Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Feast of Apples

Jona and Raymond
Before I get to the Feast of Apples, the verdict on my sons is they have NO food allergies. I was like, “Are you sure?” My lovely doc said if I felt their behavior changed when they ate certain foods, then by all means, don’t feed it to them. Their being gluten-free will continue then. She also said they both are in the 90th percentile for their height, and 95th percentile for their weight. That was great news.

But what struck me most was the dramatic change in Jona since I began the gluten-free experiment. Before November, Jona showed no interest in ABCs, counting, nor reading. He was into his trains, trucks, and airplanes. And we couldn't understand a word he said. He, and Raymond, both have receptive/expressive disorder, which looks a lot like Autism. Receptive/Expressive is a speech disorder, rather than a language or behavioral disorder. Basically, a child has trouble expressing himself, but can understand what is being said to him. For the past two years, I have been using a Naturalistic Speech Therapy based on the work of Stephen and Mary Camarata of Vanderbilt University. Their website is If you join the Natural Late Talkers Yahoo group, you can access even more information. I received a wealth of techniques that truly helped Jona. I do recommend it.

But taking him off gluten unleashed the intelligence within. If he wasn’t my son, I wouldn’t believe what I’ve witnessed. Since November, Jona, who turns 4-years-old on January 20th, has done the following:
-learned his ABCs
-learned basic phonics
-learned how to spell words, correctly
-counts to ten
-comprehends the books I read to him

-speaks in sentences

I’ve read so much about children with Autism, speech or behavioral issues responding to a gluten-free and/or raw vegan diet, that I had to give it a try on my kids. Jona, far more than Raymond, responded in dramatic fashion. I have to add him to the growing list of children who has been helped by a gluten-free diet. And for that, I am grateful.

Now on to the Feast O’ Apples!

Apple Pie
Apple Pie –adapted from Incredibly Delicious

¼ cup of date soak water
8 dates, pitted and soaked
½ cup almonds, soaked
1 ½ cup walnuts, soaked
1 cup raisins, soaked
1 ½ cup oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Soak all nuts, dates, and raisins for 20-30 minutes.
Using the “S” blade, blend the oats and spices, in a food processor (FP) until it becomes a flour. Remove from the processor. Put in a mixing bowl.
Add all other crust ingredients to the food processor. Blend. Add the oat flour as the mixture blends. It should be fairly dry. If it’s too wet, add more oats.
Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. It’s really thick, so press hard with your hands.

3 ripe bananas
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
6 cups of apples, peeled and sliced in FP, using “S” blade
½ cup raisins (optional)
1/8 cup lemon juice (optional, but I used it) with additional maple syrup
6 dates, pitted and chopped
Garnish: pecans, strawberries, or raisins

Slice 2 bananas into ¼ inch rounds. Cover the bottom of the pie with them.
In FP, blend remaining banana, maple syrup, and one cup of apples until creamy.
Add that mixture to remaining 5 cups of apples. I added the lemon juice and 2 more tablespoons of maple syrup. That is optional.
Pour the mixture into the pie pan. Garnish, if you like.
Chill for several hours, then serve.

Apple Pie Slice
This has been the hit of my apple feast. My husband ate three slices the first day, asked for a second slice on day two. After it was all gone, he asked me when I would make it again. Today he said that my raw apple crisp cannot compare to the apple pie. He said it was good enough to sell. Well! Surprised me! It was good.

Hebrew Fruit Salad
Hebrew Fruit Salad with Sauce from The Joy of Living Live by Zakhah
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
¼ cup raisins, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
cashews, soaked overnight and drained

1 cup of apple, banana, and raisins
¼ cup nut milk or water
2 tablespoons agave nectar

In a bowl, mix the apple, bananas, and raisins. Scoop out 1 cup of the fruit and blend with liquid and agave nectar in a blender. Pour sauce over remaining fruit. This is tasty. Zakhah doesn’t specify how many cashews to use, so I used about 10. I also had sauce leftover to use again. It’s sweet and delicious. And easy!

Apple Mango Soup
Apple Mango Soup from The Joy of Living Live by Zakhah
2 mangoes
4 apples, peeled and chopped

Blend mangoes and apples. Pour into a bowl. Decorate with banana chunks.
I didn’t use the bananas. It was great without them. It’s a smoothie in a bowl. I would make it again.

Apple Sauce
Apple Sauce from The Joy of Living Live by Zakhah
3 apples, peeled and chopped
water or apple juice
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
Cinnamon, a sprinkle

Put apples in a blender. Turn it on “puree” and add liquid until desired consistency is achieved. This is easy and fabulous.

Harmony Spinach
There’s not an apple in here, but I thought I’d throw it in anyway :-).
Harmony Spinach from
The Joy of Living Live by Zakhah
1 bunch spinach
¼ cup sesame oil
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons liquid aminos

Wash the spinach, remove the stems, and chop. Put into a big mixing bowl. Mix in the other ingredients and serve. This rocks. Subtle flavor and goes well with any Asian-inspired dish.

That’s it for today. More apple recipes coming and a giveaway surprise!



1 comment:

Iris said...

Cutest kids ever! I'm glad that eating gluten-free has helped them!


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