Frankie Says Eat This Apple Bake

1 week till Christmas!

I love the holidays.  I love the music, the movies, the décor. (I don’t love the obligatory “buy people crap they don’t need with money you don’t have” tradition, but we’ll save that rant for another time.)

By now you’re no doubt being inundated with “SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS” messages. As in…if you follow these simple steps, if you put your blinders on to all the food around you, if you keep your head down and your eyes shut, then you’ll get through it. You’ll survive.

What the heck?

WHY would anyone want to just slog through the most wonderful time of the year, I ask you?  Wouldn’t you rather enjoy it?

At the risk of sounding like a sap, this season is all about spending time with those you love. It’s about reflecting upon the past year and acknowledging the things you’ve done, the people you’ve spent it with and realizing all that you’re grateful for. It’s about looking around and thinking, “Oh! It’s a wonderful life.” And maybe you’ve got a cup of eggnog in your hand while you do it. And a Christmas cookie. Big whoop.

Everyone needs to STOP FREAKING OUT. Stop stressing about Diet sabotage! Fitness fallouts! Weight gain! That stuff sells magazines, it doesn’t support your health. Okay?

Do you know what’s worse for you than eating Aunt Mary’s Linzer cookies?  Feeling guilty while eating them.

So stop feeling guilty and start enjoying. The nog, the cookies, the holidays. I promise you, you will not disrupt your body’s entire ecosystem over the course of a few festivities.

So if you find yourself freaking out about the food & drink options at an office party or family gathering or social soiree, just ask yourself WWFS?  What Would Frankie Say? Frankie would say relax.

Unless, of course, you’re stress eating.  That’s a whole other animal.  So Frankie would tell you to read on…

If you’re throwing back 9 Aunt Mary treats in rapid-fire succession while hiding in a dark closet to avoid your mother’s inquisitions, or you’re adding whiskey and Bailey’s to your coffee at 9am just to greet your family with a smile, THEN we’ve got a little issue on our hands.

Because wine is for celebrating, not for drowning your sorrows. Even if it’s mulled wine.

If the holidays drive you to binge-drink-or-eat, then you might want to take a closer look at what is causing the stress and how to manage it. BEFORE you end up in a Clark Griswold-esque tirade in front of the entire party.

Let go of the stress this year. Enjoy the celebrations, imbibe in the libations and indulge in the temptations. And do it with a smile!

Here’s to the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f%&^ing Kaye!

P.S.

Want a healthy way to start your Christmas Day? Make this apple bake for breakfast if you have holiday guests staying with you. Or even if you don't.  I can't get enough of it lately!

Baked Apple Breakfast

Serves 4

  • 4 apples, any variety – do try to get local ones!
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1.5 tsp apple pie spice, divided (the blend I have contains a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger & lemon peel – you can substitute any combination of the above, or simply use cinnamon)
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup dried coconut (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup rolled oats, divided
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven 350.

Slice apples into thin pieces – no need to peel.  Place in a 9x9 baking dish, and toss with lemon juice and 1 tsp apple pie spice.  Set aside.

Whiz almonds, coconut and ¼ cup oats in a spice or coffee grinder until you get a rough flour-like consistency.  In a medium bowl combine these “flours”, the remaining ¼ cup whole oats, baking soda and remaining ½ tsp of apple pie spice.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, then stir in coconut oil, liquid sweetener and vanilla.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then stir in walnuts or pecans.  Pour over apples, then toss until evenly distributed.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until apples are soft and top is slightly browned.

Serve warm with a generous pour of coconut cream (or regular cream).