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FD Healthy: Holiday Helpings

By: Julia "Nomad" Deppe

The holidays are a time filled with family, friends and food.  But, sometimes health can go by the wayside in the season of comfort foods and sweet treats.  First Descents’ Chef Julia “Nomad” Deppe has the perfect seasonal fixes, from comforting soups to un-processed desserts.  Be sure to check out her health-supportive cooking recipes at juliadeppe.com, or give the gift of healthy, happy bellies by ordering the Out Living It Cookbook curated by all of the incredible First Descents chefs.

These two recipes, for Butternut Apple Ginger Soup and Pear Ginger Crumble with Almond Maple Topping are some of our favorite Nomad recipes.  Give these recipes a try, and then keep on Out Cooking It into the New Year!

Butternut Apple Ginger Soup

Yield: approximately 12 servings

2 T coconut oil

2 yellow onion, diced (approximately 4 cups)

2 t sea salt

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (approximately 8 cups)

2 apples, peeled and diced (approximately 2 cups)

8 cups water

2” ginger root, peeled and grated (approximately 1 1/2 T)

1 T freshly squeezed orange juice


-Heat oil in a large soup pot on medium heat.

-Add onion and salt.

-Cook onions until translucent.

-Add nutmeg. Stir to combine.

-Add the squash and apple, and cook approximately 3 minutes, or until sweating.

-Add the water. Bring to a boil, and then immediately down to a simmer.

-Cook until the squash and apple are soft throughout, approximately 10 minutes.

-Remove from heat, and stir in the ginger and orange juice.

-Allow the soup to partially cool before thoroughly blending.

-Season with black pepper, and additional salt if needed.

-Feel free to garnish with roasted kale or other healthy toppings

Pear Ginger Crumble with Almond Maple Topping

Yield: approximately 12 servings


1 cup water

1/8 t sea salt

1 lemon, juiced

4 pears, peeled, cored and diced medium

2 gala apple, peeled, cored and diced medium

(Fruit yields approximately 6 cups)

1 1/2 T arrowroot

1 1/2 T coconut sugar

1 T ground ginger

1 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t ground cardamom

2 t maple syrup

1 t vanilla extract


2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup smooth almond butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 t vanilla extract

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup almond flour

2 T coconut sugar

1/4 t sea salt


13.5 oz coconut cream

1 T coconut sugar

1 T maple syrup

1 t vanilla extract

1/8 t sea salt

Filling Procedure

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9 x 9” baking vessel with parchment paper. Either a square dish or pie pan work well.

-Place water, salt, lemon juice and fruit into a medium-sized saucepan. Simmer on medium-low until the fruit is partially softened, but still holds form. Stir as needed.

-While the fruit cooks, add the dry filling ingredients (arrowroot, coconut sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom) to a small bowl, and mix to combine.

-Once the fruit is partially cooked, add the dry filling ingredients to the pot. Stir thoroughly and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens.

-Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup and vanilla.

Crust Procedure

-Mix the dry crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the wet crust ingredients in a separate bowl. Stir wet mixture into the dry mix.

-Take approximately 2/3 of the crust mixture and press it evenly inside the pan.

-Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork.

-Bake the crust for six minutes, or until just starting to solidify and turn golden.

Crumble Topping Procedure

-While the crust bakes, combine the remaining 1/3 crust mixture with the additional almond flour, coconut sugar and salt.

-Mix to create a crumbly topping, and create varying size crumble by squeezing larger amounts of the ingredients together.

Final Assembly

-Once the crust is golden, and removed from the oven, pour the fruit mixture on top.

-Top the fruit with the prepared crumble topping.

-Set back in the oven and bake until the liquid is bubbling and the crumble is starting to turn golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.

Glaze Procedure

-While the dessert is baking, combine the glaze ingredients in a small pot on medium heat.

-Bring to a boil, and immediately down to a simmer.

-Allow the mixture to reduce until it thickens into a caramel sauce-like consistency.

-Serve fruit crumble with glaze drizzled on top.

*This recipe is extra delicious also topped with your favorite coconut ice cream or a dollop of whipped coconut cream.

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