Growing up Mom always made applesauce. We had a ton of apple trees and one of my jobs when I was little was picking the apples all over the ground for her to use. Apparently since I was little it was defaulted to me to pick them up since I was closest to the ground. LOL It didn’t mind as it got me outside and I knew what was coming… Mom’s awesome applesauce. Now Mom always made 2 types – chunky for me and the regular smooth stuff for everyone else. For me I was all about the chunks as it reminded me of apple pie. The smooth stuff is good but it just wasn’t the same for me.
Applesauce is a delicious snack. Its texture and sweetness make applesauce a comfort food for many people. Apples are a great source of natural fiber and vitamin C. Applesauce naturally contains no fat and few calories per serving if you choose unsweetened varieties or make your own. Enjoy it by itself or substitute it for fats in baked goods to keep them tender. A cup of unsweetened applesauce contains about 100 calories, yet feels substantial enough to act as a filling snack all by itself. Combined with a handful of almonds or a dollop of peanut butter, applesauce provides a balanced miniature meal rich in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat. Like the apples it comes from, applesauce contains no fat.
Applesauce is a great ingredient to use in all kinds of cooking, especially baking. You can substitute it for eggs and fat in many recipes, and in others it adds really wonderful flavor and texture. Applesauce is one of those things that once you make it for yourself you’ll realize just how incredibly easy it is and honestly how much better tasting it is than the jarred stuff. I make this all year round. Now for me I have been known to pop a jar of mine open and eat it straight out of the container with a big ol’ spoon. It’s one of those simple things in life that make me happy. Mom would always make quart upon quart of this stuff and store it in our canning cellar. We always had a jar in the fridge opened and when I was little you would often find me sitting on the floor, fridge door open and a spoon in my hand digging in the cold jar.
Now I don’t do that… well at least I no longer sit on the floor with the door open *wink*. What I also love about applesauce besides it having no fat is the fact that it is AWESOME in baked goods as a healthy substitute for oil. You get all the moistness and tenderness you would from vegetable oil but without the fat. It doesn’t leave an apple flavor either.
Applesauce is simply a puree made of cooked apples and it’s really easy to make at home. It can be made with several types of apples — some green, some red, either peeled or unpeeled, — and a variety of “sweet” spices such as cinnamon, ginger (freshly grated or ground) or even cardamon. What is also awesome is adding some raspberries to the mixture. Raspberry applesauce is the bomb folks! If you’ve never tried it, OMG you are so missing out!
Here are some of my favorite uses for applesauce:
♥ Oats and apples are made for each other, especially when they are paired in a warm and filling breakfast dish. Make your usual oatmeal and swirl in a generous serving of applesauce. Top off with milk, a little brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and coarsely crushed nuts and you have one hearty healthy breakfast for you and the kids.
♥ Honey-flavored Greek yogurt and applesauce sprinkled with fresh ground nutmeg makes snacktime taste like dessert. Not a fan of yogurt? Swirl applesauce into ricotta or cottage cheese. Puree cream cheese and applesauce and use as a dip for baby carrots, celery or even apple slices.
♥ I make a “fake apple pie” ice cream dish by putting some graham crackers in a bowl, pouring some cinnamon applesauce on top, heating that up for about 30 seconds and then scooping in vanilla ice cream, and if I have it, adding some caramel sauce and whipped cream.
♥ on a spoon *wink*
- 8 lbs peeled and cubed apples – (60% Johnnagold, 20% Gala, 10% Rome Red, 5% golden delicious, 3% Fuji, 2% red delicious)
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Put apples and cider in heavy bottomed pot over high heat and cover.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes or until steam comes out.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir the mixture.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes or until soft.
- Carefully remove the cinnamon stick and discard.
- Use a masher and gently break up the chunks but not all.
- Ladle into hot, sterile jars and can via the water bath method for 10 minutes.
- Remove from water and put upside down on cooling rack for 30 minutes.
Smooth Apple Sauce
If you prefer smooth apple sauce, just mash up the chunks until the mixture is smooth.
Cinnamon Apple Sauce
If you prefer cinnamon spiced apple sauce, add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the mixture.