I was watching the Dr. Oz show the other day, discussing foods that help promote restful sleep and I was struck by a combination of pumpkin seeds and applesauce, not a food combination that I would normally consider. Evidently, foods that are high in the amino acid, tryptophan (like pumpkin seeds) need to be combined with a carbohydrate in order to activate the niacin and seratonin that relax the nervous system and makes us drowsy.
According to this article on Livestrong.com, the amount of tryptophan found in a serving of food that contains this essential amino acid does not produce enough serotonin to cause sleepiness. The sleepy feeling you feel after eating a large meal — such as Thanksgiving dinner — typically comes from the high number of carbohydrates and calories you consumed.
That interesting fact as well as the pumpkin seed/applesauce combination started my Raw Fusion creative juices flowing so I decided to create a scone or muffin (see below) that can help people sleep since insomnia or some kind of sleep disorder affects as many as 100 million Americans (Sleep Wellness Institute). Wouldn’t it be great to just enjoy a delicious and healthy treat in the evening instead of taking medication? Let me know how these work for you (so far been getting thumb’s up from friends and family but that is not exactly hard science…)
For sweetening your dreams (and this recipe) you can use agave, maple syrup, honey, succanat, coconut nectar or palm sugar, which is derived from palm tree flowers.
Sweet Dreams Scones
Makes about 16 Scones (depending on size)
3 cups of pumpkin seed meal (ground pumpkin seeds)
4 medium-sized apples
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
4 TB. agave nectar or 1/2 cup palm sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. powdered clove
3 TB. coconut oil
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract (alcohol-free)
1/2 cup dried berries, cherries or raisins
Directions: Grind pumpkin seeds in food processor until they become a fine meal. Pour in large bowl. Peel and chop apples, discarding core and process apples until they become like applesauce. Add to bowl, mixing well with spoon or spatula. You can buy ground flaxseed or gind in a coffee grinder (I keep one dedicated for this purpose so that their is no coffee scent). Add flaxseed and other items and combine well. Let batter sit for at least 10 minutes as the flaxseed will absorb some of the moisture and plump up the dried fruit.
Shape into triangles or patties and place on teflex coated sheet. Place sheet on top of screen on dehydrator tray. Start dehydrating at 145 degrees for about 1.5 hours and then lower to 115 degrees for another hour. Then place scones directly on screen and dry for another hour or two. These should still be moist inside. They are especially wonderful served with some coconut butter spread on top.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A DEHYDRATOR:
Many people do not have one – so here is a Raw Fusion Solution. Place the scones on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Keep temperature low in the oven — you can even crack open the oven door. Dry them just long enough so that they can be handled without breaking. The inside will still be moist.
HERE IS A BAKED VERSION, WHERE I MADE MINI-MUFFINS:
Substitute the ground flaxseed with about a cup of gluten-free flour and add a teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and add one or two eggs. Dot with cranberries. Grease muffin pan with oil (I sprayed olive oil with my misto but you can also use the coconut oil) Bake at 325 degrees but they are ready rather quickly so keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. You can serve them as they are, with coconut butter or make a yogurt berry blend for dipping.