In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is generally recommended to eat warming foods instead of those that are overly cold. Cold foods are thought to inhibit our digestive function and cool our body down. In TCM, each organ is assigned functions. The Spleen and Stomach are said to transform are food and fluid into nutrition and distribute it to the four limbs of our body. Especially in the cold winter months, when we want to maintain heat in the body, it is especially helpful to eat warming foods. A warm apple bowl satisfies sweet cravings, will keep you warm on a cold day, and keep your digestion happy!

This recipe has ingredients with wonderful healing properties. Many herbs you would commonly find in your cupboard, have Chinese Medicine medicinal properties; this recipe is also boosted with protein and good fats. Here is the TCM interpretation of the medicinal properties of the ingredients:

Apples nourish the Spleen and Lungs, regulate blood sugar, and strengthen the immune system.

Coconut Oil benefits Lung and Spleen function, is anti-inflammatory and boosts the immune system.

Cinnamon (Rou Gui) is a warming herb that acts as a tonic for the Kidneys and Spleen.

Honey (Feng Mi) is warming and benefits the Spleen, moistens the Lungs and stops a cough and can help with constipation.

Sea Salt benefits the Kidneys.

Almond butter (in small amounts) nurtures the Spleen, reduces phlegm and alleviates a cough.

Pomegranate seeds (Shi Liu Zi) supports the Spleen and Lung, supports immunity, and treats a sore throat and cough.

Hemp seeds (Huo Ma Ren) relieves constipation, can induce sleep, relieves pain, and can treat nausea.


2 tsp Coconut Oil

2 Apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces. Any variety will do, I like Gala or Honeycrisp.

1/2 cup Filtered water

1 TBSP Raw Honey

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Pinch Sea Salt


1 Tbsp Nut Butter


Pomegranate Seeds

Hemp Seeds


Warm coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. Add apple chunks and sauté until lightly golden brown on all sides.

Add the water, honey, cinnamon and salt, and increase heat so the liquid simmers, stirring the apples occasionally. Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. (Apples should be tender, but not falling apart.)

Serve the apples in a bowl, drizzle with almond butter. And top with pomegranate or hemp seeds.

This bowl of deliciousness can be eaten as a dessert, as a topping for oatmeal, or as a sweet midday snack. Enjoy!

*The original recipe is from the Pamela Salzman’s food blog ( It has been slightly modified and given a TCM interpretation.