October 2014 Issue

Apple Pie for Breakfast? Not Really, But Your Taste Buds Will Think So
By Grace Dickinson
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 16 No. 10 P. 90

As you feel the cool, crisp breeze of autumn this season, you may want to warm your kitchen with the sweet aroma of cinnamon-spiced apples—one of the many ingredients in apple pie—sautéing on the stove. Apple pie is my No. 1 cure for sadness as I bid farewell to summer. With each forkful, I convince myself to welcome the next season with open arms. The scent of cinnamon, sugar, apples, and piecrust that wafts through the air puts me in a good mood during those times of longing for the warmer weather.

I wish apple pie represented a well-balanced breakfast, but I know better than that. Sans the crust, however, the filling can become an easy to re-create topping and a healthful addition to the breakfast table. Replace some of the sugar in your traditional apple pie recipe with spices and the result is a flavorful compote fit for more than just a special occasion. You can use it as a topping for porridge or your favorite oatmeal.

In the following recipe, not only do I use cinnamon but also turmeric to spice things up. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that studies show can lessen arthritis pain and help prevent heart disease. Its slight peppery flavor pairs nicely with ginger, another anti-inflammatory, to create a warm, comforting dish.

The cinnamon, peanut butter, and honey naturally add some sweetness to the spice. For even more natural sweetness, choose Honeycrisp or Gala apples so you won’t need to add a pie’s worth of extra sugar.

Because of these ingredients, this recipe celebrates the fall season and adds pizzazz to the breakfast table. My philosophy is that breakfast should be just as exciting as the anticipation of a decadent after-dinner pie. So never settle for a boring breakfast of cereal with milk or dry toast. Instead, spruce up the morning with a nutritious recipe as you say goodbye to summer and welcome fall. It will put a smile on your face and trick your taste buds into thinking they’re eating apple pie when they really aren’t.

— Grace Dickinson is a photo enthusiast, food blogger, and recipe developer for FoodFitnessFreshAir.com.

Turmeric, Peanut, and Apple Compote

Breakfast shouldn’t be boring, and the spice combination in this apple compote makes sure it won’t be. Enhanced with ginger, turmeric, and creamy peanut butter, this is a dish full of flavor, nutrients, and a warm autumn feel. You can stir it into oatmeal; however, nutty millet is recommended to stand up to its powerful flavor.

Serves 4

5 cups water
11/2 cups millet
11/2 T coconut oil
2 T minced ginger
2 large sweet apples, chopped
Salt, to taste
2 tsp cinnamon
11/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup soymilk, divided
2 limes, juiced
3 T honey (start with 2 T; may add more to taste, depending on your apple variety and preferences)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 T pan-toasted raw cashews or peanuts, chopped

1. Bring water and millet to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until millet is tender and creamy. Add more water, if needed, to make creamy.

2. Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add ginger. Sauté, stirring frequently, until ginger is browned. Stir in apples and season with salt. Cook for three minutes. Add cinnamon and turmeric powder, and cook for another two minutes, until spices are fragrant, stirring regularly. Stir in 3/4 cup of soymilk, lime juice, and honey. Reduce heat to a low simmer.

3. Once honey melts, cover apples with a lid. Let cook another seven to 10 minutes or so, until apples are soft, checking and stirring occasionally. Stir in peanut butter.

4. Add remaining 1/4 cup of soymilk to millet until it reaches desired creaminess, and bring back to a low simmer until heated through. Divide between bowls and top with apple compote. Adjust salt to taste. Top with cashews or peanuts.

Nutrient Analysis per serving
Calories: 600; Total fat: 20 g; Sat fat: 4 g; Trans fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 100 mg; Total carbohydrate: 90 g; Dietary Fiber: 6 g; Sugar: 10 g; Protein: 17 g