Strawberry Apple Sauce Muffins

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It's a vicious cycle, I tell you.

First you buy too many apples. 

So you make apple sauce. 

Then your fridge fills up with apple sauce.

So you make muffins. 

The question is, can you ever have too many muffins?

Not a chance.

 

Strawberry Apple Sauce Muffins

Makes 12

1 1/4 cups raw almonds
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 medium bananas
1 cup strawberry apple sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a food processor or high speed blender, process almonds into a course flour. Scrape this flour into a small bowl. Add coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt to the bowl. Give it a quick stir, then set aside. In the same food processor or blender, combine bananas, strawberry apple sauce, maple syrup and vanilla. Process until smooth. Add the flour mixture and pulse to combine. Divide the batter between 12 lined muffin tins. Bake at 375F for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.    



Blueberry and Strawberry Apple Sauce

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Okay, I know what you're thinking. 

It's February. Why am I making apple sauce in February?

Well, a market vendor has been selling Honeycrisp seconds. And I cannot resist Honeycrisp apples.

I have been buying them by the bagful every weekend and have now amassed quite a collection.

And what do you do when you find yourself with too many apples? Make apple sauce, of course.

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Making apple sauce is incredibly easy. Simply chop up your apples, toss everything into a pot, simmer until the apples are tender, and puree.

I use a blender to puree the apple sauce since my kids don't like chunks. Save yourself the extra clean up and use an immersion blender if you don't have any anti-chunk people in your house.

Feel free to use your favourite apples in your apple sauce. Try to stick with the sweeter varieties, though. If your apples are tart, you might have to add a bit of agave or maple syrup. Simply cook, puree, taste, then sweeten as desired.

Oh, and I leave the peels on my apples, mostly because I'm too lazy to peel them. Peeling is really not necessary. Just give them a good wash first.   

The apple sauce will keep for about a week in the fridge. Freeze for longer storage. 

 

Blueberry Apple Sauce

About 4 lbs of sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp, roughly chopped
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Strawberry Apple Sauce

4 lbs of sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp, roughly chopped
2 1/2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom


Toss everything into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the apples are fork tender. Remove from heat and puree as desired. 



Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

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So I have a bit of a problem. I have lost something this winter. It’s called motivation. I have been suffering from a severe lack of motivation. To put on running shoes, that is. Well, to put on running shoes and actually leave the house, to be exact. I have no problem with the actual putting on of the running shoes. I can do that rather well. The leaving of the house with the running shoes on? Yeah, I’m not so great at that one lately.  

I have officially commenced operation ‘please just run around the block’ five times since New Year’s Day. Five. Times. Yes, I do realize it’s only the first week of February. 

The problem is – and I’ve said it before – I have a highly overactive imagination. The streets are covered with a light dusting of fluffy white snow, and I imagine a sheet of ice lurking underneath. I slip on a bit of slushy stuff, and I immediately stop the running and walk home, black ice and a broken leg the only things on my mind. The winter wind rushing past my headphones is, of course, a hungry coyote growling at me. All that cold weather makes them extra hungry, doesn’t it?   
 
What have I been doing instead of running? Eating brownies, which is an extremely worthwhile pastime. So today I have a recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip brownies for you. I have absolutely no problem putting on my running shoes and eating these brownies. No problem at all. Or should I say brownie, one solitary brownie. Not the whole pan of brownies. That would be wrong, since I haven’t run further than the length of my street in over a month. 

Getting back to the brownies, these little guys are grain free, gluten-free, oil-free, dairy-free and egg-free. Whew, that’s a lot of free. They are fudgy and moist, and sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup. Want your brownies free from refined sugar as well? Simply omit the chocolate chips or substitute 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts. 
You know, if I go for a run, I could probably justify eating the whole pan. Excuse me for a moment. I think I might put on those running shoes.  
 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies
Makes one 8-inch pan

1 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup) gluten-free and vegan chocolate chips

Combine peanut butter, maple syrup, applesauce and vanilla in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop the batter into a parchment-lined 8-inch square pan, spreading evenly. Bake at 160C (325F) for 18 to 20 minutes, or until just set. Your finger should leave a slight dent in the top of your brownies. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.    



Smoky Corn Chowder

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I love corn chowder.

And I ate a lot of it growing up.

My corn chowder is a bit different from my mom's, though.

There's no milk, and no cans of creamed corn. 

Sorry, mom. 

I puree half of the corn with a few raw cashews, giving the soup a delicious creamy base with just a hint of smokiness from the paprika. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

No high speed blender? Don't despair. Soak the cashews in enough water to cover for about an hour, drain, then continue on with the recipe. 

 

Smoky Corn Chowder
Serves 4

2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 cups corn, fresh or frozen
4 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raw cashews

Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and smoked paprika. Continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the corn. Add water and salt, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour about half of the soup into a high-speed blender, add cashews and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and simmer until heated through.