Homemade Mango Fruit Roll-Ups

Did you know you can make fruit leather at home? It’s easy, and you’ll need just one ingredient.
Homemade Mango Fruit Roll-ups

Ripe mango cubes go in for a whirl in the food processor, becoming a sweet fruity paste that you might want to slurp up. But don’t: once you spread the purée onto lined baking sheets, you essentially dry it out by turning your oven into a dehydrator. Be sure to spread the purée as evenly as possible, so that every morsel is evenly cooked by the end.Homemade Mango Fruit Roll-ups

Homemade Mango Fruit Roll-ups

Over a few hours (yes, it takes a while), you’ll find that the mango gets sticky and leathery. It might take a while, so be patient and check on the leather often. You want it to be pliable but hold together–not too brittle, not too wet.

Homemade Mango Fruit Roll-ups

After that, simply cut your homemade mango fruit leather into strips and roll them up in wax paper. You’ve got a homemade, completely healthful, one-ingredient snack to eat any time.

Homemade Mango Fruit Roll-upsRead on for the recipe.Continue reading “Homemade Mango Fruit Roll-Ups”

Five Ways to Jazz Up Your Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

On nights when there’s no Blue Apron box in sight, you can make dinner from potatoes. A baked potato, baked to perfection – crisp exterior, fluffy inside – is the perfect start to dinner. (Sweet potatoes are amazing, too!)

But you don’t have to limit your potatoes’ toppings to sour cream, butter chives, and cheese, though all four make excellent crowns for your tater. Here are five out-of-the-ordinary ways to top, stuff, or smother your potato. Which would you try?

Cheesy Broccoli

1. Cheesy Broccoli

This is basically mac ‘n cheese sauce with broccoli thrown in. So you get your cheese and broccoli all at once, and together they make your potato great.

2. Chili

Stuff those potatoes with chili. Obviously, you’ll then want to top with jack cheese.

Pulled Chicken3. Pulled Chicken

This Mexican-spiced saucy pulled chicken adds heft and heat to your potato, which you should finish off with smashed avocado.

Red Lentil Dal4. Red Lentil Dal

This vegetarian topping introduces Indian spices and tons of vegetables to the potato bar. Top with a dollop of plain yogurt, if you like, and a garnish of cilantro.

Chicken Sloppy Joe35. Sloppy Joe

The famous sweet-sour meat filling will find an easy home in a steaming potato. Our version, by the way, uses chicken.

Homemade Granola with Cardamom & Chia Seeds

Cardamom & Chia Granola
Freshly toasted homemade granola

History repeats itself–breakfast history, particularly. Let’s hurtle back to the turn of the 20th century. Before that, Americans were farm-workers, and they needed serious sustenance in the mornings. Eggs, meat, puddings, pies, and cheese were standard 8am feast materials. But around this time, desk jobs came into fashion, and sedentary lifestyles combined with the fatty fare to give the country a bad case of indigestion. Enter: homemade granola.

Within a few years, two companies, Kellogg and Post (recognize the names?) were both selling grain-based cereals meant to help wean their countrymen from scrapple, bacon, and sausage for breakfast. That’s when granola (then known as granula) entered the scene, too–it was simply one crispy baked cereal on a burgeoning shelf of health-food products. Sounds a little bit like today!

This granola has a couple of ingredients that are coming into their own today, just as grain-based breakfasts were gaining popularity back then.

First, we’ve got buckwheat. You might have seen buckwheat flour or buckwheat noodles (aka soba) at the grocery store. Whole buckwheat groats are the nutritious little seeds from which that flour is made; when toasted they become crunchy and nutty. Although “wheat” is contained within the word, buckwheat is naturally gluten-free and contains a ton of protein and amino acids. That plus the protein in the almonds makes this a nutritionally beneficial and satisfying breakfast.

Cardamom & Chia Granola

Next up, coconut oil. Solid at room temperature, the buttery oil delivers a subtle hit of coconut. Many people believe that the high dose of saturated fat in unprocessed coconut oil is good for you!

Chia seeds used to be famous only for the topiaries they could grow. Today, health-foodies snatch them up for their high calcium and omega-3 content.

