Here is a delicious, healthy snack you can quickly & easily prep to have on hand all week! It’s so good, I just eat it right out of one big tub until it’s gone, but this would be great to store in little mason jars to throw into kid’s lunches! This recipe was adopted from Michelle Olivier’s Pink Applesauce recipe in her “Little Foodie” cookbook which I love!
While Michelle’s recipe cooks the apples and beets, my version keeps them raw simply because I love the taste and crunch of slightly chunky, fresh, raw applesauce. Keeping the ingredients raw preserves more of the nutrients as well. I also keep the apple peels on because they just add to the texture as well as nutritional value. And who wants to sit around peeling apples when they don’t have to?
Due to the non-uniformity and raw nature, the juices will seep out, which requires stirring while eating. This minor inconvenience is worth it to me because I love how the juice squeezes out in your mouth before you chew up the flesh. That sounds super creepy, especially above this very red photo, but just think of it like two fruit juicy red snacks in one!
I could call this “secret” beet applesauce since you really can’t detect the beets, flavor-wise (depending on how many apples you use), but, of course, the pink color gives them away. If your kids already have a beet aversion, just tell them it’s pink from strawberries! I suppose that wouldn’t work with Ilamay (21 mo.) since she helps me make this and is pretty acute to the fact that there are no strawberries involved. Alas, I’m hoping that this treat, along with Michelle’s ABC (apple, beet, carrot) Salad With Lemon Mint Dressing, will bring her up to be a beet lover, since she can’t get enough of either recipe so far!
This recipe is so easy because everything just gets thrown into the food processor. With the quantity of apples listed below, I need to fill my 7 cup food processor four to five times. Don’t get greedy like I often do and overfill it or you will spend more time running the machine than necessary and end up with unevenly chopped ingredients. You can process the beet separately or along with some apple – it won’t make any difference for the final product. However, I like to run all the beet with at least one apple so that there is enough in the machine to get the beets almost totally smooth without having to stop and scrape down the sides too much. Getting the beets mostly broken down helps the flavor to blend in with the apples better so you don’t end up with any big chunks of beet in your mouth (unless you’re a beet lover, then go ahead and keep them chunky!). This also keeps the consistency more like applesauce since raw beets are much firmer, like carrots. Then, I process the apples to varying degrees of fineness, but make sure to preserve some texture. I don’t like mushy applesauce.
Final notes about apple quantities & spices: this recipe is pretty flexible, so it can easily be adjusted based on how much beet you’re willing to taste. I like to get it as healthy as possible by keeping the apple ratio lower, so I have made it with as few as six apples to one whole beet and it was still delicious! But if you’re not keen on beets, just start with 1/2 beet (or even 1/4) and add apples until it tastes good to you. I find that the spice mix is pretty forgiving as well. It’s not overpowering at the amount listed, so if you use less apples it will just be a nice amount of spice (which helps to further camouflage the beet). As you add more apples, I still find there to be plenty of spice, but I will note that I am used to making applesauce with one ingredient: apples, so any amount of spice is an extra for me. You may need to up the amounts a bit if you are a warm spice lover.
Spiced Beet (RAW) Applesauce
- 1/2 – 1 small red beet, peeled & chopped into cubes
- 8 – 10 large apples (I like fuji or honey crisp), chopped into cubes
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- pinch of ginger powder
- Process the beet & one apple until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Process the remaining apples, in batches, leaving some texture intact.
- Transfer all applesauce to bowl and mix until combined.
- Add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove & ginger. Mix well.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for 6-8 months.
- Start with a small amount of beet and taste as you go. Add more beet if you can handle it, or continue adding apple until it tastes good to you!
- Don’t overfill the food processor or you will end up with some parts over processed and some large chunks remaining.
- Play with the spice quantities to decide how spicy you want it!