“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Seems there could be some truth to this famous saying due to the apple’s high fiber content which helps in lowering inflammation in the gut and aiding digestion and heart health. This gift from Mother Nature is also high in antioxidants which help combat free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. They are considered a natural diuretic with a mild laxative effect and have also been shown to help in the prevention of cognitive decline, diabetes, and bone health, all while carrying a good punch of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and manganese.
Yet, I must remind myself of this incredible gift, and this time of year always does just that.
Apples are so versatile. You can make apple chips, pies, salsas, pickles, sauces, desserts and more. Research has shown that it is best to eat the whole apple, including the peel as it has higher levels of healthy fatty acids; however, apples aren’t for everyone. Due to the collections of short-chained carbohydrates (mostly sugars), they are fermentable and poorly absorbed in the gut, so those who suffer from IBS should monitor consumption.
I’m delighted to share my simple apple sauce recipe, which I keep in the fridge and use in several delicious recipes I make like my date and fig brownies and dee-licious chewy chocolate chip cookies (both gluten-free!), homemade apple and lemon tea, oven-roasted apple spiced pork chops, and apple butternut soup. It is a great alternative for fats and sugar in baking. You can substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar in a 1:1 ratio, but you must also reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe. Typically, reducing the liquid (milk, water, etc.) by ¼ cup will do the trick.
Homemade Apple Sauce
- 3 lbs fresh seasonal apples of your choice peeled, cored and quartered
- (You can also use a blend of apples which will provide a complex apple flavor)
- 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
- ½ juice of fresh lemon
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star of anise
- ½ cup monk fruit sugar (optional; I make it without)
- ½ cup raisins (optional)
- 1 cup of water
Add all ingredients in a medium pan on medium heat. Cook with lid on for about 15-20 minutes on a medium-to-low heat until the apples are cooked to your preference. I like them with a little texture so I keep them a little al dente.
This apple sauce is perfect for your morning pancakes or on pre-soaked oats with ground nuts and seasonal spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, star anise, and even on your peanut butter toast, with a nice helping on the apple sauce. You can churn it in your homemade apple pie-coconut ice cream. Think out of the box and you can surprise yourself.
Dipika is a holistic health coach who empowers clients to activate a balanced lifestyle of the mind, body and soul. She can be reached at email@example.com or www.loveyourlifehealthy.com