Apple Cider Molasses Is An All-Natural (And Safe) Sugar Substitute. Here’s How You Can Make It At Home.

Apple Cider Molasses Is An All-Natural (And Safe) Sugar Substitute. Here’s How You Can Make It At Home.

Ever heard of Apple Cider Molasses?

 

Whether you have or haven’t, you’re in for a treat, because apple cider molasses is a sugar-substitute that’s healthy, all-natural, and you can make it right in your kitchen, even if you live in the tiniest apartment.

 

(This recipe is adapted from A Cabin Full Of Food by Marie Beausoleil. Find this incredible book on Amazon by clicking here.)

 

That’s a lot of fanfare, but it’s justified.

 

Apple cider molasses is a very old recipe, older than the United States, but during the Colonial era, it was used as an alternative for sugar, honey, and molasses, and could be relied on when other sugar substitutes had failed.

 

People could make it at home with apples they grew in their backyards, and when the prices of sugar soared or became scarce, people knew they could turn to good ol’ apples to save the day.

 

It was used both as a substance sweetener and as a sort of apple cider concentrate to which you could easily add water, the result of which would yield in a refreshing and stunning drink.

 

Apple cider molasses was stored in a cool and dry environment such as a root cellar, and had the ability to last far longer than regular cider.

 

It also doesn’t go “hard” or develop any alcoholic features, and was a way to preserve the harvest in a useful and relatively shelf-stable way. 

 

Great! So how do I make apple cider molasses?

I’m glad you asked! The process of making boiled apple cider, although it might be a tad time-consuming, is super simple and easy to complete.

 

In a nutshell, to make apple cider molasses, you’ll be boiling down apple cider (not juice) until it turns into a thick syrup, the consistency of sugar molasses. The resulting molasses will be about 1/7th of the amount of cider you start with.

 

Ever heard of apple cider molasses? It's an all-natural sugar substitute that's healthy and safe!

 

I’ve made cider molasses with both pasteurized and unpasteurized apple cider, and both worked equally well.

 

When I make cider molasses, I start with a gallon of cider – so you’ll need a large pot like this one to accommodate it all. A gallon of cider will reduce to about 2 cups of cider molasses.

 

It will take quite a while for the cider to boil down – anywhere from 3-7 hours. You want it to boil, but not be so hot that it scorches.

 

You will have to play with the heat on your stove a bit, since every stove is different. When the cider thickens, you will want to stir constantly so it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of your pot and scorch.

 

But at the end, you will be left with a thick syrup.

 

Ever heard of apple cider molasses? It's an all-natural sugar substitute that's healthy and safe!

 

You should be looking to get something with a really thick and gooey texture; just like it is for regular molasses. When completed, you’ll notice that if you insert a spoon, the molasses will stick well to it, leaving it coated.

 

As it cools, it will thicken, but not harden. You can use it in place of sugar molasses, honey, or sugar.

 

I’ve successfully replaced 1 cup of the above ingredients with 1 cup of the cider molasses, but you will have to play with it a bit in your favorite recipes. Just bear in mind that the cider molasses will (surprise, surprise) taste a bit like apples.

 

How to store apple cider molasses

The safest way to store a bowl of apple cider molasses is to refrigerate it. Once you do that you’ll notice that it might become solid. Don’t worry, you can just warm it up a bit in order to serve it and drizzle it over whatever you want to eat it with.

 

Apple cider molasses is made completely from apple cider, no added sugar or preservatives. It’s naturally acidic, so you don’t need any extra additives in order to preserve it. I’ve been able to store it on my shelf for a while without it going bad, but my official recommendation is to refrigerate it.

 

Making apple cider molasses CAN take a lot of time, but if you have a free Sunday afternoon, the end result is VERY worth it!

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Have you ever tried apple cider molasses? Leave a comment below!

Wholewheat Cauliflower Pizza [Recipe]

Wholewheat Cauliflower Pizza [Recipe]

Summer is quickly approaching – which means eating outdoors, summer vacations, and light meals.

 

Today, I’ve invited Alix and Hugo from A Hedgehog in The Kitchen back to the blog to share a healthy wholewheat cauliflower pizza that you can make in your own kitchen!

 

Here’s how to make this pizza that’s yummy (your kids will ask for seconds!)

 

This wholewheat cauliflower pizza is one of our favorite types of food : healthy comfort food. The gooey sheep’s cheese and emmental cheese, oven-baked cauliflower and red onions make this meal so tasty and welcoming after a long day.

 

One of our favorite activities to do together is cooking. We love creating a fun new recipe, shopping for the ingredients at our local farmer’s market and coming home and turning everything into a yummy meal.

