When I saw this month’s Recipe Redux theme, I was excited to get to work on it. We were challenged with the task of creating a recipe using fermented foods. I’ve been making my own Greek yogurt for a while now, and the by-product is a big bowl of whey. I’ve been looking for new uses for the whey, and I came across this recipe for fermented applesauce from Whole Foods on a Budget. I adapted her formula and added my own flavor combination. The result is delicious.
Besides tasting great, this recipe is easier to make than traditional applesauce because you don’t have to cook the apples. More importantly, the fermentation process makes foods easier to digest, it increases their vitamin levels, and it produces enzymes that are healthy for the gut. If you don’t have any whey, buy a small container of plain, whole milk yogurt (not Greek) and strain out a tablespoon of the liquid. That’s whey.
1½ lbs. apples
1 tbs. whey
¾ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
2 tbs. maple syrup
- Peel, core, and chop the apples.
- Place the apples in a food processor or blender. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until you have a smooth, evenly seasoned applesauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Transfer the mixture to 3 or 4 half-pint canning jars, leaving an inch of headspace in the jar. The headspace is important because the fermentation process can cause pressure from inside the jar. You don’t want an explosion of glass and applesauce.
- Leave the jars on the counter for three days, and then transfer to cold storage.
This batch of applesauce costs $1.87, or $.62 per cup. There was a hail storm in June that left some apples at a local orchard with little dots on them. They were at the discount rack in the back of the shop, and I got a bunch of them for $.99 a pound. Where I live in Massachusetts, this is actually a great price for local apples. The applesauce I buy at Target costs $.50 per cup, but it lacks the unique flavoring and fermentation benefits of this homemade version.