Tips for Making Easy Applesauce
Is Applesauce Healthy For You?
Applesauces make a delicious healthy snack. For many people it is a comfort food, but one thing that makes this comfort food exceptional is that it is low in calories. In addition, applesauce is are a great source of natural fiber (both soluble and nonsoluble) and vitamin C.
If you can find apples have not been sprayed with chemicals. Apples can potentially expose you to pesticides, so by picking apples that were not sprayed or by buying the organic varieties will protect you from these chemicals.
In addition, unsweetened applesauce is better for you than sweetened applesauce. By choosing a naturally sweet apple for making applesauce instead of a sour one in which you have to add sugar, you choose a healthier option.
By eating an apple or a serving of applesauce several times during the week, you will help protect your health and maintain your weight maintenance plan.Both the pulp and skin contain numerous healthy flavonoids. Flavonoids in apples regulate blood pressure, reduce inflammation, lower heart disease risk, and reduce excessive fat production in liver cells.
Where to Find Apples for Applesauce
Finding apples suitable for making applesauce is not a problem where I live. I can go down almost any country road in my area and find a neglected apple tree full of apples that is simply begging to be picked.
The apples don't even have to be good apples. Even crab apples and gnarled little knobby apples all can be used to make applesauce, especially with hand crank strainer like I have, but I am getting ahead of myself.
The apples don't even have to be blemish free, either. It is easy enough to cut out bad spots from apples to use as sauce. Might even be able to find apples like that at the end of the day at the farmer's market. Perhaps you could even get those apples for free. If not, you can probably negotiate a good price.
The apples used to make this batch of applesauce, I got from a friend for teaching her how to make apple sauce as well as for helping her make it for her family. It was win-win for both of us!
|Serving size: 1 Cup|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 43 g||14%|
|Sugar 36 g|
|Fiber 3 g||12%|
|Protein 1 g||2%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 5 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Getting Ready To Make Applesauce
After I picked the apples, I washed the apples thoroughly. I found that by putting the apples in one of these plastic baskets, and washing them outside and then bringing them in and washing them again in the sink, I was able to remove any soiling on the apples.
Once the apples were washed in the sink, I removed each apple fro the water and examined for blemishes. Any blemishes or insect damage I removed from the apples. I then placed the apples into a stock pot. I didn't peel them. I just removed the bad parts of the apple.
Once full, I covered the pan of apples with water and put on the stove on high heat. Once the apples began to boil, I cooked them on medium heat until the apples were soft.
Saucing The Apples for Applesauce
I then drained the cooked apples into a colander and allowed the apples to cool enough to handle. (Apples that are too hot will burn you or can melt the hopper if the hopper is plastic like mine is.)
If I had not done it previously, I set up the strainer while the apples are cooling. (Each strainer may be set up differently, so you will need to follow the assembly directions that come with the strainer.) I put a square cake pan in the catchment area to catch the applesauce and another container such as a compost bucket at the end to capture the wastes. When I am done, these wastes either go to the chickens or to the compost pile. It all gets recycled somehow.
Once the apples are cooled, I begin putting the apples into the hopper while simultaneously turning the handle.The applesauce will come out the strainer while the crushed skins and cores are removed to the end of the grinder.
How To Sweeten Applesauce
Here are several ways to Sweeten Applesauce:
- Nothing. Some Apples are naturally sweet and you won't have to add any sweetening. I believe this is the best way. It is the ONLY way to make applesauce for baby food.
- Add white or brown sugar
- While applesauce is still hot, add honey to taste. DO NOT add honey to applesauce intended to be fed to anyone under 2 years of age.
- Sweeten with Stevia but no artificial sweeteners, please.
Packaging The Applesauce
- I sweeten applesauce to taste and add cinnamon as well if desired. (See side bar on sweetening tips)
- Using Freezer Bags (not just storage bags or the applesauce can freezer burn), spoon applesauce into bags.
- Squeeze any air from the bag, mark bags with a permanent marker to identify the applesauce, and place the applesauce into the freezer.
How Did I Do?
Serving The Applesauce
I remove applesauce from the freezer at least eight hours in advance of serving and place in the refrigerator to thaw for cold applesauce. To speed thawing, I place bag of applesauce into warm or hot water and change water when water cools. if you prefer, heat applesauce to serve warmed, I simply take frozen or thawed applesauce and place in a saucepan and heat applesauce to the desired temperature.
If not added before, cinnamon can be added when applesauce is served. Applesauce can be used as a substitute for jams or jellies. It tastes great on pancakes as a replacement for syrup.
Is also good for making applesauce cake, applesauce bread, or applesauce cookies.
© 2013 Donna Brown