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Thursday, 25 January 2018 05:30

An apple a day can make the January blues go away

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This year I’m going to exercise five days a week, eat broccoli instead of bacon, add a spoonful of bran to everything bran-able, go on a cleanse, get my vitamins from food instead of bottles, try a new vegetable every week and lose the pounds that keep finding me.

I’m going to eat only local foods, say no to carbs, become a lover of fish dishes, become vegetarian (again), season with herbs instead of salt.
When offered cheesecake, I will choose cheesecake-flavoured yogurt instead. Because the commercials have convinced me it’s just as good.
While I’m at it, I’m going to balance my digestive bacteria by going macrobiotic.
It’s gonna be great! And you can do it all with me!
Actually, call it a non-resolution resolution, but I don’t make them. Not, anyway, in January.
January may offer the freshness of a blank page.
January, though, can also be the darkest, most anticlimactic month of the entire year.
After the rush of family and holidays, the feasts are over, we're long since back to work.
And while, by this time, I’m usually ready for more simplicity, am ready to under-indulge, those declarations of “always” or “never” turn the footings of the first month of the year into a floor covered in marbles.
So, what to do with January and the impetus to make plans for a better year? Or with an optimistic book friend who thinks I should resolve to complete the final draft of my next book before 2019?
As a rule, I am as wary of  health kicks as impossible deadlines. They make anything less than the truly miraculous smack of personal failure, and snatch defeat from the jaws of triumph.
Therefore, pricey vitamin pushers and veg-evangelists will not find a convert here.
Such non-resolve also means that the macrobiotic cheesecake is out. As is the herbal cleanse, personal drill sergeant, and fruitarian kick.
But! We do have a new juicer. And with it, we’ve been pulping apples and pears, pineapples, bananas, citrus, kiwi, carrots and anything else that goes well in a glass.
On the other hand, there’ve been no parsley-beet smoothies. No cabbage-kale elixers. No faith whatsoever in juice cures for all the ills of the human condition.
Fresh apple-pearsauce, though, is exactly what our Sunday morning pancakes have been wanting. And today, the same sauce is making its debut in an Apple-Pearsauce Tea Cake.
If you have a macerating juicer, you can follow along using freshly sauced, uncooked, fruit.
And for have nots, just open up a jar of applesauce, from the pantry or store, and join us anyway. If we need to, we can all resolve to do without cake come February.
Apple-Pearsauce Tea Cake
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
1 2/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups combined unsweetened applesauce and pearsauce
Note: Use 2 cups applesauce if you haven’t any pears.
Generously butter and dust with flour, a 12-cup (10-inch) Bundt pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together eggs and brown sugar on high for 5 minutes, until very thick. Reduce speed to medium and add oil and vanilla, beating two more minutes, until smooth.
Reduce speed to low and alternately beat in some of the flour mixture and apple-pearsauce, starting and finishing with the flour. Do not overmix.
Scrape batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake in a 350F oven for about 55 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool, then turn out cake to cool completely.

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