Welcome to Victoria’s Whole-food Nutrition Kitchen where you will discover both a weekly *Health Bite* as well as a plant-strong, gluten-free recipe and delicious inspiration!

Today’s Health Bite – The mighty *APPLE* 

The quintessential symbol of nutrition. Sweet and crunchy, one-a-day is said to keep the doc away. So why is this once-forbidden yet-now-so-common fruit a healthy choice?

One of reasons nutritionists recommend a regular apple intake is because of the phytochemical “quercetin,” which is a flavonoid, part of the Vitamin C complex. Quercetin (pronounced: keer-ci-tin) helps reduce the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals in the body making it, and therefore apples, delicious allergy and asthma fighters.

Pesticide alert! Apples are near the highest of the Dirty Dozen list (see: Environmental Working Group) for pesticide and herbicide contamination. Choose non-sprayed apples whenever possible.

Today’s Whole-food Recipe…

(Slow-Cooker) Apple-Butter
~ makes: 6-8 cups ~

from: Real-Life Vegan by: Victoria Laine, p.220

Use up your excess apples and enjoy a delicious, thick apple-jam all year round! Commercial apple-butter, while delicious, can be pretty pricey, likely because it takes so many apples for each batch. Use your slow-cooker to  use up excess or over-ripe apples without having to watch over them as they reduce down into concentrated, spreadable sweetness. 

5 lbs          chopped apple (about 12-15 cups, cored and quartered)

1 cup         dry unrefined sugar cane (Sucanat, Rapadera, etc)

1 cup         water (or omit sugar and use apple cider)  

2 tsp          cinnamon

1/4 tsp      each: ground cloves, nutmeg, and allspice (opt)

pinch         salt

1. Note: Don’t remove the valuable skin from your apples! Wash apples, cut them into quarters and remove the cores. Alternately if you own an apple corer…well, you’ll know what to do!

2. Place the quartered apples in the slow-cooker insert. Add liquid and other ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon and put the lid on. Simmer apples on LOW for about 10-12 hours, or overnight.

3. Remove the lid and allow to simmer another several hours to thicken. This can vary depending on the juiciness of the apples, so be patient, even another 3-8 hours potentially.

4. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the slow cooker. Blend apple puree using an immersion hand-stick blender, or transfer cooled apples to a blender. Process until smooth. Transfer to clean glass jars and refrigerate up to 2 months.  For longer term storage, freeze in ziplock style bags or suitable freezer containers.