Friday, April 19, 2013

Homemade Applesauce

Mike and I both eat lunch on the go. He usually tries to eat at his desk as he works and I have only a few minutes to scarf my food down before I have to tend to the children in the cafeteria, so I try to pack smart. Both of us are pretty bad at eating fresh foods when we have to peel, clean, or cut up the food. So I try to plan ahead and make food that can be easily packed and that it easy to eat. Homemade applesauce is one of those easy to make and eat foods.

First step? Get some apples. I know that there are certain types of apples that do better than others for canning, but I don't really pay attention to that for applesauce. I have a mixture of Gala, Golden Delicious and Pink Lady, simply because that's what I had laying around my house that needed to be used up. Pick whatever apples you like. I don't buy everything organic, but I try to follow the dirty dozen. Apples happen to be one of produce's most contaminated by pesticides. So these are organic.

Chop them up into inch cubes. Peel them if you want. I never peel because I like to keep the extra fiber. The peel usually is not an issue in the final product if you have a food processor or immersion blender that can make the pieces real tiny.

Put them into a pot and top with cinnamon and water. This would also be the time to add sugar if you like. I'm addicted to sugar but I find that sugar's not really needed, especially with the cinnamon on top.

Cover with a lid (slightly exposed so you can let some steam out and keep it from boiling over) and let simmer on low for enough time so it looks like this:

Once the apples are cooked and kinda mushy, mash with a potato masher or you can use a blender, immersion blender, or food processor. I used a food processor but now thinking about it an immersion blender sounds like a good idea. Less stuff to lug out and way less to clean up. Hmm... I will by trying that next time...

I used pulse on my processor and stopped when it looked like this:

With sixteen apples I was able to get quite a bit of applesauce. The round container on the right has enough applesauce to get my husband and I through the week. It has about 6-8 servings in it.

The other two containers I will freeze for later lunches. They should last a couple of months in the freezer, although most likely for us they will be gone by the end of this month. 

I took about a cup of applesauce that wouldn't fit in my containers and made some apple butter with it. Easy peasy.

Add some sugar and spices and cook until thick and sticky. Use it on toast or a sandwich. Soooo yummy.

It's as simple as that. This is really easy and doesn't take a whole lot of your time. Because of the water content, you can let this sit on your stove (on low) without burning. I usually just set the timer and come back to tender apples. 

Homemade Applesauce

8 medium sized apples of your choice
1 cup water
1-2 tbsp cinnamon (optional)
3/4 cup sugar (optional)

1. Wash apples and cut into 1 inch cubes, removing cores and seeds.
2. Place apples in pot, covering with water, cinnamon and sugar.
3. Cook on low for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.
4. Let cool for 15-20 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash or blend with a blender, immersion blender, or food processor.
6. Enjoy!

I find that applesauce tastes best when cold, but some enjoy hot off the stove. To each his own!