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Rich holiday indulgences like cookies, fruit cake, eggnog, fried latkes, cakes, and pies can be special treats this time of year, but there are lighter options for those living with digestive diseases. Homemade apple sauce, deliciously different from store bought, is a simple and easy treat that can satisfy cravings for warm holiday spices without extra fat, and is gluten free, too. Because apple sauce is made with cooked, peeled fruit, it is well-tolerated by those on a variety of diets. Different apples can create different flavor profiles—use a mixture of sweet and tart apples to reduce the need for added sugar.

While some studies have shown that cinnamon may be beneficial for diabetes, PCOS, lipid disorders, and some inflammatory disorders, the health benefits probably do not extend to the amounts used in seasonal foods.

Courtney Schuchmann, RD, explains, “Most of the research on the benefits of cinnamon have looked at high supplemental doses, rather than the amount used in cooking, which are likely inadequate to provide therapeutic benefits. However, cinnamon is a great way to improve flavor of dishes.”

Cinnamon Apple Sauce
4-5 medium apples, peeled and cored, and sliced into small pieces
¼ c. light brown sugar, packed
1 t. cinnamon
½ cup water

Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until the apples reach the desired consistency (add more water if necessary).

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