Uncovering My Ancestral Connection In The Kitchen
This Swedish style gingerbread apple cake is a simple rustic farmhouse recipe without all the frills but still bursting with aromatic spices. I often find myself longing for a better connection to my ancestral roots. I feel so disconnected from the values and traditions of my ancestors. But I can feel my ancestors every time I work with my hands, especially when I am baking. When I am peeling apples or rolling out dough I feel the generations of women before me that were doing the very same thing. Giving me that spiritual connection that I am longing for.
Then I can start to picture what my ancestors lives may have looked like. Picking the apples from the garden or receiving a bushel from a neighbor. Then creating something delicious with whatever they had on hand. The modern age we can be extra creative with everything at our fingertips. But sometimes magic happens with using the most basic wholesome ingredients we have stocked in our panty after harvest season. Indulging in the last of the quickly decaying fruits of autumn with a little cinnamon, butter, and sugar.
I think my Swedish ancestors would love this one and I hope you do too!
Balancing The Sugar Game
Sometimes food doesn’t have to be about the benefits of each ingredient. Looking at how it all effects our organs. Sometimes it is just about how it affects our spirit and sharing that warmth that we baked in our ovens with our family, friends and neighbors. There is a spiritual connection to cooking that we all tend to miss. But it is simply about looking at the root of why you enjoy cooking and sharing a meal. Especially if it is a special meal that has been passed down from generation to generation.
I know we all need to watch our sugar intake with the number of products using a overload of white sugars and syrups on the market that disrupt our health. It is hard to get away from all the sugar especially in the states. But we can always cut the processed sugars out and opt for more natural sugars as much as possible.
When our spirit needs to indulge every now and then it is ok to not feel guilty about it. If your sweet tooth is persistent try to listen to it and engage with the root of the sensation. Then try to make something at home and make it as healthy as possible. Use gluten free flour and wholesome ingredients. Add spices like cinnamon. Cinnamon is a incredible addition to baked goods because it helps balance blood sugars. Then if you want to make it extra special add in more herbs. Herbs always add so much unique flavor and health benefits. They are always my favorite secret weapon that take recipes to the next level.
No matter what I am cooking in my kitchen I see every breath as a practice of cultivating one self. This is a very important step to any recipe. A wise teacher of mine always says to pause before each step with everything you do. This is to ensure that you are present with the action you are taking. This mindful approach to life is learned through ancient practices like tea ceremony and qi gong then these lessons are carried over into our everyday lives and mundane tasks. Like cooking our meals everyday. Treating the food that we serve others with extra care with our deep awareness of the healing potential of our offering through food.
If this recipe is calling you I invite you to incorporate more mindfulness practices into the kitchen. Pause briefly before each stir and chop. Become mindful of the practice and what it is teaching you. Awaken your awareness and clear your mind. Connect to the energy you are putting into your food and connect to your ancestors. Serve your lessons and essence of self to your community with your food.
Heal The Soul With Food
I am grateful for the opportunity to create this gingerbread apple cake from my heart for a upcoming retreat that is centered around healing trauma through the magic of psilocybin. That means there needs to be extra care that goes into the food. They will be extra sensitive to the energy with in everything. Including my food. It is the greatest joy that I get to share my creations with them. In the hopes that the energy of my food will be carried with them on their healing path.
As you may have learned in my previous posts, food is full of energy that has an effect on us. But don’t forget that your energy has an effect on the energy of your food too. The energy that you put into your food is always better when there is a lot of heart stirred into it. That is why home cooking always tastes so good. As well as why Michelin star restaurants can charge so much money for their food. It is all art and the essence of who we are.
Instructions for the Gingerbread Apple Cake
The gingerbread apple cake has extra layers of sweet and spice in every step for extra warming comfort. First start by collecting some local apples if possible. Be thoughtful about where you source your food. The taste and energy of everything you eat starts with the influence of the terroir. Especially the environmental conditions and the mentality of the farmer that is growing it can all be tasted.
Any variety of apple will do the trick. As long as you can get them locally any variety will do. Peel and dice the apples then add them to a bowl with a sprinkle of each spice and lemon juice. You can use a special apple peeler and corer if you have one. But using a simple peeler works too. Set aside.
Next prepare the ginger infused brown butter by adding it to a pan and stirring until it looks lightly caramelized. You will smell the aroma of the sweet ginger right away. I used ginger that I got directly from a organic farmer that I dehydrated and ground myself which makes the taste of sweet ginger extra flavorful.
Prepare the buttermilk with your nut milk of choice and lemon wedges. Set aside for a moment to let it curdle. Then add in the rest of the wet ingredients including the cooled butter. Next prepare the flour by sifting it and adding in the other dry ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and add 1/4 cup of milk if the dough turns out too stiff.
The way this cake turned out was a pleasant surprise it is so rich with ginger. The dark brown sugar adds to the depth of flavor. With plenty of classic spices that everyone in Sweden and abroad will love to make again and again during the colder months. It is a sweet cozy necessity that will heal your spirit and encourage connection during the holiday season.
To learn more about food therapy and proper diet for the metal element make sure you check out this food guide. And check out this tasty herbal chai that I specifically formulated for supporting the health of the lungs and immune system in the Farmacy.
Gingerbread Apple Cake
For the Apple Cake:
- 2 ½ cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour 316g
- 1 ½ cups Dark Brown Sugar 300g
- 1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tbp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Cloves
- 1 cup Vegan Buttermilk 240ml 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice + Soy Milk up to the 1 cup line
- ⅓ cup Vegan Butter
- 2 tbsps of ground ginger
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tbsp Applesauce
- 1 ½ cups locally grown apples Peeled and Chopped
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Set aside a 9x 13 baking pan (or any size dish you have)
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix together.
- Prepare your vegan buttermilk by adding 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice to a measuring jug and then adding plant based milk up to the 1 cup (240ml) line. Leave it for a minute to allow it to curdle.
- 4.Add the vegan butter and ginger to a pan let bulb and stir for a few minutes until it starts to brown a little.
- Let the butter cool a minute then add it to a bowl with the buttermilk, vanilla, apple cider vinegar and applesauce mix in properly. The batter will be thick.
- Add in the chopped apple pieces and fold in.
- Transfer to your prepared baking dish and smooth down.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Serve with a cup of coffee or cup of tea.