Falling Hard for Apples

It’s apple season! You might think I’d be sick of apples by now, living in England for the last 4 years, where they have over 2,000 varieties! I almost was, until I realized it had been a glorious long summer here in Boston, with so many beautiful berries and stone fruits, that I started to miss the humble apple. Even if you lament the end of summer, the lack of bright color adoring your produce section, there are still so many types of apple to choose from. It’s hard to feel sad when you’re faced with so many shades of red and green throughout fall and winter!

While best eaten whole, to preserve as much of their incredible nutritional value as possible (more later), apples add a lot to both sweet and savory dishes. Here are some of my apple-y favorites:

It’s with that last one in mind that I expanded on a theme: a raw apple pie that warms you up inside. While the Raw Apple Vanilla Tart I made last year is delicious, it doesn’t provide that toasty feeling that a baked apple pie could. Enter spices.

It is incredible how spices not only change the flavor a dish but also the way it feels as you eat it. From the bites you take, to the warmth in your belly, dishes with aromatic spice allow you to enjoy raw desserts any time of year! But why should you choose a raw apple pie over a cooked one? Apples lose up to 90% of their nutritional value when cooked or juiced, meaning you lose out on:

  • Nature’s Sunscreen! Apples contain an amazing balance of phytonutrients called polyphenols, mostly found in the skin, which protect themselves against UV-B radiation.
  • Antioxidant Protection The antioxidants found in apples boost our protection against fat oxidation, especially in the bloodstream, ensuring a healthy heart!
  • Blood Sugar Regulation Staving off spikes and dips in our blood sugar levels is enhanced when we consume apples, due to their fiber and polyphenol content. Add cinnamon to the equation and your blood sugar will have never been so balanced!
  • Inflammation Annihilation Much research has been done on the effect apples have on inflammation, particularly among asthma sufferers. Eat your apples for lung health!

As soon as the skin of an apple is broken, whether that’s from peeling, slicing, or biting teeth, those precious polyphenols are released (hence, the browning flesh). To preserve these nutrients and to ensure your apple slices don’t brown when you’re making this delicious pie, toss them in a bowl of lemon juice as you go.

This dessert is one I’d happily recommend you eat for breakfast! In fact, I plan on featuring this and many other apple recipes on my Fall Renewal Detox, which is coming up on October 14th. If you would like to join this one, contact me to register! For further information, read a bit more about the program and what previous detox participants have said about it!

Raw Apple Pie with Cashew Cream

by The Particular Kitchen

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 0 mins

Keywords: raw blender dessert gluten-free soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian wheat free pie fall

Ingredients (serves 8-10)

For the Crust

  • organic virgin coconut oil, for greasing
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted
  • pinch of sea salt

For the Filling

  • 2 medium eating apples, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4-5 medium eating apples, peeled and thinly sliced

For the Cream

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • filtered water, to blend

Instructions

For the Crust

Grease an 8 or 9-inch pie dish with the coconut oil.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until mixture starts to stick together (do not over-process, as this will release the oils from the nuts). Press the mixture into the pie dish, leveling it out with your fingers and palm, smoothing out the surface. Make sure to press lightly up the sides of the dish too!

Place in the freezer to firm up while you prepare the filling.

For the Filling

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Toss this mixture with the thin apple slices in a bowl, until all coated. Pour or layer onto the chilled crust, cover with foil and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the Cream

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and add water in a stream until you achieve your desired thickness. I like a whipped cream consistency, so only a couple of tablespoons of water are necessary.

For a sweeter cream, add a dash of maple syrup.

A handheld blender works well here, since you’re only making a small amount.

Keep in a jar in the fridge and place a dollop onto each slice of pie when you’re serving.

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Information Sources: WHFoods.com, Guardian.co.uk

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