When starting to eat a raw food detox diet I generally recommend a gradual transition. This gives your body time to adapt and reduces the likelihood of experiencing uncomfortable detox symptoms.
To accomplish this it can be helpful to have a resource of healthy detox recipes that bridge the gap between a standard way of eating and a strict raw food detox diet. This recipe is an example of one way you can include cooked foods in your diet without derailing your efforts to cleanse and detox. Meals like this can introduce you to a simpler and healthier way of eating without the need to make too much of a drastic change in your diet.
This dish can be used in the beginning of your detox program as a transitional recipe. It is also appropriate later in your journey at those times when you feel you need to slow down the process for a little while. In the beginning stages of your detox you can make the recipe as outlined. As you progress you may wish to reduce or eliminate the coconut sugar. In this case you will also want to reduce or eliminate the lemon juice so you can appreciate the natural sweetness of the apples.
Generally I don’t encourage cooking fruit. Fruits are perfect just the way they are when fresh and properly ripened. However, a lot of people have difficulty digesting raw apples, especially in large portions, so here I make an exception. Apples are also more widely available in the cooler weather, when most of us crave warming foods to feel secure and nourished.
Apples are one of the fruits I always recommending buying organic. Did you know that non-organic apples can be treated with pesticides up to 16 times during the growing season? In 2014 they were at the top of the list of produce with the greatest pesticide residues.
5 Reasons To Include Apples In Your Detox Diet
1. Antioxidants – Apples contain a variety of polyphenols, which protect your cells against the action of free radicals.
2. Fiber – The water-soluble fiber in apples (pectin) help regulate blood cholesterol levels, promote optimal intestinal function and elimination.
3. Blood Sugar Balance – The polyphenols in apples also facilitate insulin production and activity, which helps sugar get from your blood into your cells where it is needed. At the same time they lower the rate of glucose absorption ensuring a slow and steady supply of sugar.
4. Cancer Prevention – Research suggests apples reduce the risk of cancer especially lung, colon and breast cancer.
5. Bone Health – Apples contain a substance called phloridizin and boron, which some studies suggest may assist in the prevention of bone loss.
I used coconut sugar in this recipe because I enjoy its caramel-like flavor and it is low glycemic, but you can substitute any natural sweetener of your choice such as maple syrup, sucanat or date syrup. Coconut sugar tends to be about half as sweet as these other options, so adjust the amount accordingly.
I recommend organic Ceylon cinnamon because it has a milder and more complex flavor than the more usual cassia varieties. Additionally, cassia cinnamon contains large amounts of coumarin – a phytochemical that can potentially damage the liver.
Ceylon cinnamon also offers a host of health benefits including:
- Improved blood sugar regulation
- Elimination of free radicals
- Enhanced digestion
- Alleviation of irritable bowel syndrome
- Reduction in candida symptoms
- Prevention of cancer
- 3 pounds apples (about 15 small to medium), peeled, cored and sliced
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- 3-6 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon Himalayan salt (optional)
- Peel the apples, remove the core, cut them into quarters then slice.
- Put them in a saucepan with the water, coconut sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt.
- Bring the pan up to a simmer on medium temperature. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring periodically. Add more water if the mixture becomes too dry.
- The apples are ready when they are nice and soft and all the water is absorbed.
- You can serve them warm right away, at room temperature or cold.
This really does taste like apple pie. Who needs that crust anyway with all its butter, sugar and refined flour?
Why not just enjoy the delicious filling and know that you are also looking after your body in the best way possible.
P.S. If you’re not on a detox diet you can top this with some coconut vanilla ice cream for a healthy version of Apple Pie à la Mode.