Autumn holds a special place in my heart, evoking cherished family memories and stories steeped in herbal lore. During Samhain, my thoughts drift to the golden woods and bronzed landscapes of my homeland. I reminisce about ‘Allerzielen’ or All Souls Day, a time when cemeteries are adorned in a sea of red, gold, and yellow Chrysanthemums, symbolising not just remembrance but also happiness, longevity, and health.
Chrysanthemums, often linked with remembrance, are celebrated in many cultures for their positive symbolism. They represent wishes for peace and eternal life. In traditional healing, their cooling and bitter properties are harnessed in medicinal teas, showcasing the profound relationship between plants and wellness.
These seasonal rituals provide us with grounding moments, helping us transition smoothly between seasons, offering peace and space for reflection.
On Old Souls Day, before the world awakens, I often take a solitary walk, cherishing the crisp morning air and the serene stillness of nature. It’s a time of reflection, remembering loved ones and expressing gratitude for their life lessons and the legacy they have left behind.
After this moment of solitude, I return to the warmth of my home to wake my children, and together, we bake a comforting treat from my grandmother’s recipe book.
I’m excited to share a family favourite with you, a variation of the traditional Speculaas biscuit from my native Flanders. It’s a recipe that’s not only delicious but also packed with nurturing spices that offer warmth and support for the immune and digestive systems.
Autumnal Recipe – Spicy Speculaas
- 90g spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 120g organic coconut oil
- 200g rolled oats
- 1 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
- 1 tsp powdered nutmeg
- 1 tsp powdered cardamom
- ½ tsp powdered clove
- 2 medium eggs
- 50g brown sugar
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Mix the spelt flour with baking powder and set aside.
- Gently warm the coconut oil in a pan, then add the oats and spices, stirring well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and brown sugar until smooth.
- Combine the egg mixture with the oats, then gradually mix in the flour.
- Roll out the dough on parchment paper, using a little flour to prevent sticking.
- Use cookie cutters to create your favourite shapes – hearts, animals, leaves, trees, etc.
- Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Enjoy these biscuits with a cup of coffee or a warming chai tea, complemented by similar spices and plant-based milk.
I hope this recipe brings you as much joy and warmth as it has brought to my family. May it be a catalyst for your own autumnal reflections and relaxation.