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Apple Scraps Vinegar


    Cooking with autumn’s bounty of apples—whether you make a big batch of applesauce or a bumper crop of apple pies—can result in a lot of peels and cores destined for the compost. Knowing how to make apple cider vinegar at home is an easy way to repurpose the scraps! Because the amount of acidity in homemade vinegar is inconsistent, it should not be used for other canning projects, but it’s delicious anywhere else you’d use apple cider vinegar. (Try it in the Broiled Scallops with Apple Gastrique recipe.)


    *If you don’t have a 1/2 gallon (1.9 L) jar, use a food-safe bucket and a plate to weigh down the apple scraps.

    • Preserving technique: Ferment
    • Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 qt (1.4 to 1.9 L)
    • Time to make: 10 minutes
    • Time to wait before eating: 4 to 6 weeks
    • When to eat: Within 1 to 2 years

    Quick Applesauce

    Don’t worry about apples rotting on your shelf ever again! Peel, core, and chop 2 or 3 apples and toss with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey and 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice. Blend ingredients, add more honey and lemon to taste, and store in airtight container in fridge for 3 weeks or longer. Cook to thicken if desired. If you use a high-speed blender, you can de-stem and quarter the apples and purée with skin and cores intact.


    Apple Scraps Vinegar


    • 1 cup (250 mL) apple wood chips
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) honey
    • 4 cups (1 L) filtered water, plus extra
    • Peels and cores from 12 lb (5.4 kg) apples
    Additional materials
    • 1 - 1/2 gallon (1.9 L) wide-mouth jar*
    • 1 - 1/2 cup (125 mL) Mason jar to use as a fermenting weight
    • 3 - 12 in (30 cm) square pieces of cheesecloth



    In well-ventilated kitchen, toast wood chips in large frying pan over high heat, moving pan frequently until wood just begins to smoke. Lay 2 pieces of cheesecloth on clean counter (in layers), place wood chips on top, and tie into a u201ctea bag.u201d Make sure all wood is secure so none escapes into your vinegar.


    Dissolve honey in water.


    Fill 1/2 gallon (1.9 L) jar with apple scraps. Place wood chip bag on top to prevent apple scraps from floating. Pour in honey water, adding more water to fully submerge apple scraps if necessary. Place 1/2 cup (125 mL) Mason jar on top to keep scraps submerged. Cover with clean piece of cheesecloth and place in warm spot in kitchen.


    Skim off any residue that appears daily. Taste after 1 month, and ferment for up to 4 weeks more. Itu2019s done when you like the taste. Store in fridge for maximum life.


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    This recipe is part of the Why Preserve? collection.



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    Tamari Roasted Kabocha Squash with Ginger and Chili

    Tamari Roasted Kabocha Squash with Ginger and Chili

    In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.