One week into fall and this season’s stock of apples is ready and waiting to be picked from trees or bagged from your grocery. Biting into a crisp, sweet Honey Crisp all on its own, or pairing a Granny Smith with a slice of sharp cheese are crave-worthy snacks that have earned their keep. But do you remember how simply satisfying applesauce can be? (And we mean homemade, with no sugar added!) It’s time to grab your peck of apples and turn your fall goods into delicious apple butter and chia pudding parfaits in two easy steps.
Step 1: Make Applesauce or Apple Butter
Beyond the apple-a-day adage, you’ve probably felt the nudge to eat more apples for your health and wellbeing. And rightly so for their antioxidant properties, vitamins, and fiber, to name a few benefits. With thousands of apple varieties growing all over the world, finding one you like for munching raw or the one that’s best for cooking will be effortless this time of year. First, give this cook-down method a try for applesauce or keep it cooking and you’ll have a delicious jam known as apple butter with no extra fuss and just a little bit more time.
Homemade Applesauce and Apple Butter by Heather Bursch
- 6 pounds of sweet apples (Honey Crisp is perfect!)
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2—3/4 cup water
- *Optional: No sugar is needed with sweet apples. Taste your sauce mid-cooking and add maple syrup or your favorite sweetener if needed.
- Peel and core apples, cut into small pieces and dump into slow-cooker with all ingredients, and stir.
- Set on high and let cook for at least 1 1/2 hours and up to about 4.
- Remove lid and using a potato masher mash apples to desired consistency for applesauce. If you are making apple butter, puree with immersion blender or food processor and continue to cook on low for up to another 8 hours or so. If you want it cooked down more, remove the lid (or move to a saucepan on the stove) and continue cooking for a thicker and spreadable apple butter. Up to 2 hours more uncovered in crock-pot or about 30 minutes on the stove-top.
- Peel and core apples, cut into small pieces and place in large saucepan.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and turn heat to medium-high.
- When the liquid starts to bubble, cover and turn heat down and keep it just above a simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When apples are tender enough to mash with a potato masher, mash (or puree with blender) as desired for your preference in applesauce consistency. If making apple butter, puree using an immersion blender until smooth. If chunks are still visible, return cover to pot and continue cooking as needed.
- Once you have pureed apples, continue to cook uncovered until reduced and thickened to a dark and jam-like consistency.
- Remove from heat, cool and store in airtight jars in your fridge for up to a week.
- This recipe makes about 3 1/2—4 cups of applesauce or apple butter and can easily be halved or doubled.
Enjoy your apple butter on buttered toast, atop pancakes or waffles, as a side with roasted meat or potatoes, eaten on its own, or head to step two for Navitas chia seed pudding recipe for a delicious snack (or dessert!) in the making.
Step 2: Make Chia Pudding
Let’s talk chia seeds. Did you know these hydrophilic black seeds hold 10 times their weight in liquid? Because of this, they expand and soften in the liquids you add to them and are often used as a vegan egg replacement or thickener in recipes. Navitas Organics, a plant-based superfood company, committed to making ancient healthful foods available through ethical farming methods, says chia’s superfood status, “is all about omega-3 fatty acids—with loads of protein, antioxidants, magnesium and fiber to boot.” You can find many more treasures and recipes at navitasorganics.com for how to incorporate their broad range of superfood products into your daily life. The following is as easy as recipes come!
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk or coconut milk (we used coconut milk for our parfaits!)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix and wait for 15 minutes to thicken.
Last, layer this creamy, delicious chia seed pudding with your homemade apple butter for a tasty and nutritious fall inspired treat!
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