There is a reason that apples and cinnamon go together. Beyond tasting delicious, they are also a powerful nutritional duo. Cooking apples releases pectin, a special form of fiber, that helps to repair and maintain the intestinal mucosal lining, promote healthy gut bacteria, and reduce inflammation.
Cinnamon has been shown to help balance blood sugar and support immune function. The addition of ghee in this recipe helps contribute gut healthy fats. Additional perk: your whole kitchen will smell amazing while cooking this recipe!
Cinnamon Stewed Apples
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? It turns out apples really do pack a combination of immune and gut supporting nutrients. This recipe is a versatile way to enjoy healing nutrients like pectin (fiber), polyphenols such as quercetin, and short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate. What a tasty way to eat your medicine!
- Dutch Oven or pot
- 6 whole red apples crisp
- 2 tbs lemon juice fresh
- 1 tbs ghee
- 2 tbs honey or maple syrup
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbs ciinnamon
- ½ tbsp nutmeg
- Core and thinly slice the apples. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Place ghee in a Dutch oven on medium heat. Allow ghee to melt.
- Add apples into the Dutch oven, stirring to coat with melted ghee.
- Add cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, salt, and honey or maple syrup.
- Cook apples, stirring intermittently. Soften to desired consistency.
- Serving suggestions: Enjoy them over some yogurt with slivered almonds or grain free granola. You can easily turn them into a cobbler or the filling for an apple pie. You can chop them up and make a quick relish out of them too.
- Kitchen Tip: Don’t throw out those old apples! This is a great way to use your forgotten apples in the back of the fruit drawer.
- Dirty Dozen: Conventionally grown apples are usually on the “Dirty Dozen” since they have higher pesticide residues on their skin. Ideally, apples are best to buy organic. If organic is not possible, make sure to wash your apples with a fruit/vegetable wash to remove pesticide residues before cooking.
- Functional medicine tip: Apples are full of antioxidants including vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber (most notably pectin), quercetin, and other polyphenols. Pair that with the blood sugar and immune balancing compounds found in cinnamon and gut promoting nutrients in ghee (butyrate) and you have a synergistic blend of foods that support gut, immune, and metabolic function.
- What type of apples is best? Honestly, the ones that are on sale. I have used Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, Honeycrisps, and Granny Smiths to make this recipe and they have all come out delicious. Don’t be afraid to mix and match too. You may need to adjust the honey/maple syrup depending on your desired sweetness with different apple types.
- Super gut support: This recipe is already packed with nutrients that support gut health, but if you want to kick it up a notch, pair the apples with high quality yogurt for the added probiotic benefits. I like to sprinkle supplemental probiotics in with the yogurt when serving my kids.
- Fun variations: I like to keep the apple skins on for extra nutrition and crunch. Peeling the apples can help them digest easier but will reduce the amount of minerals, fiber, and quercetin. You can also cook the apples longer if you like them softer or even puree them into an applesauce. Try adding different spices to mix it up: ginger, turmeric, pumpkin spice. Toppers like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, granola, shredded coconut…so many options!