Apple immune-booster dessert (aka stewed apple!)
This dessert is a delicious but fantastic way to help regulate your immune system by feeding your good gut bacteria. Sweeten it if you like with some stevia drops. The reason for the skin is it provides more polyphenols (immune-supporting plant compounds). If your apples are not organic it’s best to discard the skin. In the Autumn, I like to make up a ton of this and bottle it in sterile jars to keep in the larder. A dollop on your morning porridge, or eat with some natural coconut or dairy yoghurt as a dessert, you decide. I also use it for apple sauce with duck or outdoor-reared pork. Once I have opened a jar, I keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
For 6 servings:
A tray of Bramley (cooking) apples (about 600g), organic if possible
A little water
Ceylon/Sri Lanka cinnamon (plain “cinnamon” is cassia cinnamon, which doesn’t have the health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon).
1. If the apples are organic, grate off some of the skin and put in a saucepan with a little water. If the apples are not organic, don’t use the skin.
2. Peel and slice the rest and add to saucepan. Add a splash of water, cover and stew gently until the apples soften and fall apart into a puree. This usually takes at least 15 minutes. This part is important because it releases the pectin, an important prebiotic fibre which feeds your healthy gut bacteria.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in a half teaspoon or more of Ceylon cinnamon.
4. If it’s not sweet enough for you, add some pure stevia, xylitol or erythritol (from health stores).
Why this is good for you
Would you like your immune system to be in perfect balance? Protecting against infections and also avoiding/getting into remission from autoimmune conditions? These days, lots of us have health conditions where our immune system is out of control. Allergies, asthma, eczema, colitis and Crohn’s, autoimmune hypothyroidism are just some examples. Stewed apple may be one of the most perfect foods for helping your good gut bacteria grow in order to dampen down an out-of-control immune system. In treating inflammatory bowel disease a daily serving of stewed apple is as powerful as prednisone, a steroid medication. Naturally we need LOTS of different plant foods in our week to foster a wide variety of good bacteria. But stewed apple is a great start, especially if you are someone who can’t tolerate raw fruit at the moment.
When you stew COOKING apples you liberate pectin. Apple pectin encourages growth of the friendly bacteria akkermansia mucinophilia. The clue is in the name. These critters nibble the mucus (yes, I know, yuck!)in your bowel, keeping it trimmed so there’s the right amount. This is important in helping get rid of GI infections and helping nutrient absorption.
Apples naturally contain sugar so it’s better not to have huge amounts of this – just the equivalent of one medium apple is the amount you want as a dessert, otherwise you are overloading with sugars. Too many sugars, even natural ones, slow down your liver function and immune system and feed health-sabotaging bacteria in your gut.