My whole family loves fall. I think it's mostly because that's when I start making and canning applesauce like the apocalypse is coming.
Given the time, I'll use an entire orchard of apples to make applesauce every year. The kids would probably live on it if I let them!
I add spices for flaver - but that certainly isn't necessary. I also do not add any extra sugars or preservatives.
I buy my apples from local orchards and often they are organic (without being labeled organic because they are from small, local orchards).
Apples - I prefer golden delicious, but really any apple will work
Water - about a cup
Cinnamon - to taste
Nutmeg - this is my secret ingredient
Bonus fruit - anything will work. Citrus and "soft" fruits like kiwi and banana don't work out so well.
1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the apples if desired. I do this only about half the time. Lots of important nutrients and vitamins are in the peels. It can alter the color of applesauce though.
2. Core and dice apples. Try to keep the pieces about the same size.
3. Add apples to a large stockpot or pan. Add a little water - this prevents the apples from burning to the pan before they soften.
4. Add spices and bonus fruit. Mix and cover.
5. Cook on medium heat until it looks like this stirring occasionally. Because fruit has natural sugars, it will burn to the pan if left unattended too long. Eventually the fruit will turn to mush all on it's own. Depending on your apples and preferred consistency, you may want to use a potato masher or blender to make it more smooth.
Taste to ensure the flavors are what you like. You can add more spices at this point if desired.
Note: Blenders, food processors and emulsion mixers will puree the applesauce and make it more like baby food.
6. Put some in a bowl and eat!
I also can as much as I am able. I use mason jars and the waterbath method. You can learn about it and follow these canning steps here.
I love knowing my family is getting fresh fruit all year-round that has no added sugars, is packed full of yummy goodness and they made it with me (most of the time).
It's much easier than most people think and the benefits are so very rewarding!