Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bringing Nature In

"Now I see the secret of making the best persons.  It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth."

-Walt Whitman

Although my hydrangea flowers outside have waned, it brings 
joy to the human body to look at--or create!--art.

I love the concept (and the reality) of bringing nature into your life.  There are so many ways to do this...from being out amidst nature to bringing cut flowers in for your table.  Years ago after surgery, my brother brought my mom a bird feeder for her bedroom window, so that she could rest in her room, but still see the joys of the outdoors right there.  Nature is beauty, and beauty brings us people so much joy. And joy....well, it is proven that people with an abundance of joy in their lives live longer, happier lives!

House plants also clear the air of toxins.  If your loved one is stuck indoors at the moment, bring them a plant to reduce indoor air pollution, and a dose of joy on top of it.  Some of the best plants for cleaning indoor air are: Gerbera Daisy, Aloe Vera, Bamboo, Palm, Spider Plant, Mum, Ficus, Peace plant.  You can read more at:

A great way to be a part of nature is to eat seasonally.  In past eras, when chronic disease, weight, and general poor health weren't as much of a problem, people ate seasonally and locally.  Perhaps nature has a way of telling us what we need to eat and when?  In the spring and summer, berries and vegetables and juicy tomatoes.  In the fall, apples and squashes. In the winter, dried fruits and seeds, root vegetables, grains.  Obviously there are variations and deviations on this theme, but it is a good concept to think about for good health.

Today I want to share with you a new favorite of mine, which am so excited about!  I have always been an apple crisp fan.  My favorite recipe had loads of sugar, but a lot of other good things, like apples and oats.  I have adapted and changed recipes until I came up with this.  I hope it is a delicious, fall-pleasurable, and not-so-bad-for-you treat that you and someone trying to stick to a healthy diet while undergoing treatment can enjoy.  Really, the only thing in this that isn't PERFECT for your diet is 1 Tbsp. butter per person, which really isn't bad, and the pleasure it worth far more than any damage done!

Mini Apple Crisps

(Makes two. Double as necessary for larger groups.)

For Apples:
2 apples, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp. orange juice
lemon zest from 1/4 lemon
squeeze of lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. coconut crystals
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

For Topping:
2 Tbsp. spelt flour
2 Tbsp. coconut crystals
1/8 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. oats
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. honey

Apples in the ramekin before adding the topping.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter two ramekins.
2. Slice apple, and then cut slices cross-wise so you have half-crescents.
3. Mix apple with zest, juice, crystals, and spices. Divide into the two ramekins.
4. Make the topping: whisk together flour, crystals, salt, and oats.
5. Cut the butter into tiny pieces. Mix into the dry mixture with your fingers, pinching butter into the mixture until there is no dry powder remaining, and the mixture is moist and all stuck-together.
6. Drizzle honey over now-moist flour mixture and mix with a fork until well-blended.
7. Spread out topping over apples in the two ramekins, and press down well.
8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

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