Skip Sub-navigation

Healthy Living Recipes

Deb Morgan: Fall is the ultimate time to be a foodie in New England! As the air turns cooler, festivals and farmers markets throughout the beautiful Berkshires are brimming with the fall’s harvest, and we food lovers are blissfully chopping and stirring in our kitchens. This month I share with you two fall fruit favorites.

Be sure to check out Nutritionist John Bagnulo’s commentary below each recipe.

Apple Crisp

Makes one 9” casserole pan.

Deb Morgan: Each fall I love to take the kids apple picking at one of the local orchards; if we arrive on the right day, we stay and watch as the apple press churns out fresh cider for us to take home. In addition to lots of wonderfully fresh apples to eat raw, everyone loves waking up in the morning to the smell of just-made apple crisp. Our guests here at Kripalu love it too, and we’re always sure to include some version of apple crisp on our fall breakfast menu. I’ve given you the basic version here—feel free to embellish it with wild blueberries, fresh peaches, nuts, or whatever strikes your fancy.

1 cup rolled oats
¹⁄3 cup oat bran
¹⁄3 cup rice or spelt flour
Pinch salt
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, or Earth Balance

3 apples, cored and cut into large dice
¼ cup apple cider
2 tablespoons rice or spelt flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all topping ingredients and set aside.

Core and cut apples, and toss with cinnamon and flour. Pour cider into pan, then lay down apples. Spread topping on apples. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until apples reach desired softness. Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes to crisp. Serve topped with fresh yogurt or soymilk.

Read John Bagnulo’s commentary: Apple Crisp to Help Your Heart.

This recipe has so many things going for it with respect to cardiovascular health. The oats and oat bran provide a major amount of soluble fiber, which is probably the best overall way to lower our serum cholesterol levels. The apples are a great source of soluble fiber, too, in addition to phytonutrients, which help reduce inflammation. With significant antioxidant value, cinnamon is also helpful at lowering our blood sugar levels. And grapeseed oil, if you choose to use it, has been shown in clinical research to help raise our HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels, often referred to as “the good cholesterol.”

Arugula Salad with Poached Pears, Walnuts, and Chevre with a Balsamic Fig Reduction

Serves four.

Deb Morgan: Onto another one of my favorite fall fruits: the pear. If you’re in the Northwest, you have a much better chance of visiting a pear orchard than here in New England. But whether they’re fresh picked or not, nothing beats a poached pear served with soft goat cheese, walnuts, arugula, and a fig reduction.

6 cups arugula
1 ripe pear
2 cups water (or 1½ cup water and ½ cup cooking wine)
2 tablespoons agave
¼ cup freshly cracked walnuts
¼ cup soft goat cheese

Peel the pear, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Combine water (and wine if you choose to) and agave in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to distribute agave. Place pear in agave water. Simmer 10 minutes, until pear is tender but not mushy. Allow pear to cool in poaching liquid, then drain.

¹⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fennel leaf (optional)
¼ cup chopped dried figs
¹⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange juice
½ teaspoon salt

Soak figs in warm water. Simmer balsamic vinegar, reducing to about ¼ cup. Cool balsamic vinegar and drain figs, then combine all ingredients in a blender. The fennel leaf is optional but really worth including.

To make salad
Arrange arugula on center of plate. Sprinkle with goat cheese and walnuts. Cut each pear half in half again and then fan it on edge of plate. Dress with balsamic fig reduction and serve.

Read John Bagnulo’s commentary: Another Boon for the Cardiovascular System.

This salad is also great for the cardiovascular system (though it depends on how much goat cheese you use). The arugula is a good source of magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure; the walnuts are a great source of alpha linolenic acid, which is also useful at lowering blood lipids; and the pear is a great source of soluble fiber, like the apples in the recipe above.

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.