We’re so excited to share with the LearningHerbs community one of our favorite fall-inspired recipes: Date and Nut Apple Pie Bites with Maca. This herbal recipe is one of over 75 included in The Kosmic Kitchen Cookbook.
Where we live, nothing says fall like apple pie. Apples are a big deal here in west Sonoma County! The heritage variety Gravenstein has been cultivated here for commercial production since the late 1800s and provides the Bay Area with fresh apples all season long. Instead of baking a pie with sugar and flour, we decided to make snack-sized versions to enjoy all the seasonal spices and sweet apples.
Maca has a nutty flavor that plays well with walnuts, and is a warming and energizing adaptogen, great for the cooler fall months.
A Look at Fall Energetics
This time of year is synonymous with drier, cooler weather, reminding us to nourish and ground ourselves. To ward off cold and dry imbalances, it’s important to focus on foods that have the opposite qualities: heavy, oily, and moistening. Look for flavors that are wholesomely sweet such as root vegetables, squash, and pumpkins.
Soups and stews are perfect for daily meals, as they provide easily digestible nutrients that keep skin, hair, and nails supple. Enjoying seaweeds cooked in broths and adding sea salt to meals will help moisten the body as well.
It’s no surprise that many foods during this time of year feature warming herbs and spices—apples stewed in cinnamon, squash with savory garlic and sage, a warm mug of tea sprinkled with nutmeg—these flavors impart comfort and nostalgia as well as aid in warming the body and stoking digestive fire.
As the season is changing, rituals should transition from the lighter, cooling qualities of summer to heavier, warming qualities. Taking hot baths to soothe muscles and calm any anxiety will be a key practice to balance the body. Slathering on and massaging the skin with oils will help create a protective barrier from the dry air and further relax the nervous system.
Taking time to give extra attention to the body through food, herbs, and rituals will make you less susceptible to the common colds floating around this time of year. Spending time listening to your body, creating space to be alone, and enjoying the stillness of resting are just what this season calls for.
Key Adaptogen: Grounded Energy with Maca
This recipe calls for maca powder, but feel free to use another adaptogenic powder or restorative blend that works well for you and your unique body. Maca is perfectly warming and sweet, which helps to balance out some of the elements of the fall season.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
Energetics: Warming, sweet, slightly bitter
Parts Used: Root
Benefits: Maca root, endemic to the Andes of Peru and Bolivia, has long been a traditional food source for its high nutritional content of amino acids, vitamins, fiber, and fatty acids. This warming, slightly sweet, and nutty-flavored root is used to promote stamina, fertility, and healthy libido while helping bring balance to the endocrine system.
Date and Nut Apple Pie Bites with Maca
Recipe from The Kosmic Kitchen Cookbook by Sarah Kate Benjamin and Summer Singletary (Roost Books, 2020).
What you’ll need…
- 2 apples, cored and diced
- ½ tablespoon maca powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
- 3 tablespoons raw hemp seeds, divided
- Pinch of sea salt
- In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the diced apples, maca powder, spices, and water. Cover and cook over medium heat to let the apples soften, making sure to stir to prevent burning.
- Once apples are softened, remove from heat and let cool.
- Then add the mixture to a food processor along with the walnuts, dates, 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds, and a pinch of sea salt and pulse until the mixture becomes doughlike. Add 1 teaspoon of water at a time if the mixture is too thick and hard to work with.
- Scrape down the food processor, removing the mixture and adding it to a mixing bowl.
- On a small plate, add 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds in an even layer.
- Wet your hands to make the bites easier to handle, then scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough into your hands and roll it into a little ball.
- Once all the bites are made, roll one side in the hemp seeds.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Yield: Makes 12 Bites
Kosmic Creative Team: Photos by The Kosmic Kitchen, Anna-Alexia Basile, and Jorge Novoa. Styling by Alysia Andriola. Cookbook cover and interior design by Amy Sly. Cover and title page lettering by Alicia Schultz.
The Kosmic Kitchen Cookbook and FREE Mini-Course
Turn your kitchen into a healing sanctuary! This is just one of the many recipes you can find in our newest book, The Kosmic Kitchen Cookbook. This book will help you identify your unique constitution based on the five elements—earth, water, fire, wind, and ether.
Use that insight to design an everyday wellness practice with nourishing meals, healing herbs, and self-care rituals. Tapping into these elements is at the heart of all traditional medicines—Ayurveda, Western Herbalism, and Chinese Medicine—and it is the key to discovering your most vibrant self.
If you order now, you’ll get access to our free mini-course on kitchen herbalism! The course includes the following, with more bonuses on the way.
- Downloadable Recipe Cards
- Downloadable Elemental Shopping Lists
- Downloadable Seasonal Kitchen Herbalism Poster
- 3 Video Tutorials on Kosmic Herbal Preps