From baby to adult, here’s our take on an easy and delicious applesauce that all-ages will love. It’s especially YUM when it’s ice cold, tart, and slightly sweet, with just a hint of cinnamon. It makes for a perfect healthy snack, but even better, it is an amazing butter/fat replacement in cakes, muffins, and even quick breads that keeps healthy desserts moist without loading up on unnecessary calories.
About a year ago, I went on a quick trip to see my ol’ high school girlfriends down in SoCal. Both Tari and Shani have been huge supporters of my crazy endeavors throughout the years. We grew up eating at each other’s houses in Seattle after school and on the weekends. So…fast forward 12 years later, and we’re still sharing meals together, but now we’re all grown up. Tari has two beautiful daughters and the sweetest husband. Shani is a lawyer, with an amazingly loving husband and a tiny rescue Chihuahua. Our days are all different, but nonetheless — BUSY. Now, more than ever is our health important.
A short, but memorable weekend brought us to the kitchen (like old times). No we didn’t make applesauce, but we did have a long conversation about organic apples, taking care of ourselves in our prime baby-making years ;), the impact of socio-economics and race when it comes to food, how to encourage the men in our lives to eat healthy too, and of course, eating healthy on a budget.
With plans to hit the streets for dinner, we decided to save money and make our weekend breakfast and snacks. First stop: Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market to pick up a few ingredients for homemade almond milk, my favorite pancakes, a swiss chard scramble, green smoothies, arugula salad, and organic apples for our post-hike snack.
The perfect applesauce made simple
Motivated and re-energized by reminiscing about my sweet girls, I wanted to throw together a few apple desserts using applesauce as a star ingredient. Since we’re not a fan of prepackaged food, I thought it’d be great to share my special formula for the perfect applesauce. It’s simple, PLUS you get extra nutrients since I left the skin on for added fiber!
- Use ⅓ sweet-tart apples (like a Pink Lady or a Honey Crisp)
- Use ⅓ tart apples (like a Granny Smith)
- Use ⅓ sweet apples (like a Gala or a Red Delicious)
3 apples (one tart, one sweet, one sweet/tart = about 3 cups chopped)
½ cup water
½ teaspoon cinnamon to taste
- Wash, core and cut apples into ½” chunks. If you prefer, you can peel the apples, but for added fiber and nutrients, you can keep it on. (TIP: slice apples as normal and cut each slice into fourths to make the chunks.)
- Add apples, water, and cinnamon to a pot over medium-high heat. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until apples are soft. This should take about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and throw into a food processor. Taste and add more cinnamon if you prefer.
- Cool and store in a tightly sealed jar for up to 1 week.
Yields ~ 1½ cups
NOTE: In addition to eating and enjoying as a side dish, it’s also great for a partial fat/butter substitute in baking.
My top 5 ways to use applesauce
- Store it in the refrigerator and eat it cold with a few sprinkles of toasted walnuts. I swear it really does satisfy the apple pie fix!
- Spread it on toast instead of sugar-loaded jam.
- Eat on the side of roasted chicken. Sounds weird, but it’s good…especially on cold, rainy days.
- Add it to yogurt instead of honey.
- Use it in cakes, muffins, and quick breads to reduce the fat and keep it moist.
Kale. All Day. Err Day.