How NOT to Skip Dessert


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You can enjoy apple dumplings if you use a healthy recipe!I’m a firm believer in enjoying life to the fullest, and one of the things Americans tend to indulge in is sweet treats—as a shining example of that fact, we can only look to how many “National Days” have been created to celebrate food (case in point, today is National Apple Dumpling day.)

While I would hate for people to feel like they can’t enjoy a tasty treat every now and again, I also can’t advocate constantly indulging in rich, sugary or fattening foods like apple dumplings—I see too many diabetic patients in my Houston podiatry practice whose foot health depends on keeping their illness in check through a healthy diet!

How do I reconcile these two ideas? Simple: I search for healthier ways to enjoy life’s little indulgences. With that goal in mind, I found a recipe on Taste of Home that I’d like to share, since it offers a healthy makeover of a traditional Apple Dumpling recipe. Hope you enjoy!



            1-1/4 cups water


            1/2 cup sugar


            Sugar substitute equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar


1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


            1 tablespoon butter


2 to 4 drops red food coloring, optional




            1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour


1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder


            1/2 teaspoon salt


            1/4 cup cold butter


            2 tablespoons canola oil


            1/3 cup 2% milk


            2 teaspoons sugar, divided


1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


            6 small tart apples, peeled and cored


3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half



For syrup, in a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar, sugar substitute, cinnamon and nutmeg to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; add butter and food coloring if desired. Stir until butter is melted. Pour into an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.

For dumplings, in a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Gently stir in oil. Gradually add milk, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Shape into a log. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.

Divide dough into six portions (return five portions to the refrigerator until ready to use). On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion into a 6-in. square. Place an apple in the center; sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon reserved spice mixture. Bring up corners of pastry to center and pinch edges to seal.

Place dumpling in syrup in baking dish. Repeat with remaining pastry, apples and spice mixture. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with half-and-half. Yield:

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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