bitter taste. You should use a tight strainer and rinse it few times in a cold and warm water.You rinse it until the water coming through the millet is completely clear. The best is to finish it with rinsing with boiling water. In that way you will make sure that millet will loose all the bitterness. Boil the water (double or 2,5 more water then millet. So for 6 tablespoons of millet, which is a bit less than a half cup I will use approximately around one cup to cook it). Add millet and slowly cook for about 15 min-20min. under cover, or until the water evaporates. Don’t stir with a spoon. Once ready, set aside.
In a food processor or blender, blend banana with apple pulp and 5 tablespoons of coconut milk, add also seeds of cardamom (or powdered cardamom).
Chop the nuts. Combine the blended fruits with cooked millet. Add cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar and mix it all together with a spoon.
Coat a baking disk with another 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Divide the millet mixture among the apples (may happen you will have some left over of millet, depends how big apples you use and how deep you hollow them). Put the apples to the baking disk and add 6 tablespoons of water to the disk.
Bake at 180-200 C degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until the apples are soft (each oven is different, so better to check the timing and bake the apples until they are soft).
Apples taste best when served hot.