It’s September, I’m officially posting Fall-inspired recipes. I can’t stop this from happening, really. As soon as I put on a second layer (long sleeve shirt included) the season’s are a-changing. I may be a bit sweaty but just ignore that… So let’s talk about my inspiration for zucchini top applesauce! Along our morning walk route with the pup in tow, I’ve noticed the same large bowl of apples sitting out, waiting to be taken home with passerby. In just short of 2 weeks those lovely, crisp neighborhood apples gained some gentle bruising, a sort of delicate floral patterning around the skin. Every morning we’d walk by and I would see them out and think, they’re starting to turn, someone should really take them home! Well finally that someone was me; I gathered the softened fruits in my sweater and had a moment of feeling really pleased about super-hyper-local produce.
After cleaning using this DIY low impact produce wash I got to work cutting. I had a few ideas in mind about how best to make use of this unexpected bounty, including cores and peels. While they weren’t particularly hot-to-trot I thought these apples would make a great apple cider vinegar (this experiment currently in progress, stay tuned!) and / or a simple, but flavorful applesauce. Again, it’s Fall, it’s happening folx. I love applesauce! Even better just warm off the stove with a nice hot toddy off to the side.
Applesauce is a great way to repurpose imperfect produce. These apples were perfect for cooking down and with the right ingredients could probably give some life to other food scraps. Like zucchini, more specifically zucchini tops, which I’ve been thinking about quite a bit, as one does. This is a completely edible, delicious part of the plant but because of its form and segmentation the tops often get discarded. All you have to do is thinly slice off the tough end of the top and cube up to be cooked down. Zucchini is a great addition for applesauce because it has a similar texture when mashed and takes on flavor well. Did I mention I flipping love zucchini? As one does… Adding in lemon and cinnamon really balances out the sauce and makes for a dish I could probably eat every morning 😀
Bruised apples and zucchini tops with a hit of lemon and cinnamon make a lovely, bright bowl appropriate for any time of day!
- 4 - 5 bruised apples, stems and seeds removed
- 1/2 half zucchini, including top and any extra zucchini tops you have on hand (4 - 5 max)
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 lemon peels
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon (frm bulk spices)
- 1 tbsp organic unrefined can sugar (*optional, from the bulk bin)
- pinch of salt
Chop and core apples, remove seeds and stems. Keep as much of the flesh for cooking as you can. For organic or locally sourced apples I keep peels intact to reduce waste. Place in medium size pot with tight fitting lid.
Roughly chop zucchini / zucchini tops, add to pot.
Add lemon peels, water, salt, sugar, and cinnamon to pot and mix together.
Bring water to a boil and turn down heat to low-mid range.
Let cook for 20 minutes or until apples and zucchinis are soft. Take off heat.
Remove lemon peels and compost.
Using a potato masher, fork, or immersion blender, blend mixture to desired consistency.
Enjoy! Best when served warm, try topping with raisins. This will keep 1 - 2 weeks in the fridge and 2 - 3 months in the freezer.
Do you have any secret applesauce add-ins?
Let me know if you give this recipe a try! #closedloopcooking