Sunday, October 23, 2011

Smashed Applesauce

It has been unseasonably cool and cloudy here in San Diego this fall...or at least at the beach. One crazy thing about living at the coast is that if you drive five miles inland you can usually find bright rays and warmer temps. I honestly think that you can experience at least three different seasons in San Diego County in ONE day. Snow in the local mountains; thick marine blankets that cover the coast and sunny warm temps inland! Crazy! Enough of my rambling lets move on to the point of this post – food!

The fruit drawer in my refrigerator is overflowing with locally grown organic apples. Time to do something with them! Cool and cloudy = warm and saucy!

Now, you’ll notice that I specifically mention the use of “organic” apples. Apples top the chart of the Dirty Dozen, a list of 12 foods to eat organic due to the large amount of chemicals and pesticides used to grow the crops. More than 40 different pesticides have been found on apples, which of course mean these pesticides have also been detected in store purchased applesauce and juice. Buy organic if you can and also check out the Dirty Dozen to see what other foods you should buy organic.

If you do use organic apples choose whether to leave or remove the peel – your preference. Please note the peel does contain almost half of the nutrients found in an apple. Apple peels contain: vitamins A and C, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, folate, iron, soluble and insoluble fiber, and antioxidants. If you cannot find organic apples or choose not to use them, then I suggest removing the apple peel. Unfortunately I have sensitivities to apple peels from time to time so you’ll see that I did remove the peel.

Now on to the good stuff! Only four ingredients needed until you can devour this delicious smashed applesauce!

6 large organic apples, peeled, cored and cubed (I chose Honeycrisp!)
1/2 cup of water (add more as needed)
3-4 cinnamon sticks (I really like cinnamon so I added extra cinnamon)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup or honey (more/less – your preference)

Add water, apples, and cinnamon sticks to the pot. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the apples are soft enough to (s)mash. If too much liquid remains in the pot, drain until desired consistency. (S)mash your apples and add in the natural sweeter and extra cinnamon if you’d like. I used a potato masher and it worked perfectly. If you like your sauce smoother and less chunky I suggest that you run the mixture through a food processor for a few seconds.

Enjoy applesauce as is or add some fresh granola for a healthy version of apple crisp! My fresh, homemade granola recipe will be coming soon!

*Recipe makes two medium mason jars of applesauce.

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