Almonds, oats, maple syrup, and flakes of sea salt round out this marvelous granola that’s no less delicious for being right on trend–both today and way back in time.

Cardamom & Chia Granola | Blue Apron

So get ready to jump in by making this deliciously fragrant granola, which will fill your kitchen with aromas reminiscent of chai tea. Serve with yogurt or with milk, and if you choose milk, you may find yourself slurping the chai-like remains straight from the bowl.

Cardamom Granola | Big Girls Small Kitchen

Get the recipe below.

Continue reading “Homemade Granola with Cardamom & Chia Seeds”

Cranberry-Walnut Muffins


Presenting: the muffin you’ll need to get you through fall. Through the Halloween sugar hangover and the family visiting for Thanksgiving weekend. Through the lazy Sundays, and even through Christmas morning. With their jewel tones and sweet cinnamon spicing, these are an unforgettable staple, a simple meal that manages to have pizzazz.

Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron

There’s an actual method to muffins, a formula that’ll help make sense of the recipe you’ll see at the bottom of this post. Essentially, muffins are quick breads, baked goods that use a leavener like baking powder to rise (as opposed to bread, which could be known as “slow bread,” and takes its time when rising). Like zucchini and banana bread before them, cranberry-walnut muffins should be moist and just slightly chewy. At their best, they’ll melt in your mouth.

How do they get this way? Well, first you combine the dry ingredients. That means sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices–here, cinnamon.

Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron

In  a second bowl, we combine the wet ingredients: eggs, oil, and orange juice.

Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron

When we combine the two, we do so with a light touch, pouring the wet ingredients over the dry and then folding together gently. This preserves a light crumb and that melt-in-your-mouth texture that makes people go back for seconds.

Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron
Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron

When the wet and dry ingredients are just barely combined–it’s far better to see a few streaks of flour, which will be absorbed during baking, than to overmix–we throw in the good stuff, cranberries and walnuts. The fall flavors of this pair are what elevate this muffin to its true height.

Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron

Baking is a cinch: scoop the batter into muffin tins and stick in a hot oven for around 20 minutes.

Once they are risen and golden, they’re ready to eat!

Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron

All muffins are best warm, still hot from the oven. These are instant gratification in muffin form, and fortunately for early birds, there’s not much need to let them cool.

Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron

Smear with butter, if you like.

Cranberry Walnut Muffins | Blue Apron

Get the recipe below.

Continue reading “Cranberry-Walnut Muffins”

Five-Ingredient Cider Caramels

Making candy at home is nowhere near as tough as it sounds. With just five ingredients and some careful attention to bubbling sugar, you can make these cider caramels, which have a deep, slightly tangy apple flavor and are utterly addictive. Best of all, wrapped up in little squares of wax paper, a handful of these caramels makes an incredible edible gift (or a trick or treat!).

Let’s get started. The five ingredients you’ll need are: apple cider, butter, cream, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

First, you cook the cider down into a delicious, wholesome syrup. Because of the natural sugars already in the cider, as the liquid simmers, it becomes much thicker. Still, it retains its apple-y tang, a flavor that’ll eventually lend greatness to the finished caramel candies.
Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

To the cider syrup, add sugar, cream, and butter–the ingredients that make this into a caramel. They’ll dissolve into the cider syrup. Yum.Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Bring the mixture to a simmer, incorporating everything together. Here’s where you’ll need a special piece of equipment – a candy thermometer. The thermometer allows you to bring the caramel to just the right temperature so it’ll set into candies later.Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Prepare your pan by lining it with parchment so the caramel doesn’t stick…Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Add spices to the caramel, then pour it into the prepared pan.

Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Cider Caramel67

After that, the only skill you’ll need is patience. It takes about 2 hours for the caramel to set. When it does, cut the square into square-ish shapes (it’ll still be kind of soft, but do the best you can. Plop a candy in the middle of a parchment piece, then…Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Roll up, twisting the ends, just like you’re making a bit of old-fashioned homemade candy. Oh wait, you are.Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Keep the candies out on the counter for snacking, or pack a few into a pretty box for gifting to friends.

Cider Caramel Final

Get the whole recipe below.

