Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall = Applesauce Season!!! :-))) RECIPE: Homemade Sugar-Free Applesauce!

Well, the Happy Nurse and I just got back from the Farmer's Market.  He loves it, I love it and its just a lot of fun to go together.  Its the best inexpensive date :-)--in our city the big Farmer's Market is more than just awesome fresh produce!  There is also music, dancing, food name it!  A festival :-)  So we can get our grocery shopping done and listen to music and people watch galore.  I had THE BEST Falafel wrap ever.....but I digress....

Anyways, its Fall and its Apple season.......YAYYYYYY!!!  I loaded up my poor husband with pounds and pounds of apples so I can make our fav--homemade sugar-free applesauce!  :-)))  

The baby belly is getting pretty big but I think I can still manage to chop apples and put them on to boil :-)  I LOVE applesauce with the apple skins on, with oat milk poured over top and toasted walnuts....heaven!!! 

As noted before--I'm not a chef! I prefer to showcase my favorite recipes from other blogs...but here is my very own simple homemade applesauce recipe--no sugar added.  My long-time readers have seen it before but why not re-post the recipe since it is sooooooo yummy!? 

My trick to making sugar-free applesauce is using pears to sweeten it and choosing sweet apple varieties.   I like using asian pears because I like the flavor and I can get some from the same orchard at the market.  As far as apple types are concerned, I rely on the farmers' advice for the sweetest varieties at the market but I've frequently used Gala, Golden Delicious, Braebern, etc.  This time I've picked two new "sweet" varieties and of course I can't remember their names now!  Next weekend I'll look at the market and figure out which once I chose!!!  Enjoy!:-)

Applesauce (Sugar-free)
Makes 8-12 servings

8-10 apples (or more--I usually put in as much as I can fit in the pot!) 
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
2 Asian pears (if you want it even sweeter use a ripe Bartlett pear)

1. Roughly chop all the apples and the pears (removing the cores)--I usually quickly cut each apple into quarters and then halve the quarters.  Leave the skins on
2.  Put the apples and pears in a large pot
3.  Add water to the pot, filling it until approximately 3/4 of the apples & pears are covered with water.
4.  Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer slowly while covered. 
5.  Add 1 Tbsp Cinnamon.  Add a little water as needed to prevent burning if that becomes an issue.

Apples (left) compared to Asian Pears (right)
6.  Let the applesauce simmer for 1-2 hours until all the apples have completely cooked down and the apple skins are soft.  Add more cinnamon per your own taste.  
7.  Make sure you stir every so often to prevent the apples on the bottom of the pot from burning.  Add a little water as needed to prevent burning if that becomes an issue.  You also may need to scoop a little of the water off depending on how "liquidy" you like your applesauce!  I like mine pretty chunky without a lot of liquid.
8.  Let sauce cool.  
9.  I serve the sauce without pureeing it--I like the texture of the apple skin because it reminds me of apple pie!  But if you prefer you can also puree it and it will taste more like store-bought applesauce.

***NOTE:  you can make this in a slow cooker VERY easily--I just think the apple skins come out better when I boil them on the stove but if you want to be able to cook and ignore it, than slow cooker is the way to go & it will still taste great!!:-)) *****
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