Fermented Crab Apple Sauce
I received 4 grocery bags full of crab apples from my sister and brother-in-law this fall. My thoughts were to either attempt to make raw apple cider vinegar or this fermented crab apple sauce. I’m glad I went with the apple sauce! This turned out tasty and I tried it three different ways. One plain, one with raw honey and one with some organic cane sugar. All three turned out great and the plain one was naturally sweet too.
If you don’t want to make the fermented version you can just omit the whey and salt and store the apple sauce in the fridge immediately. The fermented version is full of friendly bacteria (aka probiotics) that helps support your digestion, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to make it! It’s super easy and doesn’t have that many more steps.
Fermentation is an age old process that’s disappeared only in more recent years as industrialization of our food supply has taken over. Fermentation preserves food, but unlike canning, it increases the nutrient content in the food. For example, cabbage is a good source of vitamin C but when you ferment it the vitamin C content increases by 20 times! This is outstanding and since our soil has been depleted of nutrients it’s a great way to get more in our diets. The other cool thing about fermentation is it removes anti-nutrients from foods. Anti-what? Anti-nutrients are things like physic acid and lectins in foods like grains and legumes, which block absorption of nutrients like zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium and other minerals. So not only does it increase the nutrient content it also makes the nutrients that the food already contains much more bioavailable and helps our body assimilate them easier. Step aside goji berries, fermented foods are the true super foods and much more inexpensive!
If you are struggling with candida or dysbiosis I would not recommend consuming fermented foods until you’ve followed a protocol to get rid of the overgrowth and bring your healthy bacteria back into balance. Some camps say you can consume fermented foods and that they help crowd out the bad bacteria, while other camps say to avoid them as they’ll help feed the bad bacteria. For now I say to avoid them.
Candida is an overgrowth of yeast in the body, mostly the intestines. We all have a small amount of yeast that exists in our bodies that needs to stay in balance with our good bacteria. The major causes of candida include a poor diet high in sugar and refined, processed carbohydrates, insufficient good bacteria from probiotics and food, poor bowel management and an under active stomach (low stomach acid). How do you know if you have candida? Some of the signs and symptoms include:
- Brain fog
- Sugar cravings
- Chronic yeast infections and thrush
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Food allergies
To get rid of Candida you need to follow a whole foods protocol avoiding sugars and starchy carbohydrates, while taking anti-fungals like caprylic acid and garlic. You also need to be working on healing the gut lining by avoiding foods that irritate it (hint: gluten, dairy, soy and maybe even grains) and consuming foods that heal it (bone broth and aloe vera).
- Crab apples
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp whey
- Optional: add 1 tbsp raw honey or 1 tbsp cane sugar
- Make Whey first by using organic, plain, full fat yogurt. I used local goats milk yogurt. Place a mesh strainer in a bowl and layer with cheese cloth. You want there to be space between the strainer and the bottom of the bowl so the whey can separate. Place the yogurt in the cheesecloth lined strainer and cover. Place in the fridge over night and in the morning you will have “greek” yogurt with whey that’s drained into the bowl. If you don’t have a dairy sensitivity you can save the yogurt to enjoy later.
- Core the crab apples (this is soooo time consuming, but worth it), leaving the peel on and fill your food processor up. We have a 13 cup food processor so adjust the other ingredients depending on the size of your food processor. Add the cinnamon, salt, whey and honey/sugar, if using it, to the food processor. I had 3 bags full of crab apples, but didn’t get around to them for ac couple weeks so some of them had gone bad. I ended up with 7 and half mason jars of apple sauce.
- Process until fairly smooth. Mine was a little bit on the coarse side and I liked it but it just depends on what kind of texture you want. You could add filtered water to thin it out a bit. Make sure the water is filtered as chlorine in tap water can kill the healthy bacteria you’re trying to grow.
- Fill mason jars with the apple sauce mixture right up to the top so there’s no room for air.
- Store in a warm place, I used my oven with the light on, for 3-5 days. You’ll know they are ready when you can’t press down on the lid anymore because of the pressure built up inside.
- Store in a cool place and enjoy a small amount with meals.