Dessert absolutely ha
s a place in your diet. There are a plethora of desserts out there, and you would be surprised at how many desserts are compatible for you based on your nutritional needs, your flavor preferences, and your unique types of hunger.
Many desserts, believe it or not, have health benefits! Desserts that feature herbs, spices, and fresh produce are a simple and easy way to sneak in some nutrients with the pleasure of having a sweet treat. In this whole-foods Apple Crisp recipe by Cynthia Lair, this classic dessert features apples which offer fiber and cancer-fighting polyphenols . Cinnamon is also used in this recipe and has been widely known in ancient cultures to be used as a medicinal spice when ingested. Cinnamon is a common spice used in Eastern medicine for its blood-circulation properties as well as its anti-inflammatory and insulin-regulating effects [2,3,4]. The apple crisp is also topped with a baked oat crumble, in which oats are another great source of fiber to promote fullness as well as digestive regularity.
No matter what dessert you like, whether its fruity or indulgent, some people find that they are not truly satisfied without a little bit of dessert. While the stomach and body may be full, sometimes the heart, nose, or eyes are not. Food is often associated with pleasant experiences and memories. In the case of dessert, that is your opportunity to ensure that not only your body is taken care of, but your emotional well-being is being fed too. Welcome dessert back into your life and build a balanced relationship with all foods that you meet.
For the Crisp Topping:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or brown rice flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons melted butter or walnut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
For the Fruit:
2 apples, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sucanat Pinch of sea salt (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons tapioca flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix oats, flour and salt together in a bowl. Add butter and syrup; mix well. Stir in cinnamon, walnuts and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the apple slices, lemon juice, sucanat, salt, and tapioca flour. Toss gently. Put fruit mixture in a glass loaf pan* or divide evenly among 4 ramekins. Spoon the oat-nut mixture evenly on top of the fruit. Cover and bake 30 minutes (or about 20 minutes if using ramekins). Uncover and bake 10 minutes more to crisp the topping. Serve warm.
NOTES Double recipe, make in 8×8 pan
- Kwon HK, Jeon WK, Hwang JS, Lee CG, So JS, Park JA, et al. Cinnamon extract suppresses tumor progression by modulating angiogenesis and the effector function of CD8+ T cells. Cancer Lett. 2009;278:174–82.
- Song F, Li H, Sun J, Wang S. Protective effects of cinnamic acid and cinnamic aldehyde on isoproterenol-induced acute myocardial ischemia in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013;150:125–30.
- Gunawardena D, Karunaweera N, Lee S, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon (C. zeylanicum and C. cassia) extracts – identification of E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxy cinnamaldehyde as the most potent bioactive compounds. Food & Function. 2015;6(3):910-919. doi:10.1039/c4fo00680a.
- Mang B, Wolters M, Schmitt B, et al. Effects of a cinnamon extract on plasma glucose, HbA1c, and serum lipids in diabetes mellitus type 2. European Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2006;36(5):340-344. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2362.2006.01629.x.