Gut healing stewed apples – a wonderfully simple (and delicious) way you can help heal your child’s gut, reduce inflammation, support their digestive health and support their immune system.
These gut healing stewed apples are a great therapeutic food to include in your child’s diet if you’re working with any inflammatory conditions, dysbiosis, “leaky gut” or weakened immune system, as in the case of some food sensitivities, allergies, frequent illness, constipation or diarrhoea. Just think of them as a good initial kick-start to overall healing from within, and something that your child will enjoy eating.
GUT HEALING STEWED APPLES
The gut healing properties come from the pectin found the skin of the apples that’s released during the cooking process (the same thing that makes jam set), that can heal, repair and maintain the mucosal lining of our gut – remember 80% of our entire immune system is housed here. Pectin is a soluble fibre and the preferred food for our gut bacteria to feed on, or a prebitoic. Apples actually have the ability to change the different types of bacteria in our gut too, favouring the beneficial kind. It’s the insoluble fiber in apple skins that creates the bulk in our poo making for easier bowel movements and a great food for helping to manage childhood constipation.
Apples are also an excellent source of vitamin C, an important water-soluble vitamin that aids growth, development and tissue repair. The flavanoids found in apple skins (especially high in red skinned apples) also have the ability to reduce inflammation.
CINNAMON FOR DIGESTIVE HEALTH
Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices to cook with when I want to add warmth and sweetness in both sweet and savoury dishes. You don’t have to add it here but apple and cinnamon really do make the perfect pair and cinnamon comes with it’s own added health benefits – it’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, great for digestion and balancing blood sugar levels (by increasing insulin sensitivity), and is high in protective antioxidants.
As we’re cooking the skin of the apples here, the preference would be to choose organic apples where possible – conventional fruits and vegetables exposed to pesticides will retain this chemical residue in their skins. As I’ve said before, if you’re only going to feed your child organic food once in their life, please do so when they’re babies – the toxic load from non-organic food on their tiny bodies is much greater than ours.
WAYS WITH GUT HEALING STEWED APPLES
These gut healing stewed apples are a great addition to breakfast, stirred through warm porridge or atop some paleo granola (we also top our gluten-free waffles with them). They make for an easy a snack served with some yoghurt and toasted seeds – the addition of fat adds nutrients and aids the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D & K, and the protein will keep their tummies feeling fuller for longer.
For babies on purees, just whiz some up in the blender with a little cultured butter or cold pressed coconut oil – it makes a wonderful apple mouse that even the big kids love too.
If you’re looking for something sweet after dinner, warm a serving through along with few frozen berries, then top with paleo granola and a dollop of yoghurt for a quick and healthy apple & berry crumble.
And if you’ve got any stewed apples leftover after all of that, turn them in to a puree and freeze, then add to your next batch of muffins as a natural sweetener. Or add the puree to icy pole moulds as a cool kids treat.
Oh and did I mention they’re delicious just to eat all on their own?
GUT HEALING STEWED APPLES
SERVES: 4 – PREP TIME: 5-mins – COOK TIME: 5-mins
- 4 apples – washed, cored and diced (I like to use pink lady apples but any type of apple will work)
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ preservative-free sultanas, optional – only if you’re needing to add some extra sweetness
Place all ingredients in a pot and cover with a lid
Cook over a low heat for approx. 5-minutes until softened
Serve warm or store in an airtight container in the fridge
For anyone interested in reading Dr. Michael Ash’s research paper on the importance of mucosal tolerance in the gut, using stewed apples you can find it here.