Applesauce

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For a good 10 years every September, my fathers side of the family would get together at my Grandparents house in Sandusky, Ohio and go apple picking. This orchard (never did get the name of it, I was too young to care) was run by one man. He always had everything you needed from large buckets to fill with apples, long rods to grab apples high up in the trees and bags to have something to take your apples home with you. This man just recently a couple years back sold his orchard because he just got too old to run it on his own. Sadly my family never goes there anymore I guess because were all older as well and just never make the time to do so.

When we did go apple picking, we would literally come back with 20+ bags filled with apples. I would guess a good 50 pounds. We split all the apples up between the 5 families and everyone still walked off with at least 10 pounds. What is one to do with so many apples? Yep you guessed it bake apple everything!! My favorite recipe out of the apple section would be my Aunts apple crumb pie…but I’ll share that one with you in another post.

I was over my Grandmas last week and she had an abundance of apples she needed to use up so I helped get rid of them by making applesauce. If you love applesauce I highly recommend you buy a bulk amount of apples now while they are in season and on sale and make a large batch of applesauce. You can freeze it in large plastic baggies and pull whenever you are ready to use it. This is great to pack in lunches, or to snack on during the day and makes an excellent side dish with pork!

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Gluten Free/dairy Free/Vegan/Refined Sugar Free

Mise en Place:

-3 to 4 pounds (roughly 10 Ea) Apples, peeled, seeds removed and sliced or diced however you choose. (I prefer to use red apples such as macintosh)

-Zest from 1 Lemon and juice.

-2 Cinnamon Sticks

-1 Cup Brown Sugar

-1/2 Cup Water

-1/2 Teaspoon Salt

 

Method of Prep:

-Place all ingredients in a small sauce pot. stir to combine everything.

-Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or until apples are soft.

-Remove cinnamon sticks. Using a masher, mash up apples to desired consistency.

-Taste and adjust sweetness/spice if desired.

-Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator up to 1 week or keep frozen in plastic bags until ready to eat.

Enjoy!

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Juicing!

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I disappeared for a wee bit and am slowly getting back into the blogging life I kind of once had. I left Florida and headed back north to my home state of Ohio with my fiance to start a new job and begin planning for our wedding next September. Since I’ve been back I’ve been on a huge juice kick partially for the reason that my dad bought a really nice juicer a few years ago and it still hadn’t been used. I figured it was time to put that baby into action.

I’ve always enjoyed fresh made juices but rarely get the chance to make them from home. I usually go to a local juice bar and purchase one a few days out of the week or make one first thing in the morning at work. Juicing can be expensive which is why many folks don’t get into the habit of doing it at home. When I was living in FL the farmers markets didn’t have the best produce (depending of the time of year) and purchasing bulk amounts of vegetables from Publix became too expensive causing me to not be able to juice regularly at home. Back in my home city of Cleveland, OH I live near a large market in downtown called the Westside Market. This market is filled with a ton of local meat, produce, pastry, and seafood purveyors that sell food for cheap. I go there to get all of my juicing materials for $20. That may seem like a lot of money to be spending on just fruit and vegetables alone, but that amount will last me about a week giving me up to 3 8 ounce glasses of juice a day…I’d say i’m getting pretty decent bang for my buck.

There’s a few reasons why I think you should juice:

1.) Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables.

2.) Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner.

3.) You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet (vegetables you wouldn’t eat whole).

If you’re new to juicing, you can find a mid range priced juicer ($60) that will work well to start with. There’s a lot to read about juicing that I’m not going to explain here in this post, just know that when you juice, its recommended that you drink your juice right away and don’t save it due to the bacteria and e-coli you could contribute causing food poisoning. It’s important to thoroughly wash your vegetables or fruit well with water and even give them a quick scrub to remove any possible pesticides or dirt (unless your juicing with organic vegetables then just rinse them). Its not necessary to peel the vegetables but I have seen people do it, I guess it’s just a preference?Β  I recommend you do some reading or research on juicing if you haven’t done it before to know more about health benefits and nutrition if you are concerned. There is a multitude of benefits and many people have their reasons on why they choose to juice or not (cost of juicing, fiber removal from the vegetables, etc) I personally love to juice because I can choose to put whatever I want in my juice to make it taste good, I get a good yield out of the juice I do make and to me it’s cheaper to spend $20 on fresh produce than go somewhere 7 days a week and spend $6 on one 16 ounce juice.

