Saturday, January 17, 2009

Nothing like warming up to some Hot Apple Pie!

Choosing the right warming foods to eat during these below freezing cold days is key nourishing you body and soul. It's not enough to just take a hot shower and have a bowl of soup. There are in fact some particular foods and spices that warm up your body up from the inside out. The body naturally craves, starchy, heavy and sweet foods during the winter season. So instead of going for the processed stuff like donuts, Alfredo sauces, cakes and pies or other rich and dense foods which leave you feeling lethargic and draggy - not to mention the calories they pack in. Why not try making your own satisfying creations in the kitchen! You can still fulfill your cravings by choosing the right ingredients. Not only will you be satisfied with just one serving but you can also feel great knowing that you made it from scratch!

Choosing warming foods like cooked grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta's or baked yams and even a variety of soups and stews are sure to keep you warm during these frigidly cold days. You can even satisfy those sweet cravings with some home baked goodies like muffins and pies made with whole grain flours and natural sweeteners. If you are on the go, get yourself a reusable stainless steel mug and fill them up with warm herbal teas to sip throughout the day. When you are at home, brew yourself your own loose leaf teas or try making your own chai latte's or dark pure cocoa hot chocolate!
I encourage you to use a variety of warming spices in different ways. Try using cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, cumin, turmeric and cloves. Your body and your taste buds will thank you for their warmth and delicious essence.

Since apples are so widely available during the winter months and there is nothing better then a little cinnamon and nutmeg to warm you up, I decided to make apple pie for my family dinner last night. I have to admit, I love to bake - but pie making isn't my specialty. So I promise that this recipe is simple enough that anyone can do it... I promise!
I even went the length of making my own ice cream...I know what you are thinking. Ice cream is cold and it's not healthy! Well not true if you make your own with the right ingredients and warming spices. I now have this amazing ice cream maker which means that I can use anything as the base! So I chose organic pure coconut milk (to read more on the health benefits of coconut milk check out my posting CooCoo for Coconut). I blended that up with some maple syrup, cinnamon and agar for a creamy consistency. Then the whole thing churns and makes delicious "ice cream" that I can put on top of my warm apple pie!

Hot Apple-Cinnamon Pie..."A La Mode"!


Pie Crust:

1 1/4 cups light spelt flour
1 cup spelt flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons maple sugar
Pinch of sea salt
2/3 cup cold coconut butter
1/3 cup ice water


4 cups tart apples, such as granny smiths, jonathan or spy, peeled, cored and sliced
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg


1. Sift the flours, cinnamon and salt into a medium bowl. Add the oil and mix well.
2. Add the ice water gradually to the mixture while continuing to mix the dough. Continue to mix until dough is firm but not flaky. Roll up the dough, put into a bowl, and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3. Form the dough into 2 balls. Roll one out into a circle with ½ inch thickness. Press into an 8-inch pie pan and trim, leaving ½ in all around.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F
5. In a large bowl, combine the apples, maple syrup and lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix together the arrowroot, cinnamon and nutmeg, then toss with the apple mixture. Add the filling into the pie shell.
6. Roll out the second ball of dough into a circle large enough to cover the pie. Top the pie with the dough, then trim any excess dough and crimp the edges. Cut 3 slits in the top crust.
7. Bake for 1 ½ hours, or until the piecrust is golden.

Serve with vanilla rice or soy ice cream or make your own!

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