Recipe: Cultured Apple Sauce

May 20, 2012 · 37 comments

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Before refrigeration many foods were cultured in order to prolong shelf life. What this also did was to add nutritional value to the food by encouraging probiotic growth in the food. Beneficial bacteria are very important to our general health and well being and to the health of our digestive tract in particular. This is a recipe for a simple food that turns it into a powerhouse for health.

Not only does fermenting the apple sauce add beneficial bacteria, but it also preserves it really well. When I make regular apple sauce, it can keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. Then it starts to grow mold. I’ve made almost two quarts of the fermented apple sauce at one time and it has kept for 6 weeks in the refrigerator. Be sure to put a date on the jar, so you know.

The other tip I would share is to check it every day. In my house it is ready after two days — when I let it go beyond that — I can smell the alcohol forming. Fruit can ferment very quickly so you have to watch it carefully.

This apple sauce tastes like raw apples (because it is) and has a very fresh and crisp taste. I know it is fermented because it stays so well. I usually ferment it with a half packet of starter in 1/4 cup of water, but you can use whey.

Cultured Apple Sauce

Ingredients

Equipment

Options for starter:

  • Vegetable starter culture can be used: 1/2 package dissolved into 1/4 cup water plus two tablespoons warm water.
  • Fresh whey can be used as a starter for this recipe. Use 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons.
  • One capsule of a strong probiotic mixed in 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Wash, core and peel the apples
  2. Cut into pieces and place in the Vitamix
  3. Add the liquid whey or starter
  4. Add the salt and cinnamon
  5. Cover and turn on the Vitamix for only a few seconds
  6. Use the plunger to get the apples mixed in quickly
  7. You don’t want to liquify the apples so move quickly or pulse the blender
  8. Be sure all the ingredients are mixed together
  9. Pour into glass quart jars
  10. Pour enough whey or culture starter on top to cover the apple sauce and create a seal
  11. Cover with a lid
  12. Place in a dark cabinet for 1 day (maybe 2 if your house is cold)
  13. Check this every day because fruit cultures will become alcoholic if left too long — you will taste it and smell it
  14. I check mine after 2 days and most of the time it is ready — then refrigerate
  15. When it is warm (70 degrees) I would leave it one day
  16. This should yield about a quart and a cup depending upon the size of the apples
  17. This applesauce will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 weeks which is much longer than regular apple sauce

The best way to reinoculate ourselves with beneficial bacteria is to eat cultured foods. Learn how to culture anything! From the most common yogurt to more esoteric culturing of vegetables, salsa, chutneys and condiments — most foods can be fermented — their shelf live lengthened without chemical preservatives, and most importantly, the beneficial bacteria is created.

By eating cultured foods on a daily basis you are building up the colonies of good bacteria that do so much for us and you are protecting yourself from the pathogens created by our dangerous food supply.

Register for Get Cultured! How to Culture Anything

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 This post is shared at: Sugar Free Sunday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Barnyard Hop, Meatless Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Real Food 101, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Naptime, Traditional Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Tasty Tuesday 33, Whole Foods Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Mommy Club, Real Food Wednesday, Sustainable Ways, Healthy 2Day, Tastastic, Creative Juice Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Foodie Friday, Country Homemaker Hop, Fight Back Friday, Momtrends, LHITS Linky, Sunday Celebration

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Natalie May 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm

This looks fantastic. You could serve it in the apple with ice cream for a special occasion! Thanks for sharing.

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2 Jill May 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

Hi Natalie,
That is a very cool idea!

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3 trisha May 21, 2012 at 6:57 am

I’ve been wanting to try this for some time now. Could I use regular water kefir as my starter?

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4 Jill May 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

Hi Trisha,
I’m sure that would work just fine!

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5 France @ Beyond The Peel May 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm

This is exactly what I need. The store bought stuff (even organic) couldn’t possibly taste as amazing as this would and last way longer (always a problem in our house). I usually lose over half the jar to mold before I can use it up. This will be amazing!

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6 Bebe May 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I’m all for eating more cultured/fermented foods but this just made me chuckle, along with France’s comment above. My youngest turns 13 next month, at which time I will have four teenagers in the house and let me tell you, I have to hide favored foods to keep them from vaporizing. I buy apples by the case… applesauce would never, ever go bad at our house!
I am pinning this and looking forward to fresh apples this fall. Mmmm.

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7 Stephanie May 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Interesting. With the exception of umeboshi, I’ve not encountered much in the way of cultured fruit. They’re good, but I’m having a hard time melding the pickled flavor I associate with cultured foods with applesauce.

I do like umeboshi though…

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8 Shelley Alexander May 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Hi Jill, This cultured apple sauce recipe sounds delicious and I love probiotic-rich food. I have a recipe on my blog that I make all the time for cultured apples with goji berries. I will have to make your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing!

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9 Jill May 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Hi Shelley,
I hope you shared that recipe at Fat Tuesday!

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10 Miz Helen May 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Hi Jill,
I just love Apple Sauce and your recipe looks awesome! Hope you have a great holiday week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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11 Jen May 25, 2012 at 10:02 am

Jill, This looks delicious. I think I am drooling a bit. I will have to make this when aples are in season! Saving . . . :)

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12 April @ The 21st Century Housewife May 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Your apple sauce looks absolutely delicious as well as being good for you too! Thank you for sharing your posts with the Hearth and Soul hop.

