Apples

Rosh Hashanah – It is a wonderful time. It is a new beginning with the deepened love, understanding, resolutions, commitments and sweet familiar feeling of celebration. It is time for new and old – like our traditions.

Traditionally we start the celebration by dipping apples into honey and wishing each other sweet year!AppleGala600

If you are, like me, eat according to the season, then you have not had apples for a while. Last season apples lost their taste and vitamins long time ago. Lately our tastes for fresh produce were mostly attracted to strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches and similar summer seasonal fruits.

And now I am excited for a new crop of this year apples – the first ones so tender, juicy with wonderful aroma. So many different kinds – all taste so amazing like never before!

New crop just in time for old and wise tradition to have apples for Rosh Hashanah!

Organic apples are so delicious and packed with vitamins.  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old saying that most of us are familiar with, but what makes this fruit so special? What health benefits are associated with eating apples?

As one of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world, apples are continuously being praised as a “miracle food”.  Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants and dietary fiber. Apples deserve to be called “nutritional powerhouses”. They contain many important nutrients: Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, iron, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium.

Apples could be enjoyed in so many different recipes: just raw (with or without honey), baked, in salads, applesauce, as stuffing and many more.

Here are couple simple healthy recipes:

Baked apple slices, with raisins, almonds, and dried cherries in pomegranate juice and honeyReadyTo Bake Apples

Ingredients:

  • 4 organic golden delicious or granny smith apples
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • ½ cup dry cherries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 Tbsp organic raw honey

Cooking Instructions:

Cut apples to 8 slices each and place in the baking sheet (see picture above), evenly spread raisins, almonds and dry cherries. Mix pomegranate juice and honey and pour over apples. Bake for 30 minutes in 350 F without cover.

Enjoy for dessert or mid-day snack!

baked Apples

Blanched collard salad with gala apples, peanuts, sesame seeds and parsley

CollardAppleSalad_300Ingredients:

  • 2 leaves organic collard greens and stems
  • 1 quarter raw organic gala apple
  • 1/4 cup minced organic parsley
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds

Dressing:

Freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with a few drops of brown rice vinegar, a few drops of soy sauce and a tea-spoon of peanut oil

Cooking Instructions:

Wash and check collard. Cut the stems off. Put stems in a pot with boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the hot water and let cool off. Put collard leaves one by one in the boiling water for 30 seconds.

Slice blanched collard stems, collard leaves, apples, parsley and mix together. Sprinkle with roasted peanuts and sesame seeds. Add dressing.

Happy Rosh Hashanah! Sweet and healthy New 5776 Year !

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Acquired Taste

Blanched Kale Salad

Blanched Red Kale Salad with Seeds and Pecans

I grew up on a very different diet than I am eating now. From the childhood I loved bread, pastries, cheese, eggs, chicken, tomatoes and fruits. ( At that time I believed tomatoes are vegetables 🙂 ). Coffee was my main drink – I had a cup of strong coffee for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late night out.

I enjoyed my food while struggling to normalize my digestive system and lose extra pounds. Though I was traumatized by being overweight, I had no idea it is possible for me to lose weight and maintain it without going on a strict hunger diet. I had gone a long way through trying all kinds of rather damaging diets until I learned about macrobiotic balanced approach to lifestyle.

I read about it and went to many classes. I met people who got cured from terminal cancer by following macrobiotic diet. I believed in the system but I was very skeptical that I would be able to adjust to eating porridge, beans and cooked vegetables. Even more, I could not imagine my life without cheese, pastries and coffee.

When I got the list of recommended food I was surprised by so many different names I have never heard before. I took the list and went to the Whole Foods store. I asked the store employee for assistance to locate these strange foods.

I was determined to try this system and see what effect it will make on my health.

I lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks by eating lots of porridge!!! I could not expect that! It was an additional benefit I was not even looking for. My digestive system started working on its own and I dropped supplements that I believed I was doomed using for the rest of my life!

I was so pleased and excited with the results while being busy learning how to cook a basic miso soup and blanched kale that I did not think about cheese. I stopped drinking coffee and started drinking kukicha tea. It has very mild taste and very easy to switch to.

A few months later I was enjoying baked Brussels sprouts, sautéed Portobello mushrooms and brown rice rolls.  I started questioning what if I have a little bit of food I ate before that gave me so much pleasure in the past? A new unexpected experience took place – I did not enjoy that food as much – it tasted too salty, too heavy, or too sweet. Every time I eat out, I feel that homemade clean plant-based food is so much more delicious and satisfying. It pleases my palate during eating and leaves me with very enjoyable taste. I feel energized, light and nourished.

I discovered amazing natural taste of kale, collard, rutabaga, parsnip, daikon, leek, mushrooms, millet, lentil and more…. They are so delicious by being simply cooked! I learned that cooking healthy is EASY! Natural taste does not call for complex long cooked fatty or hot sauces. It inspired me to start creating my own recipes of delicious simple dishes.

It does not take long to acquire taste for new food. Our taste bites follow the food we eat!

This salad is rich with calcium, vitamins, fiber, protein and uplifting energy. It is a great vegetable option for breakfast to accompany soft grain dish. During Spring or Summer it is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner due to its cleansing properties.

Kale salad


**Health Tip: A high-fiber diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. It helps normalize blood glucose and insulin levels. It promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipationFoods containing fiber are helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.  We get fiber from unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans.