Apples are my favorite fall fruit. They are perfect in every way. Sweet and crunchy at the same time, plus lots of fiber (which is important, peeps–get with your fiber).
I’ve been apple crazy in the kitchen, too.
I just discovered that homemade applesauce is way better than store bought (which I find so unappealing, the smell of it actually makes me nauseous). And it’s ridiculously easy. So easy that EVERYONE should make it. All you need are apples and a big pot and a teensy bit of patience.
Apples (at least 4 cups, in chunks, but I’ve used as much as 8 cups, too. Just depends on how much applesauce you want because like greens, these puppies will cook down a lot).
If you don’t want apple peel in you applesauce, peel your apples, then cu them into large chunks.
Add to big, heavy pot with a lid. Turn heat to medium. Cook for awhile. Stir occasionally. Add a little water from time to time, if necessary, to prevent sticking. You also might want to mash them a bit once the apples have broken down somewhat, if you like your applesauce to have more traditional applesauce consistency. I like mine a little chunky, so I don’t mash as much.
This can take up to an hour. But usually mine is done around 30minutes of cooking, maybe 40.
Enjoy hot and try not to eat it all at once.
I also made these amazing muffins for a clothing swap I hosted. Almost everyone who attended begged me for the recipe. Then I made them again and had requests from people who don’t even like muffins. So here it is. They are vegan and gluten-free and they still taste amazing. You can thank me after you stop drooling.
Apple-Blackberry Muffins with Crystalized Ginger
2lb of your favorite apples (about 6-8 med-large), peeled, cored and diced into small cubes
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
2tsp baking powder
2tsp baking soda
1tsp xanthan gum (it’s actually a powder. whole foods carries it)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup agave nectar (you can use some of the leftovers from the apples here. that’s what i do)
2/3 cup rice milk
2Tbs vanilla extract
1 cup blackberries, halved or whole
1/2 cup crystalized ginger, chopped into small pieces
1 cup of your roasted apples
****important note: both dry AND liquid ingredients should ALL be measured in dry cup measures. if you ignore this step, the whole recipe will be thrown off.
Preheat oven to 325degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the agave and lemon juice, coating them completely. Spread the apples out on the baking sheet and cook for 35 minutes total. Make sure to rotate the apples after about 20 minutes to cook evenly. When the apples are nice and soft, remove from oven and let them stand and cool for about 30 minutes. These can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge, by the way.
Keep oven at 325 and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Then whisk in all of the wet ingredients (minus the fruit. hold off on that step for a moment). Stir until the batter is smooth. You might want to switch to a wooden spoon to stir at this point.
Then fold in the apples and blackberries. Stir well to distribute the fruit throughout the mixture.
Pour 1/3 cup of the batter into each muffin liner. Add the crystalized ginger now, about 2 or 3 in each muffin. You can squish them down in or leave them on top for decoration. Up to you. Bake the muffins on the center rack of oven for 22 minutes, rotating 180 degrees after 15 minutes or so. Depending on your oven they might take slightly longer than 22 minutes. Mine are usually done around 25. Toothpick test, as always.
Let muffins stand in tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool as long as you can wait…
Store in an airtight container and these beauties will last for 3 days. If you make it that long without eating all of them.