Applelicious!

Pour some sugar on me…. or not! 🙂

The negative affects of a high sugar diet are well documented and so most of us will be only too aware that sugar free cooking is much better for our health. There are all sorts of health risks associated with the consumption of too much sugar, from the risk of morbid obesity and diabetes to tooth decay and hyperactivity in children.

To learn more about going sugar-free visit this site http://www.sugarfreelikeme.com/p/benefits-of-going-sugar-free.html

Below is a sugar free recipe to make your day appleicious!! Apples have natural sweeteners and when cooking, you don’t need sugar. Remember the saying: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but what exactly are the health benefits of apples? Here are ten reasons to heed the advice of that old proverb.

Bone Protection
French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.

Asthma Help
One recent study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered from less wheezing than children who drank apple juice only once per month. Another study showed that children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy have lower rates of asthma than children whose mothers ate few apples.

Alzheimer’s Prevention
A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Lower Cholesterol
The pectin in apples lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.

Lung Cancer Prevention
According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples.

Breast Cancer Prevention
A Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17 percent. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39 percent and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44 percent.

Colon Cancer Prevention
One study found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 43 percent lower risk of colon cancer. Other research shows that the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Liver Cancer Prevention
Research found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 57 percent lower risk of liver cancer.

Diabetes Management
The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body’s need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes.

Weight Loss
A Brazilian study found that women who ate three apples or pears per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting.
(Apple benefits from: http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/10-health-benefits-of-apples.html)

Applelicious Tarts
Sugar Free Pie Crust- makes 12 tarts

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:
◦ 2½ Cup of Flour
◦ 8oz unsalted butter (soft)
◦½ Teaspoon of Salt
◦1 Pinch of Cinnamon
◦6 to 8 tbsp warm water (as needed)
◦1 egg- scrambled (optional for gloss finish)

Apple Filling:
6 apples (peeled & sliced)
2 Tbs cinnamon

Instructions:

Combine flour, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor; pulse to mix.
Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter.
Add water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together.
*If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again.
**Note that too much water will make the crust tough.

Putting it all together :

-Stir filling until cinnamon coats apples
-Roll out dough into small flat circles
-Fill with 2 Tbsp of filling
-Fold in half and seal with a fork (or use a handy tart maker)
-Brush tarts with egg for glossy finish.
-Place tarts in oven at 350 — cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Enjoy your applelicious treats!

In health,

Reve ~Johanna

Soul-Full Soup

Feeling a little chill? Need to warm your soul?

In the cooler months, warm your body with local produce that will have a warming effect on your body– leafy greens, onion, & pumpkin, are just a few foods that I found to include in this wonderful warming soup recipe! Besides their clear health benefits, vegetable soups are the perfect canvas for what’s in season. This time of year, there’s nothing better than hearty, warming soups loaded up with a variety of gorgeous fall vegetables. The foundation of onion and carrots is enhanced with chunks of butternut squash and ribbons of kale in a broth infused with herbs and spices. In two words: satisfaction guaranteed.
Enjoy!!

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Ingredients:
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 medium carrots, cut into medium dice
1 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 1/2-inch-cubed peeled butternut squash (about half a 2-lb. squash)
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
Pinch cayenne pepper; more to taste
Kosher salt
1 quart lower-salt broth (I used veggie stock)
1 14.5-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
2 cups lightly packed, coarsely chopped kale
1 cup low-soduim canned chickpeas

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Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the squash, allspice, cayenne, and 1 tsp. salt and stir to combine. Add the broth, tomatoes with their juice, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the kale and the chickpeas and cook uncovered until the squash is tender and the kale has wilted, about 10 minutes more. Discard the thyme springs before serving. Season to taste with more salt and cayenne.

Make Ahead Tips: You can refrigerate this soup for 3 days or freeze for 2 months.

Healthier Homemade Idea: Each time I cut veggies (carrots, celery, onions, garlic, scallion, other) I put the scraps into a freezer bag and freeze. To make a homemade veggie stock I boil my frozen veggies in a large stock pot with water (use enough water to cover veggies). Cook over high heat for about 30mins and stir occacionally. Cook until the vegetables begin to brown/become limp. Once cooked and broth is a yellowish/golden color- remove from stove & strain out the veggies– you will be left with a delicious and nutritions veggie stock to use immediatly or store in your fridge to flavor recipes during the week.

In Health,
Johanna ~ Reve