I am slowly but surely becoming my mother. When I was a teenager, this was the last thing I ever would have wanted, and I was sure it would never happen. But here I am, and it is happening. And I guess it’s not so bad. There is one particular trait that I have noticed lately as being just like my mom- my love of apples. My mom goes to great lengths to get the best apples, and then she hides them in the fridge and tells me that “they are eating apples, so don’t even think about baking with them.” She is great at sharing, but if it is her last apple, then you might want to think twice about eating it (at least without asking first).
Here in Oaxaca, it is pretty hard to find good apples. And when I say good, I mean crunchy. They have to be crunchy! I am okay if they are tart or sweet, but crunchy is a requirement. Well, I finally found some at an organic market that is only on Fridays and Saturdays. Last Friday I walked all the way to the market with way too many things in my backpack, and when I got there…NO APPLES! I tried to hold back the tears. I have become friends with the apple lady though, so she knows how important my apples are to me. She and I set up a time to meet near my apartment on Monday morning so I could get my apples for the week. You might think this is a little extreme, but I obviously disagree (and I’m pretty sure my mom would too).
In honor of turning into my mother, I am making homemade applesauce that is one of her specialties. She often makes it with apples and mangos, with a touch of cinnamon. It always amazed me when I was growing up, because it only had three ingredients and comes together in a snap. I tried to find some mangos, but they are not in season (even in Mexico) so I decided to just make a classic unsweetened cinnamon applesauce. Just simmer apples on the stove with some water until they are soft and can be mushed up into a chunky applesauce. The fruit provides a natural sweetness, so there is no need for added sugar.
If you are overflowing in apples from your apple-picking adventures then you are definitely going to want to make yourself some homemade applesauce. Not only is it a great snack, but you can use it in baked goods as a fat replacement or stir it into some oatmeal for a fall appropriate apple pie oatmeal. That’s what I did with mine. It would also be great swirled into some greek yogurt with any other toppings that fit your fancy- peanut butter, dried coconut, chocolate chips, etc.
If you are going to use this applesauce in baked goods, you may want to throw it in the food processor for a smoother texture. But if you are making an apple centered baked good then the large apple pieces might add a nice touch.
I’ve got to be honest, I added too much cinnamon to my applesauce. I went for half a tablespoon and overdid it a bit. I would suggest starting with half a teaspoon and going from there if you would like more cinnamon taste. The excess cinnamon ended up being okay because I have been adding my applesauce to other foods.
What is one food you would go to great lengths to get?
Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce
Makes 2 cups.
2 cups apples- roughly peeled, cored, and chopped
1 and 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
- Add apples and water to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until apples are soft.
- Add cinnamon and mash with a potato masher or fork to your desired consistency (I kept mine roughly mashed).
- Let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Serving Size: ¼ cup Calories: 8 Fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 2.1 g Protein: .1 g Fiber: .3 g Sugar: 1.6 g
Apple Pie Oatmeal
½ cup rolled oats, gluten free optional
½ cup water
3 tablespoon homemade applesauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
splash of almond milk
- Add rolled oats, water (or milk), and applesauce to a bowl. Stir to combine, and microwave for approximately 2 minutes, or until oats are cooked through and water is absorbed.
- Add brown sugar and top with a splash of almond milk.
Serving Size: 1 Calories: 185 Fat: 3.4 g Carbohydrates: 37.2 g Protein: 5.2 g Fiber: 4.8 g Sugar: 10 g