Stewed Autumn Fruit

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Stewed autumn fruit

I love this time of year, not least because of the apples, pears and stone fruit that are ripe and ready to pick. If you’re lucky enough to have your own trees, or like me, have a generous neighbour who’s happy to share their bounty, then you will be able to make some delicious stewed fruit to store away in the fridge and freezer for the weeks and months to come. Of course you can buy the fruit too, but we recommend that you try to find local and organic fruit to reduce exposure to pesticides, and boost nutrient intake – farmers markets and local growers are a great choice.

Stewed fruit, rich with cinnamon, is a lovely thing – it can form the basis of crumbles, and, paired with some coconut (or regular) yoghurt, makes a speedy dessert or breakfast. But it’s also really, really good for you, and here’s why…

Consuming apples regularly can help reduce allergies (1), help to protect cells against oxidative damage (2), reduce inflammation in the intestines and throughout the body including the brain (3, 4, 5). And finally apples can improve your microbiome, by favourably impacting on the bacterial colonisation of the large intestine (6).

The deep, rich colour of most of our native plums gives an indication of their antioxidant, or phenol, content. Plums are also a good source of vitamin C, needed for iron absorption, to fight free radical damage, and to help protect our arteries from atherosclerosis. Stone fruits like plums have also been studied in relation to obesity and found to be protective, due to the bioactive compounds they contain (7), and in fact they can even help to ward off diabetes due to their blood sugar balancing effect (8).

We recommend that you add cinnamon to the stewed fruit, not only for its delicious autumnal flavour, but also to boost the health benefits of this dish even further. Cinnamon has been found to reduce inflammation (9), as well as helping to keep blood sugar levels stable (10).

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Stewed Apples and Plums – makes enough for several servings

8 English apples – I like Bramleys, they stew really well and are naturally lower in sugar
6 large plums
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp raisins (optional)

Peel and core the apples, then cut into slices or chunks. Wash and halve the plums, then remove the stone. Put all of the fruit into a large saucepan, then add the cinnamon, a splash of water, and then turn on the heat to low. In just twenty or thirty minutes, the fruit will be softened and stewed.

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Chocolate Chilli Pots

200g dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher), finely chopped
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp chilli powder or 1 tsp of fresh chillies, very finely chopped
Pinch of salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the Whipped Topping
1 can full-fat coconut milk chilled overnight in the refrigerator
Coconut sugar, to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together coconut milk, egg yolks, chilli, and salt. Add in the cinnamon stick. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens and forms a smooth custard that coats the back of a spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully watch the custard, taking care not to overcook or boil it. When the custard is ready, take the pan off the heat, and remove the cinnamon stick.

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Lemon Smoothie

1 glass of water, coconut water or almond milk
Handful of blueberries
1 large handful parsley
Zest of one lemon
Squeeze of half a lemon
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds (preferably soaked overnight)
1 knob of fresh ginger, about the size of a small adult thumbnail
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 tbsp of nut butter (almond or cashew etc)
A few cubes of ice (if it’s a particularly hot day!)

With a high speed blender, throw all ingredients in and blend on high until creamy and smooth. You can add more liquid if you prefer a thinner consistency.

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The latest on Alzheimer’s prevention

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is a generic term for conditions that occur when the brain no longer functions properly. Worldwide, at least 44 million people are living with dementia, making the disease a global health crisis. Like me, you probably know someone who has been affected by this condition.

What’s surprising is that this isn’t a disease of ageing and that only 1% of cases are caused by genes. Scientists now know a lot about AD, and preventive therapies probably aren’t far off. But even when they become available, such therapies will almost certainly be very costly and involve drugs with probable side effects.

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Food for the brain recipe: Salmon and Ginger Parcels

salmon

Your brain is really fat! In fact, 60% of it is made up of fatty acids, these are the long snake-like building blocks of fat molecules required for proper brain structure and function. Fatty acids come in many varieties, yet the brain has a clear favourite — and salmon is full of it. More than two-thirds of the brain’s fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid found primarily in oily fish, although some vegetarian sources exist as well. We are metabolically incapable of making DHA on our own and must, therefore, get it from our diet.

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Delicious Lemon Bars

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This is one of the snacks we made for our WaistWatchers group which meets every other Thursday.

Crust
75g ground almonds
25g coconut flour
3 tbls coconut fat
30g Xylitol or coconut palm sugar
1 egg, beaten

Filling
3 eggs
30g Xylitol or coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 180C. Cover a 8 x 8 square tin with greaseproof paper and grease.

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5 Healthy-in-a-Hurry Dishes

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what you can cook that’s quick and nutritious for you and your family, here are 5 healthy-in-a-hurry recipes. These meals are:

– quick to prepare (under 15 minutes)
– quick to cook (under 30 minutes)
– nutritious (as well as being full of nutrients, they will help you feel satisfied, support your blood sugar, energy levels and weight loss)

Most of the ingredients you may have in your cupboard at home but if not, you can keep the recipes on your phone etc and buy the ingredients on your way home. These are main course recipes and you may want to buy accompaniments e.g. salad, vegetables or sweet potatoes (see sweet potato chips recipe below).

Turkey or chicken with avocado cream
Serves 2
15 minutes to prepare and 12 minutes to cook chicken or turkey

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Anti-inflammatory smoothie

This is my own recipe and it’s become part of my spring breakfast regime. I tend to have it on the mornings where I need something very quick as it takes minutes to prepare. I include some key anti-inflammatory ingredients (see below) but I also just throw in what’s available. I tend to limit how much fruit I add. Although fruit is healthy,  it contains a sugar (fructose) which can actually increase inflammation. In practice, this means that if I add berries, I don’t also add pineapple or any other fruit.

Anti-inflammatory ingredients

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Inflammation: putting out the fire

Although we see clients with lots of different ailments at Nourish, inflammation is a common theme in many of their pathologies.

Inflammation is part of the functioning of your immune system. It is a normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.

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