We so have another two months of warm weather left in Southern California, but today I'm sitting in 73 degree overcast bliss and allowing myself to dabble in autumn plans...
These plans include publishing a second edition of A Nourished Holiday and, of course, sharing more recipes here! As I type, I've got a batch of rustic applesauce simmering on the stove. Making applesauce is my favorite way to use up the questionable looking apples from an orchard haul (though a trip to such an orchard may still be weeks off). Apples are just coming into season right now, so enjoy this super quick and simple recipe that's packed full of fiber.
12 sweet apples, preferably organic, partly peeled (it’s ok to leave a little on for texture) and trimmed of any really crummy spots
2 c organic spiced cider (100% juice)
2 t cinnamon
Core and chop apples into 1” pieces. Dump all ingredients into a large soup pot and stir to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Then, strain juices (save them for a sauce or double strain them and drink as spiced cider!) and you’re left with a pot full of spiced, soft apple pieces. With a potato masher, mash apples until you have a smooth-chunky consistency. Serve hot or cold, plain or with fried food (like potato pancakes).
For baby food, cut the cinnamon in half and puree apples after straining. Keeps well in the freezer for up to 6 months.
This is the way I eat. Wholesome, full-fat, fairly unrestricted, yet typically heavier on the fruits and vegetables. I eat a lot of ingredients that some of my friends and clients can't: organic dairy, bacon, coffee, cashews, honey, eggs. But I also don't eat a lot of ingredients that my friends and clients DO: refined grains, walnuts, agave, ice cream, nutritional yeast. You see, with every diet, there should be a healthy dose of trial and error. The diet your body thrives on is the one you should be sticking to.
Here are some snapshots from my journey of trial and error:
Refined grains cause my blood sugar to spike and fall too quickly, yet some people I know find them easier to digest than whole grains. I'm allergic to walnuts, which I learned one day at a coffee shop about 5 years ago. I've chosen to limit agave nectar from my repertoire of unrefined natural sweeteners because of its higher glycemic index, but some of my clients who are just getting the hang of cutting out refined sugar can use it to the benefit of their bodies. I typically feel fine on organic diary, but when it's both a high concentration of fat AND a large portion (i.e. a bowl of ice cream), my stomach rejects it. With that said, some of my closest friends would say they actually feel nourished on a bowl of organic, honey-sweetened homemade ice cream. Nutritional yeast is a miracle food for some who find it necessary to stick to very restrictive diets, but let me be honest. It gives me mad gas.
You see, my point in sharing this snapshot into my diet is to stand as an example of finding what works for this one unique body. The only consistent thing about nutrition today is that you will ALWAYS find contradictory advise from nutrition experts on any given area of food. The one concept that I've found to be true and lasting in nutrition is this: there is no one-size-fits-all diet and anyone pronouncing that the entire population should subscribe to a particular diet is flawed in their advice. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, paleo, or raw foods diets are GREAT for some, but not for all!
So I want to celebrate the way YOU eat. What have you discovered you'd best stay away from over time? And what surprising ingredients do you crave and find your body thriving off of? Let's judge not and instead hold space for one another in the area of personal diet, celebrating how we're each uniquely made.
Eating seasonally is a glorious practice in Southern California. Our weather lends itself to long "in season" periods for favorite produce like tomatoes, apples, and certain berries. I call my (almost) flourless strawberry banana muffins May Muffins because although you can find good strawberries in this area from January-September, I find that May brings the peak of ripeness and sweetness to strawberries. With that said, I've managed to continue finding decent (in ripeness and in price) strawberries all summer long so though it's August, May Muffins with an over easy egg on the side have been breakfast this week. Notice in the recipe below that you can make this 100% gluten free by using certified gluten free oats and oat flour (instead of whole wheat pastry flour). Enjoy!
Makes 1 dozen
½ c coconut oil
2 organic eggs
½-⅔ c honey (depending on desired sweetness)
¾ c chopped, organic strawberries
Approx 2 mashed bananas (1 c)
1 ¾ c quick oats
¼ c ground flax seed
¼ c whole wheat pastry flour
1 t freshly ground nutmeg
1 t allspice
1 t ground cloves
1 ¼ t baking soda
½ t salt
½ c organic, golden raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and soak raisins in warm water to clean out any grit.
Combine wet ingredients, excluding strawberries (coconut oil, eggs, honey, and bananas) in large bowl. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (oats, flax seed, flour, spices, baking soda, and salt). Dump dry ingredients into wet and stir to combine. Strain and towel dry raisins, then fold in raisins and strawberries. Spoon into 12 large muffin cups (no need to grease the pan). Bake for 18-19 minutes. Because the muffins are nearly flourless, a toothpick inserted in the center will not come out clean, so look for browning on the sides and tops of muffins. Allow to cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto cooling rack.