With the summer grilling season right around the corner I want to share a couple of recipes that are great for entertaining and warding off that summer heat: Spiced Apple Pork Burgers and Strawberry Banana Smoothie Pops
When your husband finishes off 2 burgers and asks when you can make them again, you know you’ve got a good recipe on your hands—or more accurately, in your face. This recipe comes from my friends at Tree Top and I’m so glad they introduced me to it. In all honesty when I first looked at it I thought, “pork burgers? Is that really a thing?” but I quickly learned they were in fact a glorious thing when I had that first bite. They are juicy, full of flavor and I seriously can’t wait to make them again.
The secret ingredient in these is the addition of apple sauce to the ground pork.
The other thing that makes these so special is the combination of spices used to season the meat. Chili powder, cinnamon, ground mustard and black pepper marry together the apple flavor marvelously with the pork.
Give the meat a good little stir and portion it out for patties. When I make burgers I like to form the meat into a mound in the bowl and score it so I don’t end up with one huge burger and a bunch of little ones or vice versa. It’s not fair to give your burgers a little man complex.
These patties are great for grilling and work equally as well on the stove top. Cook just like you do regular burger patties; once they are no longer pink in the middle you’re set! The finishing touch on these burgers is a maple-dijon sauce. A super simple mixture of dijon mustard and real maple syrup makes a sweet and tangy sauce that is perfect on these
I topped our burgers with caramelized onions, fresh baby spinach, a tomato slice and, of course, that dreamy maple-dijon sauce.
These burgers prove that apples are great for all types of cooking. I love using applesauce as a substitute for fats in my baking and adding apple juice to savory recipes like soups and sauces can create amazing layers of flavor. Tree Top’s 3 Apple Blend juice is one of my absolute favorites for cooking and drinking alike. Here’s a fun little info graphic on the juice making process at Tree Top. Click to enlarge
Speaking of using juice in your recipes, homemade smoothie popsicles are a great way to cool off, save money, and sneak copious amounts of fruit into your kid’s unsuspecting bellies. This recipe uses fresh strawberries, bananas, apples, yogurt and apple juice. Just throw all the ingredients into the blender, mix until smooth, pour into a popsicle mold and freeze!
What’s not to love about a popsicle speckled with fresh strawberries? Ah, I love summer!
This is a sponsored post by Tree Top Inc. All comments and thoughts, as always, are uniquely mine.
Spiced Apple and Pork Burgers
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 1/2 cup Tree Top Natural Apple Sauce
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 6 Hamburger buns
- Baby Spinach leaves
- Optional for garnish: Cheddar cheese, grilled onions, pickles, tomatoes or other favorite toppings
- Optional: Toast buns if desired
- Stir maple syrup and mustard together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Spray a large non-stick grill pan or griddle with cooking spray and place over medium to medium high heat.
- Mix pork, apple sauce, salt, chili powder, dry mustard, pepper and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl. Form mixture into 6 patties. Place patties in pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, turn and cook additional 4-5 minutes or until done. To serve, spread bun bottoms with maple mustard mixture. Top each with a spinach leaf, a patty and bun tops.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie Pops
- 1 cup Tree Top Apple Juice
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled, sliced and frozen
- 1 banana, sliced and frozen
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, sliced and frozen
- 6 oz vanilla yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into ice pop forms or paper cups, place ice pop sticks in center and freeze inverted for about 3 hours or until solid.