Homemade Applesauce!

Homemade Applesauce, Another Race, and Another Mentor Lost…

It’s been a busy week and starting off a busy weekend! I love to be busy…so there is much to say and not so much time to say it…

First, I wanted to post my first experience in making homemade applesauce. It’s quick, very easy, and much healthier for you than the sugar-laden counterparts you buy at the grocery…Second, a quick recap of my latest 5k I ran this morning…and finally, remembering another mentor in my life who just passed from pancreatic cancer (the second this year from the disease)…First the fun stuff…

Applesauce!

I love applesauce, it’s one of those comfort foods for me and I don’t eat nearly enough of it. Well, that will likely change now that I can make my own healthy applesauce with only 3 ingredients and about 45 minutes (most of which is passive cooking time)!

Ingredients:

  • 3 apples (your choice, I choose Jazz Apples, but any naturally sweet apple will do)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (can be substituted for 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • water (enough to barely cover apples)

Preparation:

Core and slice your apples thin, I cut mine to about 0.5″ thickness, this helps them cook faster. I leave the skins on, it’s where all of the good stuff for you is anyway. It doesn’t effect the texture of the final product if you cook the apples long enough anyway.

Choice of apples:

There is a bit of a debate as to what type of apple is best suited for applesauce making…

Some prefer tart apples, like Granny Smith apples. I don’t prefer it this way…I like a sweet applesauce and I’d rather get my sugar naturally from a sweeter apple rather than using a Granny Smith and having to add non-fruit based sugar. We love Jazz Apples, so we choose to use a few of those. Honestly, it’s all a matter of preference though…

Place the cut and cored apples into a large pot and cover with water so it just reaches the top of your apples. Be sure the pot you’re using has a lid, you’ll need to use it. If you are using a cinnamon stick, add it to the pot to simmer with the apples. If using ground cinnamon, don’t add it to the pot, you’ll be adding it later.

Bring the pot to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer (med-low works for us. Place the lid onto the pot and allow the apples to simmer until they are soft to a spoon (or fork). They don’t need to be really mushy, but not firm either (it will take ~20-25 minutes).

When apples are done cooking, drain most of the liquid and place the apples and remaining bit of liquid (more liquid will yield a thinner applesauce, again, matter of preference) into a food processor. You can also use a food mill or similar if you have it, but we don’t and the food processor worked well.

Learn from my mistake…if you are using a cinnamon stick, DO NOT ADD IT TO THE FOOD PROCESSOR…

We thought it would blend decently with the apples…but…

Alas, it did not…and I ended up spending a bunch of time picking out large hunks of cinnamon from my applesauce. I learned my lesson and the next time I just added ground cinnamon to the food processor.

This applesauce had beautiful texture and great sweet, but not too sweet flavor. It made a great addition to pancakes, muffins, cake, etc. Of course, you can always eat it on it’s own… ;-)

This recipe had all of the qualities to make a great recipe…few ingredients, quick, and nutritious!

Nutrition (entire batch; 3 med apples):

  • 240 cal
  • 0 g fat
  • 66 g carb
  • 15 g fiber
  • 16 g sugar (all natural)
  • 0 g protein

Next subject…on to my 5k of the week!

Girls on the Run 5k

Girls on the Run is an awesome organization that encourages girls aged 8-14 to achieve self empowerment through running, fitness, and healthy living. It reaches both athletic, and non-athletic girls and helps them achieve their goals and promotes a safe environment for them to develop confidence in themselves.

This weekend, they had their annual 5k run in Houston, and the hubby and I decided to join in the fun and encourage the girls to do their best. Hopefully we also encouraged them by setting an example by trying to do our best in the run as well.

Didn’t get the greatest time, but I don’t expect to now that summer has returned to Houston, along with 90F days and 80% humidity! It was pleasant enough out today, about 80F at race time with ~70% humidity…however, calm wind, which really hurts you when you’re overheating (some days I pray for wind during my runs…just a little…one gust…just to get me through).

I don’t have official times yet, but I do know that I crossed the finish line in just over 28 minutes, at about 28:07 or so…

It seems like it will place me pretty high for this race, as not too many adults were running it competitively, but maybe in the top 20 overall for this small race. I really hope this race grows, it has great potential and is for a great cause!

And a bit of sad news…

Last night I found out from a former camper of mine that the nature specialist at the camp I attended as a child passed this week from pancreatic cancer. For those who haven’t been following my blog, this is the second mentor I’ve lost to pancreatic cancer this year…I lost my first on the job technical mentor in February of pancreatic cancer as well…

Well, here’s to “Nature Rita” who taught me tons about Pennsylvania flora and fauna and helped foster my love for nature as a child! She also was a great mentor when I came back to camp as a teenager to work as a camp counselor, giving me strength to keep on going, even when the going was tough…I really truly credit her for stimulating my interest in the outdoors which had a great impact on my life path, including my choice of major (and thus career) in geology.

In closing…

Unfortunately that’s all I have time for today…have a busy day of house hunting and event attending to do today, but will hopefully have lots to share in the coming weeks…I’m still trying to catch up from this week, hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to post a few more great recipes!