A few months back, I jumped onto the homemade baby food bandwagon. My cousin had told me it would help save money and, given my tiny food budget, I jumped at the chance to save a few bucks. Not unsurprisingly (because she almost always is), she was right. I was shocked! One bag of strawberries pureed would last me two or three weeks. Peaches and pears gave out between four and six traditional baby food jars. And who can forget applesauce? I grabbed the H.E.B. brand off the shelves, thinking it would be better than the baby food. More flavorful, perhaps. Still with that same weird metallic taste. And then, about two months into my little experiment, I looked at the back of the label. High fructose corn syrup? Sugar? Artificial coloring? It’s applesauce, people. What the heck are you coloring?
So, I resolved to make my own applesauce. I love to cook, but this seemed a little more difficult than usual. After all, apples are hard, right? If I’d only known how easy….
8 apples, cored and cubed (I leave the skin on for a little extra fiber)
1/2 cup of water
Put apple pieces into a large pot, add water, and cook covered on medium heat until apples are browning and they are soft. It’s usually between 20 and 45 minutes. Then, set aside to cool. Once cool, puree or blend them until they’re smooth. Voila! Applesauce!
Now, if you want to add a little cinnamon or sugar, go for it! There is nothing wrong with that. Some people even suggest brown sugar for a little extra depth. It sounds amazing. Other suggest adding a little nutmeg or allspice. In the fall, maybe a little pumpkin spice? When it’s homemade, you can get wild with it! Add some vanilla, maybe, or some orange zest and cranberries. I don’t know, but whatever you try, let me know. I’m always up for something new.
As for me, though, I’m sticking with the basic for the moment. It’s still incredibly sweet (possibly due to the Fuji apples that remain on sale), and the less sugar for #2, the better. Slowly but surely, I’ll start reducing the amount for the rest of us, though I’ll never get rid of it completely I suspect. Ah well, at least we’ve got our applesauce.