delicious chunks of apples
It seems everywhere I look in the UK this Autumn apples are tumbling off trees. A freshly picked apple is like no other taste sensation – all crispy-crunch, bursting with juice and a flavour bomb in your mouth ?
Apples are loaded with beneficial prebiotics and flavones/proanthocyanidins.
Those flavones and proanthocyanids are natural chemicals found in apples (and other plant foods like celery, oranges, cocoa etc) that positively benefit our body and mind, enhancing our psychological wellbeing. A 2016 study (Nurses Health Study) found that amongst the 80,000 women analysed, those that ate the most had the least incidence of depression risk.
Apples contain prebiotics, that’s natural compounds in plant food that ‘feed’ your beneficial gut microbes. A small study found that by eating apples each day, this significantly increased bifidobacteria which led to higher levels of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). We want more SCFA since they feed the cells of our gut wall, meaning better absorption of nutrients and less inflammation.
The apple prebiotic, pectin, has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and improve blood glucose levels helping to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and management of it. Plus another study found eating fresh fruit including apples significantly improved bone mineral density. For science references, see below.
I like to grate fresh apple into my morning breakfast with dark berries, yoghurt, rolled oats and whole almonds. Often I snack on apple slices with nut butter spread on.
Grating some fresh apple into a slaw is also a lovely combo; And making a cake, densely packed with apple chunks and spices, is really special, like this teacake.
I packed as many chunks of apple into this cake as I possibly could! It was so delicious I ate 2 pieces warm straight from the oven ??
Whats In It
3 organic eggs
100 ml (3 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil
100 ml (3 fl oz) pure maple syrup (I used some local honey)
3 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I added 1/2 tsp more cinnamon and also grated in some zest from an org orange I had in the house)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract ( I didn’t use)
240 g (2 cups / 8 oz) wholemeal spelt flour ( I used a mixture of oat & buckwheat ground into flour)
750 g (24 oz) golden delicious or pink lady apples, finely diced with the skin on (I got to 500g and stopped, this is one appley cake!)
1. PREHEAT your oven to 160°C (320°F) fan-forced.
2. COMBINE eggs, olive oil, maple syrup, baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla into a mixing bowl.
3. ADD spelt flour and mix through into a smooth batter.
4. FOLD in the finely diced apples and mix through until all the apples are coated with the batter.
5. POUR into a prepared loaf tin, lined with baking paper.
6. BAKE for 60 minutes until cooked through then remove from the oven to cool.
7. SERVE warm or at room temperature and enjoy.
This teacake recipe is based on The Healthy Chef’s apple teacake recipe, from her new book #EarthToTable.