Monday, December 14, 2015

Meatless Monday: Back to the Basics

We overdid it a bit when picking apples early in October. By late November the Galas, Ida Reds, and Mutsus were still doing well, but the Macouns and Fujis were starting to get a little soft. I decided to make some applesauce, and my timing couldn’t have been better.

We had a little one with us for a week over Thanksgiving. She was just beginning to explore the world of food.

Her day began with a tiny bowl of oatmeal. On the first morning of the visit I asked her parents' permission and introduced a spoonful of my sauce after her oatmeal was gone. After the first taste she smacked her lips and smiled.

She got applesauce every morning that week. Her eyes lit up when she saw the dish of applesauce, and she flapped her arms in anticipation of a tasty bite.

What a great thing! I had prevented some potential food waste and made myself the apple of my granddaughter’s eye in just a few easy, and I do mean easy, steps. 

There are some kitchen devices meant to streamline the process, but all you really need is a paring knife, a cutting board, a heavy-duty pot, and, of course, some apples. Even in this busy holiday season, you have time for this DIY. After all, who doesn’t love applesauce? 

Here is my recipe.

Nonna’s Applesauce
  • Check your fridge for any apples starting to lose their crispness; the large ones seem to go first. 
  • Go for a mix of varieties if possible. [My friend Polly suggests using at least 3 varieties; I had 5 and it certainly worked for me!]
  • Peel, quarter, and remove the cores of the apples.
  • Cut each quarter into smaller pieces (halves or quarters depending on the apple’s size).
  • Put the apple pieces into an ample-sized pot or saucepan.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of water.
  • Cover the pot with a lid.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer gently until the apples are fork tender.
  • Mash or blend to your desired consistency. [I use a potato masher and opt for chunky style.]
  • No added sugar is necessary.

I made the batch in the photo this morning. It tasted great atop a bowl of plain Greek yogurt, and I expect it will be gone in no time. 

Happy Meatless Monday. Have a great week!

On Mondays I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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