A man may esteem himself happy when that which is his food is also his medicine. – Henry Thoreau
Though I grew up with a pill case toting mother – the kind filled with an Advil for any and all ailments- and those chewable Flintstone multivitamins which, in retrospect, were a lot cooler to chat about than actually munch on, I’ve somehow found myself on the other side of childhood with my medicine cabinet hanging out in my refrigerator. Little jars filled with grated ginger and cayenne, tossing kale and baby spinach into morning smoothies and stews to deflect not only the common cold and any other more chronic conditions considering entrance into my bodice, but to exude overall whole body wellness via these preventative and healing measures. It wasn’t until I was really faced with my own health tumult, a tentative diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease, with symptoms making their way into my everyday beginning this past December, that I was really forced to evaluate my health. Although I’d been assured the diagnosis wasn’t ‘my fault’, my doctor pointing to a life spent sharing and encompassing conscious and mindful wellness, being placed on two different ulcer healing medications left me feeling not only completely betrayed by my body, but with side effects far exceeding the digestive distress. Instead of watching myself get sicker, physically and emotionally distraught, I took myself off the medications and turned back to my kitchen and the more natural, anti-inflammatory and immune boosting ingredients I’d spent so much of my education studying and life advocating.
Consciously sipping on ginger and fermented teas, homemade vegetable rich stews, and my overflowing smoothie bowls, though I’m still recovering and healing from what I’ve been told may be a lifelong condition, I’ve only seen positive progress. I take advantage of those days I’m feeling bright and ‘normal’ to munch mindfully and really get outside and moving, celebrating mind and body nourishment.
This past July I was able to attend Wanderlust, Squaw Valley, a true testament of whole body wellness, fostering active living and healthful eating, but also this genuine, guiltless, mindful satiation of spirit and had the pleasure of meeting the 21 Drops essential oils team. Founded by Cary Caster, 21 Drops creates pre-blended and distinct 100% natural, therapeutic-quality essential oils to uniquely treat a particular concern or aspiration. With portable rollerball packaging blends targeted towards Detoxification (boasting juniper, lavender, and cardamom), rosewood and peppermint rich Headache relief, and ylang ylang and frankincense for Destressing, I was immediately drawn to 21 Drops ‘Digest’ essential oil blend, think magical tube of stomach and conscience settling warmth. Taking the rollerball and applying the blend in a repeated circular motion to my wrist’s pulse point, closing my eyes and breathing in deep, through this little moment of calm and ritual, I couldn’t help but notice the always lingering digestive distress dwindle.
We are what we eat, we are what our skin eats. Highlighting some of the key ingredients found in 21 Drops’ ‘Digest’ blend, I thought it would be really fun to develop an equally nourishing taste bud treat, my Ginger Cardamom Apple Crisp Parfait. With the temperature dropping and leaves just beginning to turn, this autumn inspired and protein and fiber rich vegan apple crisp is perfect for breakfast and/or snack and is made with fresh grated ginger (a proven aid for digestion distress, relieving cramps and nausea, stimulating circulation, and aiding with flatulence and distention), crisp and sweet autumn apples, natural coconut sugar, cardamon (known for reducing fluid retention, nausea, colic, and abdominal distention), and sweet orange zest (a known digestive stimulant, detoxifying tonic for the stomach, digestive aid, and constipation reliever) – digestion aiding and belly satisfying.
1 can (14 ounces) light coconut milk
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
3 medium apples (1 ½ pounds), diced
zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons coconut sugar, divided
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ cup almond flour
½ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons coconut oil
zest of ½ orange orange
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, rack in the middle.
In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk, chia seeds, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of one-hour, or until it forms a thicker, gel like, consistency.
Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet (I used a pie dish), toss apples, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, ginger, and remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla extract until well combined. Place in oven and allow to bake for 25-30 minutes, or until apples are very soft and beginning to caramelize. Remove from oven and set aside.
On a separate rimmed baking sheet, toss remaining 2 tablespoons coconut sugar with almond flour, rolled oats, coconut oil, orange zest, and ground cardamom until well combined. Place in oven and allow to bake for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until fragrant and lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
To assemble and serve: divide coconut chia evenly amongst 6 glasses or bowls. Top with equal amounts of apple (about ½ cup), then sprinkle with crumble (2 ½ tablespoons). Serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving]
310 Calories, 18.4g Fat, 35g Carbohydrates, 10g Fiber, 18g Sugar, 6g Protein
Thank you 21 Drops for sponsoring this post and thank you for reading!