The days of bright berries, crisp salads and exotic summer fruits are behind us for another year. With autumn upon us it is time to slow down and allow our energy to slowly turn inward and contract. Autumn is the season to regain balance, a time to pull inward and gather together on all levels, a time to store food and prepare for the approaching stillness of winter. Allow yourself to find comfort in your inner sanctuary through meditation and contemplation.
Heartier, richer dishes will support and ground you. Add a little more sea salt and some extra oil (avocado, olive, coconut, macadamia) to warm your body while avoiding the raw, cooling foods of summer. Brown rice, miso, lentils, tofu, tempeh, greens and root vegetables and mixed seaweed vegetables will provide the nourishment and sustenance required for the cooler months ahead.
Fruits are still plentiful throughout the autumnal season. Choose from an abundant array of apples - pink lady, gala, fuji, granny smith, jonathans, red delicious, golden delicious and snow! Another of nature's super foods, they offer countless health benefits. Make sure you always consume the outer peel as pectin levels are concentrated here. Pectin contains soluble fibre that slows digestion and helps balance the blood sugar levels, while also lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease. Research has shown that phytochemicals in the apple skin restrict the growth of colon cancer by 43 percent. Apples are also the richest source of the flavonoid quercertin, a powerful compound that protects the body from many cancers, exerts an anti-allergy action and reduces the risk of thrombotic strokes. Apples are delicious and can be prepared in countless ways. Grate them onto your cereal to make a juicy bircher-style muesli. Stew them with pears and apricots, add a dollop of natural yoghurt, a tsp of chia seeds and a sprinkle of ground linseeds then serve as a sensationally sweet but healthy dessert. Alternatively, try baking apples with cinnamon and cardamom to warm and strengthen your digestive fires. Freshly juiced apples tone and cleanse the body by purifying the blood, promoting intestinal activity and easing constipation. Apples are rich in vitamin C and potassium.
Autumn is the season of balance. Allow a calming, grounded energy to bring focus in preparation for the peace and stillness of the winter months ahead.
APPLE CINNAMON QUINOA BREAKFAST BAKE
A warm, wholesome, and satisfying breakfast or snack for those cooler mornings.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 apples, peeled, diced
1/4 cup raisins
2 cups soy/almond/rice/cows milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
Yogurt: Greek (cows)/coconut/soy
Lindy Cook is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Director of Corporate Chillout.