 

We absolutely adore pizza! Homemade pizza is such a great meal because you gather your ingredients and just pop everything in the oven. It is quick, easy and makes your entire home smell so good! Our love of pizza has inspired some of our very best healthy, wholesome, real food recipes.

 

We typically replace white flour with wholewheat flour because it’s healthier, easier to digest and gives the food a nice, nutty flavor. To make the crust of this wholewheat cauliflower pizza, you need just 5 simple ingredients and you’re good to go : water, salt, sugar, dried yeast and olive oil. You’ll love having this healthy, wholewheat, homemade pizza dough recipe on hand to make all of your favorite homemade pizzas. We use it when we make our Wholewheat Ratatouille Pizza 

 

For the toppings, you will need cauliflower (homegrown is best if you’re lucky enough to have it growing in your garden!), vegetarian “chorizo”, red onion, sheep’s cheese, grated emmental cheese, salt, pepper and chili pepper.

 

These are some of our favorite vegetarian pizza toppings. You could also use real chorizo or other sliced meat instead of a vegetarian substitute. Here in France, we love cooking with sheep’s cheese and emmental cheese but you could definitely use your favorite local cheeses for this wholewheat cauliflower pizza recipe too!

 

Cauliflower is one of our favorite ingredients because it’s delicious, versatile and so good for you! Do you love cooking with it too ?

 

These are 5 ways that cauliflower is amazing : it it anti-inflammatory, it can help fight cancer, it is a natural detox food, it is easy to digest and helps your digestive tract work smoothly and it’s packed with antioxidants (hello, long-lasting youth!). All great reasons to use it in your homecooking as much as possible.

 

We cooked this pizza for a romantic date night in but you could absolutely double the quantities and make a pizza for a family of 4.

 

We love knowing that not only is this wholewheat cauliflower pizza really good but it’s packed with nutrients and a ton of health benefits. Enjoy!

 

 

WHOLEWHEAT CAULIFLOWER PIZZA RECIPE

For 2 people / preparation time : 2 hours / Cook time: 15 minutes 

2.25 cups (300g) of wholewheat flour
5oz (10 tbsp) of lukewarm water
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
1.5 tsp of dried yeast
1oz (2 tbsp) of olive oil

1/2 cauliflower cut into florets 
7 slices of veggie chorizo (or real chorizo or other sliced meat)
1/2 red onion (sliced)
1 cup of sheep’s cheese
1/2 cup of grated cheese (emmental or your favorite cheese)
Salt,  black pepper and chili pepper to taste

 

Prepare the leaven
Pour ¼ cup of flour, yeast, sugar and 2oz of lukewarm water into a bowl and combine the ingredients together. 

Leave the mixture to rest for 10-15 minutes. The mixture is ready when it forms a brown dough with bubbles.

 

Prepare the pizza dough
Mix flour and salt using your stand mixer.
Pour the leaven into the bowl and continue to mix slowly.
Pour in the olive oil and continue to mix.
Pour the rest of the water in little by little and continue to mix slowly for 10 minutes.
The dough must be smooth and springy.
If the dough is too dry, add more water. If the dough is too wet, add more flour. Whether adding water or flour, make sure to add it little by little.
Cover the bowl with the dough inside and leave to rest in a warm place for at least one hour. (You can create a warm environment in your oven by heating your oven on low heat (80°F/30°C) for approximately 5 minutes, then turning it off and leaving the bowl to sit inside.)
The dough will double in size.
Preheat your oven on maximum heat. Our oven heats up to 570°F (300°C). If yours doesn’t go up as high, that it fine but you may need to cook the pizza for longer.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on an oiled sheet of baking paper or a silicone baking mat (such as a Silpat).
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin.

 

For the pizza toppings
Mix the sheep’s cheese with 2 pinches of salt, a pinch of black pepper and a pinch of chili pepper. 
Spread the sheep’s cheese over the dough. 
Add the slices of vegetarian chorizo. 
Add the slices of onion. 
Add the cauliflower.
Add the grated cheese. 

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. 
Serve with salad and vinaigrette.

 

If you enjoyed this recipe, please sign up to have our real food recipes with a French twist sent to you by email. As an added bonus, we are currently offering a virtual tour of our Paris. When you sign up for our recipe emails, you will also receive 1 email per day for 5 days with photos of our favorite spots in Paris + a related recipe for each day. Sign up here

 

You can also grab a free spice guide here with 6 spices we love and their health benefits!

