Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How 'Bout Them Apples! 5 Uses for Homemade Applesauce

It's finally fall in North Carolina.  Granted, the calendar says November 2, but we haven't seen many consecutive cool days until the past week.  And now that the air is crisp and the leaves are so many shades of gold, red and brown it's prime time for apples!

Before a few weeks ago, I never ever had homemade applesauce.  All I ever has was the store bought variety, which I ate and sort of like.  But when I made my own from a bunch of honeycrisp and gala apples, I fell in love and so did Elias. He barely left any for the rest of us! All you do is get a large pot, fill it with your peeled and cored apples, and add enough water to cover.  Add sugar and cinnamon to taste (or maybe brown sugar, or fruit puree...), and cook until the apples reach the desired texture.  If you want some chunky and some a little smoother, remove part of the applesauce when it is chunky and allow the rest to continue to cook down.  I dare even call this a recipe...

Unless you have children, you might think that to make homemade applesauce is more trouble than its worth.  What will you do with such a large quantity? The best part of making things yourself is that you can control the outcome.  You can make your applesauce the texture and level of sweetness you would like, depending on what you will use it for.  I came up with these ways, but I'm sure you can get creative and come up with more of your own.  Comment and let me know what else you came up with!

1.  Yogurt-  Use chunky applesauce as a stir in for plan or vanilla flavored yogurt.  I buy a large container of Stonyfield Farm brand and add the applesauce to sweeten and flavor it.  You save a ton compared to buying the individual cups, especially for organic!

2. Oatmeal-  Add a couple spoonfuls of your chunky applesauce to a pot of oatmeal, or you can even add it to uncooked oats and water to microwave.  Quick, and lots more flavor than those little packets.

3. Fried Pies or apple dumplings-  For a quick fried pie add about 1 tablespoon of filling between two flattened crescent rolls or a rolled out flaky biscuit and fry in hot oil, or use the Pioneer Woman's Recipe for Apple Dumplings using the applesauce instead of sliced apples.  Believe me, you will make these again and again.

4.  Side Dish-  Cooked apples are a great side dish for dinner.  Do you have picky eaters? Sometimes when you can't get them to eat vegetables try a fruit at dinner instead!

5.  Dessert Topping-  Warm up some chunky applesauce with a little caramel and spoon over ice cream or cheesecake.  Then tell yourself it's a serving of dairy and fruit for the day :)

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