stewed apples

Why I don't make this for breakfast all year long makes no sense, given how excited I get when I remember that it's fall, the perfect time for a little sweetness and warmth. In Sacramento, we get fresh Apple Hill apples at the local Co Op, which is usually my cue that stewed apples are what's for breakfast.

In-season fruit is always best -- for the environment and your body. A variety of foods throughout the year is ideal.

Because this recipe uses fresh ginger, it's a good way to warm up and get the digestion, which can be a little sluggish in winter, back in gear.

And in celebration of all the other fabulous fall fruit, I've been adding red pear and more recently fuyu persimmons (high in antioxidants and many vitamins including many B-complex vitamins).

In the system of Ayurveda, fruit is eaten separate of other foods (especially dairy -- apologies to those of your who love fruit with your yogurt). Most fruits are somewhat acidic and digest rather quickly. When combined with more complex foods, the fruit can move through the digestive tract too slowly and can cause fermentation, gas and bloating.

I usually put this on the stove and let it simmer while I'm having my warm lemon water, then I'll eat this as a "first course" to breakfast. Sometimes it's enough; sometimes I want some hot cereal for a little more fuel. Give fruit about 30 minutes to digest before eating anything else.

I know it may not be feasible to make two dishes for breakfast -- although you could make them simultaneously.  I make a big pot and then store two portions in the frig for the following days. In a pinch, if I'm heading out for the day, I'll break some rules and have half of a bagel or zucchini bread to go as my second course.

The recipe is simple and modifiable -- adjust the spices and ratios to your liking!

Stewed Apples

1 apple (choose tart or sweet as you prefer)
1 red pear (optional)
1 fuyu persimmon (optional)
1/2 t fresh grated ginger
1/4-1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/8-1/4 t ground cardamom
drizzle of honey (optional)

stewed apples

Chop apple and put in a small saucepan with 2-4 T of water (just enough to cover about 1/4 of the apples). Add ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. You could also use a dash of clove, nutmeg or other favorite spice.

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Bring to simmer and reduce heat. Let cook on a light simmer until fruit is just starting to soften. Add other fruit (the pear and persimmon will take less time to cook) and simmer another 5 minutes or until fruit is at desired softness. A couple of dates would be really great in this too!

breakfast

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. You can mash it if you like more of a sauce. I don't add any sugar, but if you use a tart apple, you could use a little honey for sweetness. Eat warm, juice included.

I hope you enjoy this fall treat as much as I do. Remember to adjust the spices to your liking. And this dish isn't relegated to breakfast -- it makes a great snack or dessert. Just make sure you have at least an hour before and 30 minutes after eating other foods.