Ayurvedic medicine, the sister science of yoga, tells us that it is best to eat fruit warm, not cold, in the wintertime. This vegan tart has been a comforting treat for me this year and I may keep making it even as the weather warms up. The nights can still be cold and turning on the oven is a great way to add a little extra heat to the home. It’s also a great excuse to cook up some root vegetables when the oven is already on! Along with the apples, I have used dried cherries, cranberries and raisins instead of dates. I have also used bananas in place of the apples and while the dish doesn’t come out looking as good (the bananas turn brown) it is sweet and delicious. I have tried this in different sized baking trays and my favorite is one that is about 8 in.². The tart can easily be formed into different shapes and sizes, too.
Apple Date Tart
Adapted from The Path of Practice by Bri. Maya Tiwari
¼ cup dates
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch of rock salt
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons oil plus enough to coat a baking dish
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup applesauce
Preheat oven to 350°. Wash and cut the apples, sliced thin, and set aside. Remove seeds from dates, and cut into thin strips. Combine apples, dates, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt in a mixing bowl, then set aside.
Combine flour and baking powder, then sift into a separate bowl. Add the oil and maple syrup to flour mixture, along with the applesauce. Mix into a batter and pour into an oiled baking dish. Layer fruit mixture on top of batter. Bake for 45 minutes, until a fork inserted in center of tart comes out clean.
On this last day of winter, I am reflecting on how different things feel outside-and-in when winter turns to spring. I’m feeling ready to be more physically active outdoors after an introspective season spent mainly inside. Here’s a song that I’m using this week at the end of my yoga classes to appreciate that winter has passed and look forward to all that comes with spring.
Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries, and Pecans
From Damian Stoy of Chi Running
– 2 lbs. butternut squash, diced
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss squash, onion, sage, and thyme with 2 tbsp. coconut oil. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes.
2. Warm cooked quinoa and combine with cranberries and pecans.
3. Toss vinegar, 1 tbsp. coconut and garlic in a small bowl. Combine squash and quinoa mixture and toss with dressing.
Wintry Snack Mix
Adapted from New Native American Cooking by Dale Carson
-1 ½ cup assorted dried fruits: unsweetened (without refined sugar) cranberries, apples, raisins, apricots
1. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients together.
2. Scoop with a 1-cup measure into individual sandwich bags or containers to use as travel food in school lunches, as hiking snacks, or as mid day treats.
Makes about 6 servings.