Go With Bo 2012: Eat Local with Relay Foods

Have you heard that Relay Foods has launched Go With Bo 2012 for this year’s campaign season? It’s a campaign to get the word out on all the food-related platforms they stand for, that includes support messages from local organizations and bloggers as well as information about topics relevant to Relay Foods shoppers.

I am honored that Veg:ology is included in Bo’s “Kitchen Cabinet,” and I was very excited to write a post about eating local for the campaign kickoff.  Check out my article, Seasonal Changes in Local Produce, and my recipe for autumn apple slaw over on the Go With Bo tumblr page, and let me know what you think.

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Cranberry Apple Butter

This one is kind of old news and I have been meaning to post about it for the last few weeks. As I scraped the bottom of the bowl of cranberry apple butter this morning and poured the sweet and thick spread over my pumpkin muffins, I realized it was time to share this recipe with the world.

Cranberry Apple Butter (adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients

  • 3/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  honey
  • 1/4  cup  cranberry apple juice
  • 1  tablespoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cloves
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 10  medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a 5-quart electric slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low 10 hours or until apples are very tender.

The original recipe says:

“place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into sieve. Press mixture through sieve using the back of a spoon or ladle. Discard pulp. Repeat procedure with remaining apple mixture. Return apple mixture to slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high 1 1/2 hours or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally.”

After I realized how difficult it was to get my apple mixture through a mesh strainer, I decided to do things a little differently, with great results. At this point, I broke out my immersion blender and blended the chunky apple butter right in the crockpot. I am always looking for reasons to use that little guy! It’s my power tool.

In this instance, the slow cooker and  immersion blender yielded a thick, sweet and tart apple butter that keeps in the fridge for a few weeks.The aroma of sweet cooked apples and tart cranberries lingered for a few days.

The recipe said one week, but after eating it from an airtight container in the fridge for three, no one in my home has died yet. Given my care for clean and safe food preparation and my tendency to perform much better with stovetop cooking than baking, I think we are at much greater risk for a baking-related fire disaster than we are for a foodborne illness.

Once you peel, core, and dice the apples, this recipe is so easy to make and delicious to eat on bread, muffins, oatmeal, and more. You could even try it on your Thanksgiving turkey (or tofurky for that matter). The smell that filled my apartment was better than any apple-scented candle I have ever burned. Now go forth and slow cook!