Autumn is for Apples | Apples & Kombucha Recipes
Apples are, to say the least, a ubiquitous food thanks to year-round availability in our seasonless supermarkets. But now is the time to really get excited about eating apples again. Apples are delicious (with perhaps the exception of Red Delicious apples–why do you lie, Red Delicious?), crisp, and juicy, the fruit of a whole summer of sun.
Humans love apples so much that there are over 7,500 varieties of apples grown around the world, many of them bearing oddly beautiful names including Pixie Crunch, Hubbardston Nonesuch, and Foxwhelp. Part of the reason there are so many apple varieties owes to the way apples reproduce. In scientific terms, apples possess a characteristic known as extreme heterozygosity, which means that if you plant an apple seed, it will probably bear no resemblance to its parent tree. In fact, most “wild” apples are not very palatable, either being inedibly sour or astringent. But in the process of breeding and experimentation, mankind has come up with quite a few delicious varieties to choose from.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are surrounded by an embarassment of apple riches, which is one reason why Brew Dr. Spiced Apple Kombucha is in our kombucha line-up. Another reason is that kombucha and apple (and all those warm spices that go so well with apples, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) pair so well. Kombucha’s light effervescence and tang are a lovely accompaniment to the delicate, floral flavors in apples.
Considering how natural these flavors are together, it only makes sense to use kombucha in your favorite apple recipes throughout fall and winter. Now is the time to take advantage of apple season. Stock up on heirloom varieties being grown at local orchards, or just drop by the local food co-op and snag a few different kinds to sample and experiment with. While you’re out, you might as well grab some bottles of Brew Dr. Spiced Apple Kombucha to go along with your apple harvest.
For starters, try a take on mulled cider. Combine fresh apple cider with spiced apple kombucha in a saucepan (or, for a party, try making it in a slow cooker). Then add plenty of whole spices and flavorings, such as cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, cardamom, star anise, rounds of fresh ginger root, orange and lemon slices, and a halved vanilla bean. If any extra sweetness is needed, try a splash of maple syrup. To take things to the next level, add some spiced rum or whiskey.
Spice up your grain bowl scenario by cooking quinoa in a mixture of water and spiced apple kombucha. Add texture and flavor with toasted walnuts, a sweet-sour punch with dried cranberries, and crunchy apple goodness with chopped apples. From there you can make it a base for a heartier meal by topping with baked chicken or tofu or take it in a sweet, breakfasty direction by simmering the quinoa further with a little coconut milk for a creamy morning treat.
Finally, make kombucha a part of dessert by using it to bake apples. Core apples and place them in a baking dish. Pour about ¼ cup kombucha into the dish and fill the apples with anything you like–dried fruit and toasted nuts, a little butter, some brown sugar, and maybe some spices. Cover the apples with foil or a lid and bake until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes at 375℉. Serve with a little vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, and drizzle the syrupy kombucha juices at the bottom of the pan over the ice cream. Not bad, eh?
Apples might be a commonplace food that we often take for granted, but the rich, warming flavors of spiced apple kombucha and fresh, crisp apples will reawaken an appreciation for this beautiful autumn fruit and give you all kinds of new reasons to love kombucha.