Winter Recipes that Nourish and Heal | by Dawn Desoto

Dawn Desoto RD, CDCES, celebrates the fall and winter season with a collection of recipes that nourish and heal. Dazzle your taste-buds and energize your gut bacteria with this delicious and seasonal compilation.

Below are the following recipes:

  • Stevia Pumpkin Puree Recipe
  • Simple Baked Apples
  • Poached Pears (Naturally Sugar-Free)
  • Blueberry-Banana Overnight Oats
  • Spinach Pomegranate Recipe

Stevia Pumpkin Puree Recipe:

Choose a pie pumpkin and wash it’s exterior. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and pulp. Roast in your oven for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Simply peel away the skin from the flesh and toss the pumpkin pulp into your food processor or blender.


  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
  • ½ teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup low-fat evaporated milk. 

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and pumpkin puree together. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk them together while slowly pouring in the evaporated milk.

Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 390 degrees, reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for another  45 – 60 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Store in the refrigerator overnight.

Simple Baked Apples:

  • 5 – 6 medium apples, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Place the apples in a medium baking dish

Mix the melted butter or coconut oil, walnuts, and cinnamon together and pour over the apples. Bake in the preheated oven until the apples are soft, about 20 – 30 minutes. Stir once during the baking.

Poached Pears (Naturally Sugar-Free):

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 orange zest and juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-inch ginger root peeled
  • 3 cloves whole
  • 2 Conference pears, peeled, sliced in half, and core
  • 1 Tablespoon sliced toasted almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons thick plain Greek yogurt

Pour the wine into a small saucepan along with the orange zest and juice and all of the spices

Bring almost to a boil and add the pear halves. Turn down the heat and let the pears simmer gently for 20 – 30 minutes, or until they have slightly softened.  Carefully turn the pears over a few times throughout the cooking time to ensure they color evenly. When the pears are cooked remove them from the wine and place them on plates. Add a tablespoon of yogurt to each plate and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Blueberry-Banana Overnight Oats:

  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ TB chia seeds
  • ½ banana
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 2 TB chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Combine coconut milk, oats, chia, banana, maple syrup in a pint-sized jar and stir. Top with blueberries and coconut. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Heat up and sprinkle with walnuts and cinnamon in the morning.

285 calories, 6 gm protein,  57 gms carbohydrate, 7 gms fiber 6 gm fat

Spinach Pomegranate Recipe:

To add more color into our diets, I am sharing my Spinach Pomegranate Salad recipe

  • 10 oz bag of baby spinach leaves    
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • ¼ red onion sliced thin                     
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 pomegranate peeled and seeds separated                            
  • 4 Tb Balsamic vinaigrette

Toss the spinach leaves with the rest of the ingredients.  Serves 4

We hope you enjoy these delicious recipies!