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13 Swathi May 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Cultured apple sauce sounds nice idea of including probiotic bacteria into the system. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop.

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14 Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy May 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Great idea to culture apple sauce! Thanks for sharing with Healthy 2Day Wednesday; come back tomorrow to see if you were featured!

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15 Bianca May 31, 2012 at 9:20 am

What are you looking for when you check to see if it is ready? How do you know it is fermented well?

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16 Jill May 31, 2012 at 9:29 am

Hi Bianca,
It will look exactly the same — the taste and smell should not be alcoholic — if so, it went too far. Now that it is warm I would leave it out only 1 day.

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17 Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network June 1, 2012 at 4:10 am

This is a recipe, I’m setting aside for our apple season- it sounds so nourishing:-) Thanks for linking this up at Seasonal Celebration Sunday! Rebecca@Natural Mothers Network x Can’t wait to see what you link up next week!

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18 Tressey June 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Great recipe post. You say to cover the applesauce with starter, is this an additional amount needed from that placed in the blender, or am I missing a step? Also, once cultured, can this sauce be frozen for later consumption?

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19 Jill June 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Hi Tressey,
I usually set aside two tablespoons of the starter in the water and use that for topping it off. I have not frozen this, but I do freeze regular applesauce and it is fine. With the fermented, I think the cultures may die but you would still have applesauce.

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20 Foy Update August 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Hi Jill,

We’re having our inaugural Eat Make Grow Blog Hop. We are looking for folks to link up who want to share what they have been eating with their families, growing in their gardens or making with all their creative impulses. If you’re interested, I hope you’ll hop on over and link up a couple of your posts. It’s a way for you to grow your readership and find other like minded mamas.

Hope to see you there,

Foy
http://foyupdate.blogspot.com/2012/08/inaugural-eat-make-grow-blog-hop.html

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21 Jill October 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm

This looks really yummy. I have a fermentation question for you that I hope you can answer…..

I cannot do whey, but I know some people just put in some of their probiotic powder to culture foods instead. If I do that, can you tell me if the probiotics that will grow in my culture will be restricted to those in my probiotic powder or will new probiotics be introduced (beyond what’s in my powder)? The reason I ask that is because if it’s only going to reproduce what’s in my powder, it makes me think I may as well just take more powder, yes?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
Blessings, Jill

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22 Jill October 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Hi Jill,
I also just use the cultures starter. I do know that some people will use their probiotic powder and that will culture those specific strains — however there are other strains in vegetables and fruits that will also be cultured in a ferment.

Additionally, when you culture food you are adding value other than just the additional bacterial strains — you are making the food easier to digest, adding enzymes and vitamins as well.

Culturing food offers benefits beyond just the added probiotics.

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23 Dorothy October 15, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Hi,
I will be canning a bunch of applesauce this week. Can I just add the whey to the jars as we open them throughout the year, and let them culture 2 days, and then eat? By canning, will I be killing to many nutrients? Thanks, Dorothy

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24 Jill October 15, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Hi Dorothy,
I don’t know if that would work — as you said, the heat from the canning process may denature many of the nutrients that support fermentation. But I guess you could try it with one jar — I usually leave it out just one day or it turns to alcohol.

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25 Howard October 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I’ve made this before. It was AWESOME! Then I tried a “cooked” version. Not so awesome. At all. In fact I hardly ate any of it whereas I shared the other with family and they loved it. I think you need the enzymes in the raw apples to support the fermentation. Same with making beet Kvass or any other fermented food. It needs to be raw. Canning’s going to “cook” it.

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26 Natalie November 20, 2012 at 11:23 am

I really really want to do this but I can’t stand cold apple sauce. I eat it warm like the German’s do. I think I’ll make some for my kids though-I don’t think they’ll care.

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27 Marlene September 27, 2013 at 11:53 am

Hi
I’m really into apple sauce, AND into fermenting.
I don’t do whey and would like to NOT add probiotic cultures. I’m wondering if fermenting could be doen with salt, like with sauerkraut, pickles, lemons etc.
Any experience, and any idea on the amount of salt required?
Thanks

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28 Jill September 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Hi Marlene,
I do not know the amount of salt — maybe the same as noted in the recipe, but I would think you need some kind of starter or the fruit will rot before it ferments. Maybe try some kefir water or kombucha to ferment. Let me know if it works!

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29 Christianne December 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for the recipe Jill. I am a little confused on how much whey I need to use. The ingredient list says 2 tbsp but the starter options section says 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. I’m excited to try this… I’ve never fermented apple sauce!

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30 Jill December 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Chirstianne,
It should read 1/4 cup water — the Tbsp are to float on top.

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31 Ivey December 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm

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This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!
Thanks!

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32 Alice March 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Hi there,

Can only salt and apples be used?

Thanks

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33 Jill March 8, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Hi Alice,
I’ve never just used salt. I think with fruit you need a starter of some kind — even just a pinch of probiotic from a capsule would work.

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