If all the fall apple picking leaves you with more apples than you know what to do with,
put them to use with this easy, yet decadent homemade chunky applesauce. Low in sugar, but big on flavor with a hint of sweetness, you can eat it by itself, use it to top your oatmeal (or pancakes!) or enjoy with a dollop of your favorite whipped topping. (One friend suggested using it as apple pie filling because it was so tasty!) The secret ingredients are a Granny Smith apple and … Chinese Five Spice, a blend of cinnamon, anise, fennel, cloves, and <gasp> pepper!
However you choose to indulge, you can do it without the guilt with this one!
A variety of 5-6 apples, including one Granny Smith (for tang)
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 Tbl. Chinese five spice
3 Tbl. date sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
Peel the apples.
Core, then coarsely chop.
Place all the ingredients into a pot on the stove on medium heat, cover and cook until soft (about 25 minutes).
Stir occasionally to ensure the applesauce doesn’t get too hot or stick to the bottom; if it sticks, add a little more water and stir.
If you want a smoother consistency, put into a food processor or blender after it cools and blend until you reach your desired consistency. Make sure the applesauce has cooled though!
Gluten free. Two words, much mystique. From trendy diets to health conditions, living gluten-free is becoming more mainstream, but what does it really mean?
First off, gluten is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not an additive or an unnaturally occurring substance. It is a natural protein found in rye, wheat and barley that some people find hard to digest. It can become stuck to the lining of the intestines, wreaking havoc for those with a sensitivity or allergy and encouraging a slew of other health challenges to take shape. From a B-vitamin deficiency to joint pain to brain fog to IBS to The Real Deal Celiac’s Disease to MS-like symptoms to even cancer, a gluten intolerance left unattended can become a real roadblock on the journey to optimal health, to say the least.
Before you take off to your kitchen to exorcise all potential gluten-filled items from your pantry and fridge, let’s talk about the best approach if you’re interested in dabbling in this (currently on-trend) gluten-free lifestyle.
Try an elimination diet.
An elimination diet is simply a way of eating that removes gluten-filled foods from your diet (not to be confused with a diet that limits your food for weight-loss; going gluten-free does not guarantee weight loss, but it is a possibility!)
An elimination diet is a simple and relatively cheaper method of figuring out if you are gluten-sensitive. Depending on how long you’ve been eating gluten and how significant the impact has been to your sweet body, it may take 7 days to 6 months to truly feel the relief of going off the gluten. For me, it took about six months of going gluten-free before I felt the symptoms significantly subside; other people can deduce a sensitivity within a week. Your best bet is to go off of it for a week, then add it back in for a day and pay serious attention to how you feel. I’ve seen people get a runny nose the first time they take one bite of a bagel (ONE BITE!). That’s an indication you may want to remove gluten from your diet. Other indications that you might be better off going G-free could be lesser joint pain, decreased belly bloat, fewer digestive problems, and/or clearer thinking as a result of going G-Free. Just reading that list alone certainly makes testing out going GFree quite attractive, doesn’t it!?
Keep a journal or mental list of the changes you notice in your body, mind, energy level, etc. as you go through the week. After the seven days of gluten-free living, add some “normal” carbs back into your diet and then notice how you’re feeling. Re-read your journal of observations and decide if G-Free living is for you!
Check out this new smoothie for a fresh nutritional powerhouse with anti-inflammatory ingredients, internal cleansing agents and yummy flavor. You’ll love this new take on an old fave. As with any recipe, explore and experiment! Make it your own and just have fun with it!
So Fresh & So Clean, Clean In your blender, combine:
– 1 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
– Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
– 2 knobs of ginger (1-2 inches, depending on your preference)
– 5 mint leaves
– A few sprigs of parsley
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– 1/2 tsp maca powder (can be found here)
– 1 cup spinach
– Handful of wheatgrass (watch out with this one; too much, and the texture goes awry!)
– 2 inches of peeled aloe leaf
– Your protein powder (my fave is this one)
– 1/4 avocado
– 1/2 cucumber
– Approx 1/2 cup of ice
– Approx 1 cup of water
This week’s superfood post is brought to you by Turmeric, a powerful little spice!
With its origins in South & Southeast Asia, Turmeric is ubiquitous in Indian cuisine and revered for its extensive healing properties, particularly in Integrative Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. You could say that Turmeric is a Four Star General in the fight for good health.
Among its many medicinal properties, this little wonder has been proven to:
– Detoxify the liver – Balance cholesterol levels – Fight allergies – Stimulate digestion – Boost immunity – Enhance the complexion – Fight inflammation – Regulate and purify the male & female reproductive systems – Reduce fevers, diarrhea, urinary disorders, insanity, poisoning, cough, and lactation problems
And PS., if you haven’t heard, research has shown that the common origin of age-related diseases, such as Chronic Heart disease, Cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even Cancer is… Chronic low-level systemic inflammation. (In other words, your body gets out of whack due to dietary, lifestyle or environmental factors, prompting an all-out inflammatory response instead of just in a localized spot, like if you had a cut or a sprained ankle.) Turmeric, among other foods, helps reduce the systemic inflammation and promote healing and overall balance in the body! A spice may help prevent cancer? Yup.
It’s no wonder this spice is considered a magical superfood with its many health-promoting properties! And, if you can believe it, it’s easy to find in your local grocery store and can be easily incorporated into many family-favorite meals, like chili, chicken soup, pasta salad, rice dishes and more. Stay tuned for more superfoods and easy recipes to incorporate this powerhouse!