 

About Alix & Hugo :

Alix and Hugo develop their healthy, wholesome recipes with a French flair in their Parisian home. They share their creations on their food blog, A Hedgehog in the Kitchen. Sign up to receive recipes in your inbox here. Stay in touch on Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

 

5 Killer Summer Recipes Featuring Herbs to Kick Your Summer Off Right

5 Killer Summer Recipes Featuring Herbs to Kick Your Summer Off Right

Looking to kick your summer recipes up a notch? I think herbs should be involved. Fermenting too. 

I don’t have to tell you the benefits of both. You already know, I’m sure.

There’s not much better than the probiotics that come with fermenting, and the same goes for the bubbly taste, too. Keeps things interesting, right?

And herbs just add enough pizzazz to remind us that summer, although it’s brief, can be captured in a tiny leaf.

Just in time for summer, here’s 5 recipes featuring herbs that will get the party started right.

5 Killer Recipes (Featuring Herbs!) To Kick Your Summer Off Right! Nutritious Real Food Recipes! From FrugalChicken

Bubbly Probiotic Lemonade

5 Killer Recipes (Featuring Herbs!) To Kick Your Summer Off Right! Nutritious Real Food Recipes! From FrugalChicken

Photo courtesy of Learning and Yearning

What would summer be without lemonade? It’s practically essential.

Probiotic lemonade is just what it sounds like – lemonade times, like, a million! The lemons are fermented, which of course means Bubbly Probiotic Lemonade isn’t just regular lemonade. It’s super healthy and full of good enzymes, and the fermenting process makes the lemonade bubbly and fizzy.

If this sounds like something good to you, check out Bubbly Probiotic Lemonade from Learning and Yearning.

Try a twist: You can replace the lemons with limes or oranges if you want to try something different. To kick it up an extra notch, try some cayenne, for a spicy twist, or lavender for a smooth drink to help you de-stress.

Peach Basil Salsa

5 Killer Recipes (Featuring Herbs!) To Kick Your Summer Off Right! Nutritious Real Food Recipes! From FrugalChicken

Photo Courtesy of Homestead Honey

The combination of peaches, onions, and basil in this salsa recipe is unreal. The spice of the onions with the Mediterranean feel of basil combined with the sweetness of the peaches screams summer.

Pair this with homemade tortilla chips (psst…sign up for the freebie at the end of this articles for this and other recipes!).

Try a twist: You can add mango for a tropical twist, or include cilantro for a classic-salsa feel.

 

Chamo-Berry Banana Smoothie

 

5 Killer Recipes (Featuring Herbs!) To Kick Your Summer Off Right! Nutritious Real Food Recipes! From FrugalChicken

Photo from Herbal Academy of New England

The ginger in this smoothie gives it that “endless summer” taste, and the chamomile means it will be great for those stressful days. Sometimes you just need to relax right? Right.

Chamomile is the star of this smoothie, and not to be outshown by the strong taste of banana. And the strawberries just kick it up a notch.

This recipe is from the Herbal Academy of New England, and when it comes to herbs, they really know their stuff. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Try a twist: Add some kale or cucumbers for a “Green Goddess” taste! 

Fermented Dill Pickles

5 Killer Recipes (Featuring Herbs!) To Kick Your Summer Off Right! Nutritious Real Food Recipes! From FrugalChicken

Photo courtesy of Simple Life Mom

Love pickles? Me too. Love fermented pickles? If you do, or if you’re not sure, you need to try this recipe.

Fermented Dill Pickle are different than what you get in the grocery store – those cukes are just pickled in vinegar. Fermenting your cucumbers is a whole ‘nother story.

You’ll ferment the pickles for 3-5 days (less in hotter weather), and you’ll know they’re done when they stop making bubbles. You can read the entire recipe at Simple Life Mom!

Try a twist: Did you know you can ferment pretty much anything? Add carrots to this ferment for something different!

Queen Anne’s Lace Flower Jelly

5 Killer Recipes (Featuring Herbs!) To Kick Your Summer Off Right! Nutritious Real Food Recipes! From FrugalChicken

If you want to try something different, the Queen Anne’s Lace Flower Jelly is a great recipe to try.

Queen Anne’s Lace flowers are pretty ubiquitous during summer, so it shouldn’t be hard to find some. You’ll need about 20 flowers to make this jelly, but it’ll be worth it.

Be sure you pick the right flower, and not Queen Anne’s Lace’s ugly stepsister, Poison Hemlock (hint: Queen Anne’s Lace has a hairy stem). The recipe isn’t any harder than making fruit jam – but this one is more fun! For the full recipe, visit Pixie’s Pocket!

 

Do you have a favorite recipe that reminds you of summer? Leave a comment below!