Gathering around food is natural occurrence, but sometimes life gets in the way. Slowing down and sitting at a set table filled with food and free of cellphones and televisions is an entirely different affair. As the weather gets colder and we lose daylight hours it’s that much easier to justify standing over the stove. During this month of movement I will be gathering with two lovely ladies to break bread. Finding a way to spoil each other with a meal and giving room to let out a healthy rant, or seek advice seems vital in a month filled with reflection and a retreat indoors. Inviting others into my space can quickly flush out loneliness and it is one way that I am strengthening my community in November.
Now, I’m not exactly sure if we will be breaking bread, but there will be low acid, gluten free, low dairy fare to be had. I admire them for their strength, how fiercely they love their family and friends, and of course their sassy, sarcastic humourous ways. My veg’ consumption and addiction to farmers markets has certainly been the butt of a few jokes in my work and social life, this was a great way to dress up some greens and some sweet clean eats for my girlfriends.
This week I was in charge of greens and dessert. Baking has long been a relaxation activity since I was a little girl, but I haven’t shared my go-to indulgences as of yet.
Let’s change that, shall we?
I have been flirting with some other fruits lately, but there are a few pounds of apples that have been stored away for the winter that could use some attention. Baked Apples is further proof that fruit truly is Mother Nature’s candy.
Baked Apples with Spiced Crème2 frozen medium to large sized bananas 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 2 dates, soaked in warm water. 1 pinch of sea salt 1/3 of a cup of Chai Concentrate 2 teaspoons of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of nutmeg ½ cup ice cold coconut milk, scrape the full fat off the top of the can
Freeze peeled bananas overnight. Put milk into ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
Depending on the state of your blender you may want the bananas to soften and the ice cubes to start to sweat before blending. Add in some fresh milk to get things moving.
Blend until soft and creamy!
If you are prepping this for a dinner party like me, feel free to pop it into a covered container and keep it cool until you are ready to eat. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes until soft and you are able to scoop it or alternatively give it a quick blend to return to a soft serve consistency.
Tip: I added in extra fresh spices as flavours are muted when they are cold.
Tea’s Baked Apples
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.3 baking apples washed, dried and cored (remove stem and use a paring knife or melon scoop to remove core. 3 cinnamon sticks, or alternatively 2-3 tsp of ground cinnamon 3 pinches of nutmeg 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup 2 dates 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, melted 5 tablespoons of nuts of your choice 1 pinch of sea salt. ½ cup of hot water
Stir together spices, dates, coconut oil and sweetener of choice.
Stuff apples and place gently core side up into 8X8 baking pan, pour ½ of hot or warm water into dish.
Cook apples for 30-45 minutes depending on their size until they are soft to the touch.
Serve in a bowl with a side of chai ice crème.
For extra decadence top with Elana Pantry’s Caramel Sauce. I tweaked mine significantly from the recipe adding in a touch of maple syrup, honey and sea salt. I also made mine with butter as I have reservations about palm shortening.
Tip: If you have an extra apple or stuffing be sure to save it for your oats or chia pudding the next day.
Wishing you a sweet week!