As the days are increasingly shorter and colder, I’m relishing cozy time by the fire with my favorite autumn treats.
I love the renewed energy of the spring and the sun filled summer, but there’s a special feeling at the end of it all, taking time and space to enjoy the fruits and labors of the previous seasons. We’ve roasted and frozen lots of tomatoes and peppers, I’ve got several batches of blanched and frozen nettles, and our cool basement is filled with onions, potatoes, and squash that we can enjoy all winter long.
I’m especially grateful to have storage apples!
We have 20 apple trees, gifting us a bounty of fruit in the fall. Each year we press many apples for juice and cider, make lots of apple butter, and then have fun making tasty treats like the following Spiced Apple Bread recipe. At first glance it may seem odd to include an apple recipe on an herb blog, but apples are fabulous plant medicines!
Apples as Medicine
Apples are sweet treats that are also highly nutritive — making my Spiced Apple Bread recipe a tasty and healthy treat.
They contain important nutrients like fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. But not all apples are created equal! In fact, many modern day apples are missing nutrients that were once present in their ancestors. Author Jo Robinson, in her book Eating on the Wild Side, reports that Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and McIntosh apple cultivars are high in phytonutrients. Among those with the least phytonutrients are Golden Delicious and Pink Lady.
Apple cider vinegar is a home folk remedy that is commonly recommended for a mind-blowing amount of uses! A 2019 human clinical trial showed that apple cider vinegar can reduce fasting blood sugar and oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes.1
Apples are also great medicine for children with a tummy upset. As Emily Han and I wrote in the apple chapter in our book, Wild Remedies, “Applesauce is a delicious and easy-to-digest food that can be especially helpful after stomach upset. Taken by itself, it can gently support bowel movements to address constipation. If loose stools or diarrhea is the issue, then stir some ground cinnamon into the sauce. One study showed that children with mild dehydration caused by gastritis were better hydrated with diluted apple juice followed by preferred fluids than children given an electrolyte blend.”2
Spiced Apple Bread Recipe
This simple apple bread recipe is easy to make and is a delicious treat filled with fiber, spices, and the many gifts of apples. Serve warm with your favorite cup of tea!
What you’ll need…
- 1 1/2 cups flour of choice
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves powder
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups applesauce
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup butter (melted, not hot)
- 1 cup chopped apples (skin removed)
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 1 9×5 loaf pan very well with butter or other oil.
- In a medium size bowl, mix together the flour, oat bran, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In another medium sized bowl combine the eggs, applesauce, honey, and butter and whisk together to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Don’t over-mix.
- Fold in the chopped apples and optional nuts.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60–75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store on the counter in a tightly sealed container. It’s best within 4 days. It can be sliced and frozen for later enjoyment.
Enjoy this simple Spiced Apple Bread recipe!
Yield: 8–12 servings
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Are you enjoying the sweet treats of the season?
Are apples a favorite food as medicine at your house?
Please share in the comments below.
- Gheflati, Alireza, Reihane Bashiri, Akram Ghadiri-Anari, Javad Zavar Reza, Marjan Tajik Kord, and Azadeh Nadjarzadeh. “The Effect of Apple Vinegar Consumption on Glycemic Indices, Blood Pressure, Oxidative Stress, and Homocysteine in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Dyslipidemia: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial.” Clinical Nutrition ESPEN 33 (October 2019): 132–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2019.06.006. ↩
Freedman, Stephen B., Andrew R. Willan, Kathy Boutis, and Suzanne Schuh. “Effect of Dilute Apple Juice and Preferred Fluids vs Electrolyte Maintenance Solution on Treatment Failure Among Children With Mild Gastroenteritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA 315, no. 18 (May 10, 2016): 1966–74. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2016.5352. ↩