Maple Apple Butter: #223 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

This is a sweet apple topping for your ice cream that comes from the Canadian Museum of Nature in honor of Canada Day, and summer, and apples. It’s also great to eat on its own, like a thick applesauce. Next time you have some extra apples lying around, give it a try!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3.50 for 4 good servings)

4 apples, chopped up – $1.20
3 tbsp margarine – $0.47
1/2 cup water – free
1/2 cup maple syrup – $1.90
1/4 tsp cinnamon – $0.07

Non-dairy vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)

Directions

1. Put the chopped apples, margarine, and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then cook for 5 minutes on medium high after it starts to boil, stirring occasionally. Then drop the heat to medium low and add the maple syrup and cinnamon. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples are very tender. Give it a good stir every couple of minutes.

2. When everything is nice and soft, pour everything from the pot into a glass blender and puree it until it’s nice and smooth. Serve warm or cold over your favorite ice cream, or eat it as is for a lovely thick applesauce treat.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Mappleberry Muffins: #221 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Apples, blueberries, maple syrup, oats – these muffins have all the wholesome goodness of Canada. And no animals were harmed in making them! We polished these off for breakfast over a couple of days. Hope you enjoy them too.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5.50 for 12 muffins)

1 1/4 cup flour – $0.20
2/3 cup whole wheat flour – $0.12
2 1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.04
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1 cup rolled oats – $0.12
3/4 cup brown sugar – $0.39
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
1/3 cup maple syrup – $1.43
3/4 cup soy milk – $0.28
1/2 cup almond milk yogurt – $0.67
1/3 cup canola oil – $0.22
1 1/4 cup frozen blueberries – $1.25
1 apple, grated, with skin – $0.29

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, salt, oats, and brown sugar. In a separate small bowl, mix the vanilla, maple syrup, soy milk, yogurt, and canola oil. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and mix just until combined. Then fold in the grated apple and frozen blueberries until they’re evenly distributed. Do not overmix. The batter will turn purple, and that’s ok!

2. Pour the batter into 12 lined muffin cups. Sprinkle a few extra oats on top of each muffin if you like. Bake at 400F for 18-20 minutes until golden on top and a chopstick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, then enjoy with your morning coffee, tea, or soy milk.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Apple Date Crumble Tatin: #187 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Megan and I came up with this fusion idea: apple crumble + date squares + tarte tatin. You caramelize the fruit in a pan just like the French delicacy tarte tatin, but then instead of covering it in puff pastry, you put oatmeal crumble on top and bake the whole thing.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($8.50 for a large panful)

6 apples, cored and quartered – we mixed gala and fuji – $1.79
1/3 cup margarine – $0.93
1/2 cup brown sugar – $0.26
10 dates, pitted and halved – $2.49

Crumble:
3/4 cup margarine – $1.86
1 cup brown sugar – $0.52
1 1/2 cups flour – $0.24
1 3/4 cups rolled oats – $0.21
1 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03

Directions

1. Cut up your apples, then spread the margarine evenly and thickly over the bottom of the pan. Arrange the apples in a tight circular pattern, skin side up, then sprinkle with the brown sugar and arrange the dates on top.

2. Mix together all the crumble ingredients, first with a spoon and then using your hands to bring it all together. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the apples and press down gently to form a nice thick crust.

3. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes, until the top is nice and toasty but not too dark brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully loosen around the edges and see if it will slide around the pan. If it can, place a large plate on top of the pan and gently but quickly flip it over to reveal the beautiful caramelized apple pattern. Cut into slices and serve warm with yogurt or ice cream.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 – 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Cauliflower Leek and Apple Soup: #113 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

On a brisk winter day there’s nothing like a warm bowl of creamy cauliflower soup to comfort and nourish. This one is vegan and inspired by French chef Rebecca Leffler, using tahini (made from sesame seeds) and coconut oil for the creaminess. 2/3 of the kids came back for seconds, so that’s as good an endorsement as any. 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total)

1 tbsp coconut butter – $0.55
1 leek, chopped up (green parts too!) – $1.50
1 red onion, chopped up – $0.50
4 garlic cloves, chopped up – $0.15
1 cauliflower, chopped up – $2.49
1 apple, chopped up – $0.30
Water to cover vegetables – free
1/4 cup tahini – $1.15
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

1. Chop up all the veggies. In a large pan, heat the coconut butter over medium heat, then add the leeks, onions, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft, then add the cauliflower and apple and cook for a few minutes more.

2. Fill the pan with water to cover the veggies and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat once it starts to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until you can stick a fork into the cauliflower pieces easily.

Using a slotted spoon to leave most of the liquid in the pan, scoop out the veggies into a blender (I had to do three blender batches), adding some of the tahini, olive oil, and just enough of the liquid to be able to blend it into a smooth soup.