Continue reading “Five-Ingredient Cider Caramels”

Pan con Ajo: Spanish-Style Garlic Toast

There’s so much you can do with a couple cloves of garlic–take garlic confit and garlic bread, for two delicious examples. The cloves pack so much flavor (and health benefits) that most of the time you don’t need too many other ingredients to create a delicious meal or snack. We send out a whole head of garlic every week, and so it’s possible you might have some leftover cloves. Don’t despair–and definitely don’t waste this kitchen gold. Here’s our third easy suggestion for a way to use up all that leftover garlic.

Spanish pan con tomate is a brilliantly simple preparation that involves grilling bread and topping it with tomatoes, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Since flavorful tomatoes aren’t in season, we scaled this preparation down to pan con ajo--no tomato needed.

Here’s all you do: toast thick slices of good country bread under the broiler (or, if you happen to be outdoors, on a grill for optimally delicious charred flavor). Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the cut sides across the surface of each slice, really pressing the cloves in to transfer flavors. Drizzle good-quality olive oil across the surface, then sprinkle with salt.

Cut each slice into halves or thirds. Serve as an appetizer or beside Provençal Fish Stew or Braised Beluga Lentils

Homemade Guacamole & Tortilla Chips

Homemade Guacamole and Chips

Football season is approaching. That means that some people are getting excited about their favorite team, and others are getting excited about their favorite snack foods. At Blue Apron, our thoughts instantly turn our favorite homemade guacamole and tortilla chips. 

Our  game day guacamole recipe skews a little more Tex-Mex than traditional. This version is choc full of tomato chunks, spicy jalapeño, and bright herbs. 

Ripe Avocados for Guacamole Recipe

Not only is homemade guacamole delicious, it’s made entirely from fruits and vegetables (avocados are technically a fruit).  It’s a great way treat yourself to a satisfying snack without that’s much more much more healthful than something like a BBQ Chicken or Seven-Layer Dip. For this version, we also created baked tortilla chips, which keeps this snack even lighter. Just cut corn tortillas into triangles, toss them with oil, and bake until crisp. For bonus fun, check out the playful way we arrange the chips and guacamole for serving.

Start with this recipe, and feel free customize it to suit your taste (more spice! less onion! less cilantro!)

Watch now to see how we do it.


How to Make Homemade Guacamole

  • 3 avocados, peeled and cubed with pits removed
  • 1 cup cubed and stemmed tomatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 cup cilantro, stems removed 
  • 1 cup small-diced red onion 

Preparation is easy. Just combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork until the avocado is creamy and everything is combined. Serve with homemade or your favorite store-bought corn chips. 

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The Elements of Arepas

When we created these arepas, the scent of browning, spicy chorizo was wafting through our kitchen. We had just invented a vegetarian version of the South American corn cakes – these Queso and Pepper Arepas with Kale Salad – and were hurrying to make sure that the meat eaters didn’t miss out on this specialty, which hails from Colombia and Venezuela. That’s where the chorizo came in.

Along with the spicy sausage, our test kitchen smelled of corn, crisping up in our pan, and loads of peppers–both poblanos and red bell peppers–softening. Our stomachs growled.

Marc Bittman described arepas in the New York Times as “corn-based English muffins.” Like English muffins, arepas are stuffed–make that overstuffed–with any filling you desire. Hence the cheese and peppers, then the chorizo.

Their affiliation with sandwiches is the end of that similarity, in our opinion. Arepas are made with a quick-cooking corn flour called masarepa, so they’re naturally gluten free. The masarepa absorbs added water and turns into a dough before your eyes. No need to add anything else but a pinch of salt before kneading it up.

Once formed into discs, arepas can be fried or baked. We pan-fry our version so the edges get slightly crispy, then finish them in the oven so the insides get completely cooked through before we slice them up and fill them with sausage. And peppers. And chimichurri.

But don’t let your imagination stop at chorizo. Arepa fillings can range from rustic to elevated. They can have one ingredeint like cheese, preferably melty, or a slew of complementary fixings, like ours. And arepas aren’t required to taste of South America. Ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly are perfectly suitable for the center of an arepa, especially to the American children of Colombians and Venezuelans.

You can see the full recipe for making Chorizo Arepas on the recipe card.