If you enjoy fresh squeezed juice here a few delicious recipes I came up with over the last few weeks that are good to start with if you are new. If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a high speed blender such as a vita mix. Just be sure to strain your juice through a fine mesh strainer, unless you enjoy pulp then enjoy as is!

 

Juicing is Gluten free/Vegan/Refined Sugar free/Dairy Free!!

 

Sweet Green:

Mise en Place:

-1 Small bunch Kale, washed

-1/2 Cucumber

-1 Each Apple, cored

-2 Stalks Celery, washed

 

Method of Prep: See below

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Feel the Beet:

Mise en Place:

-3 Each Beets, trimmed, scrubbed and washed

-1 Large Carrot, scrubbed and washed

-2 Handfuls Spinach, rinsed

-1/2 Lemon

-1/2 Cucumber

 

Method of Prep: See Below

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The West side:

Mise en Place:

-1 Carrot, scrubbed and washed

-1/2 Cucumber

-1 small chunk Ginger, peeled

-1 Apple, cored and scrubbed

-1/2 Lemon

-1 Small bunch Kale

 

Method of Prep: See Below

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Westlake Demon:

Mise en Place:

-1 Stick Celery, washed

-1/2 Carrot, scrubbed and washed

-Small bunch Kale, rinsed

-1/2 Cucumber

-Small bunch Spinach, rinsed

-1 Apple, cored

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Method of Prep (All juices):

-Using a juicer, turn on and slowly add in whole vegetables one at a time. Push down using the stick attachment if needed.

-Once all the vegetables are turned into juice, pour juice over ice and shake up or stir, whichever is easier for you.

-Pour juice into desired drinking glass and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

Carrot Soup with Maple Chantilly

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Aside from pumpkin everything, I love to cook with a lot of carrot. Last year my favorite carrot recipe was my spiced carrot cake.Β 

This year its carrot soup. While the fall season is excellent for heartier soups, I like to keep it a little on the lighter side and save those soups and stews for when the weather is super cold in the winter. Vegetable based soups are the best way to go in the fall. This was the first time I made a carrot soup and it’s almost as good as tomato soup. I prefer the Chantilly (which is basically a flavored whipped cream) on top of the soup. If your vegan or dairy free just omit the Chantilly and just drizzle some maple syrup over the top prior to serving.

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Vegan/Gluten Free/Grain Free/Dairy Free/Refined Sugar Free

Mise en Place:

-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

-1 Small bag Large Carrots (Approximately 6 carrots) Peeled, cut in small chunks

-1 Large Onion, chopped

-4 Each Garlic Cloves, smashed

-1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

-1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

-Salt, TT

-4 Cups Vegetable Stock OR Chicken Stock

 

Method of Preparation:

-In a large soup pot, sweat garlic and onions in hot oil for 3 minutes. Add in spices and stir. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.

-Add in chopped carrots and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.

-Remove soup from the heat. In a vitamix, begin to blend the soup in small batches for one minute until smooth. Set blended soup aside in a large bowl. If soup is thick, thin it out with water. Repeat until all the soup is blended.

-Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

-Strain soup through a fine mesh strainer (optional).

-Top with Chantilly.

Enjoy!

 

Maple Chantilly: Gluten Free/Grain Free

Mise en Place:

-1 Cup Heavy whipping cream

-1/4 Cup Powder Sugar

-Grade B Maple Syrup, TT

 

Method of Prep:

-In a large mixing bowl, whip together cream and powder sugar and 4 tablespoons of Maple syrup until medium peaks form. Taste and adjust maple syrup if needed.

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