Pour into a medium-sized pot and repeat with the remaining veggies.

3. Taste to adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve as a warming appetizer to dinner, or as a lunch in itself. This soup reheats nicely too, if you have leftovers – just gently heat over the stove or microwave a bowl for yourself. So good!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal (one kid wasn’t too thrilled but the rest of us loved it)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Apple Crumble / Date Squares Mix and Match: #86 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

The crumble topping in this recipe is my Grandma’s creation. We couldn’t decide whether to use it for apple crumble or date squares, so we whipped up a double batch of topping and made both desserts! You could also use other fruit like peaches or pears on the bottom if you prefer.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($14.50 total for both desserts)

1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp butter – $4.19
2 cups + 1/4 cup brown sugar – $1.17
3 cups + 2 tbsp flour – $0.51
3 1/2 cups rolled oats – $0.42
2 tsp baking soda – $0.03
1 tsp salt – $0.05
1 1/2 to 2 cups pitted dates – $4.99
5 or 6 honeycrisp or other tart apples, thinly sliced – $2.00
1 cup + 3 tbsp water – free
1/2 tsp vanilla – $0.10
1 tsp cinnamon – $0.60

Directions

1. Prepare the bases:

For the dates, in a small pot, boil the dates and 1 cup water together, stirring frequently to break down the dates. Keep it bubbling over medium heat and stirring until the dates make a fairly dry paste.

For the apples, in a small bowl, mix together 3 tbsp of melted butter, 2 tbsp flour, 3 tbsp water, vanilla, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon. Coat the thinly sliced apples in the sauce, then put the coated apples in the bottom of a buttered 9×13″ baking dish.

Then prepare the topping: mix the remaining butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. You will need to use your hands to make it into a well-combined, crumbly texture.

2. For the date squares, press a base of the oatmeal mixture (about 2-3 cups) into a buttered 8×8″ baking dish, then spread the date mixture on top. Cover this with another layer (about 1 1/4 cups) of the topping, sprinkling the crumbs over the top. Use the rest of the crumb mixture to cover the apples.

3. Bake both dishes at 350F for 30 minutes. Remove the dates after this and let the apple crumble cook for another 15 minutes, until the topping is golden and the apple filling is tender when you poke it with a knife. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into it, if you can wait! Serve with vanilla ice cream or on its own, for snacks or dessert.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Sage Apple Stuffing: #78 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

During winter holidays when I was a kid, my Mom would make this stuffing to go with our roast turkey dinner. No matter how much stuffing she made, and how much was left over, there was never any thrown out – every scrap was thoroughly enjoyed. I’m glad I helped out in the kitchen growing up so I remember how to make it for our own holiday dinners now.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3.50 total)

2 tbsp butter – $0.31
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
1 celery stick, chopped – $0.10
2 tbsp dried sage – $1.40
3 large apples, diced – $0.90
1/2 loaf each of leftover challah and honey wheat bread – free
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften, stirring frequently. Then add the celery, sage, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, tear up your leftover bread into bite-sized chunks.

3. Add the apples to the onion mixture, then add everything into the bread bowl. Mix well to thoroughly combine, then pack it tightly into a glass 8×8″ baking dish greased with butter. Bake with your turkey or at 400F for 25 minutes covered in aluminum foil, followed by 20 minutes with no foil to crisp it up a bit. You can also stuff it into the turkey and bake it inside there. Stuffing keeps very well in the fridge and freezer as leftovers.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Fluffy Apple Pancakes: #21 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

We’ve tried a lot of pancake recipe variations, and this one is definitely the favorite. You get moistness from the apples, heartiness from the whole wheat, and they’re so fluffy they soak up as much maple syrup as you want to put on them. Great for a Saturday morning (with leftovers on Sunday morning!)

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($4 total) – makes about 16 pancakes

1 cup organic whole milk or soy milk – $0.40
2 tbsp white vinegar – $0.02
2 cups white whole wheat flour (or 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat) – $0.36
4 tbsp brown sugar – $1.46
2 tsp baking powder – $0.03
1 tsp baking soda – $0.02
1 tsp salt – $0.05
2 eggs – $0.58
3 tbsp butter, melted, plus some for griddle – $0.55
2 small apples, grated – $0.60

Directions

1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes to curdle. Meanwhile, grate the apples.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine well.

Add the eggs, melted butter, curdled milk and grated apples into the dry ingredients, and give it a good whisk until the batter is fairly think and smooth, with no big lumps. 

3. Heat the griddle to 350F. When it’s hot, rub some butter over it and scoop dollops of batter onto the griddle. Wait until the top is bubble and the edges are dry, then flip them over with a flapjack and cook on the other side (usually takes less time). Keep the first batch warm and covered in the oven while you’re cooking the rest.

Serve with real Canadian maple syrup!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!