applesauce

Sometimes organic applesauce hits the spot. It’s simple, tangy, sweet and filled with nutrients (one medium apple counts as 1 cup of fruit, and apples contain soluble fiber and are an awesome source of vitamin C). Sauced organic apples are enjoyable alone (or paired with cinnamon, nutmeg, cranberries, raisins and yogurt; yum!), and can be used in baking as an oil substitute.

When Buying Organic Applesauce

Make certain you buy organic applesauce that’s unsweetened. Regular apples (which are turned into applesauce) carry pesticide residues and extra sugar adds unneeded calories. Can’t find organic? Check all “natural” applesauce labels and nix the brands that contain high fructose corn syrup.

The Daily Green references a list of organic applesauce varietiesGood Housekeeping taste-tested. Here’s a condensed list:

Organic Applesauce Brands:

  • 365
  • Eden Organic (my personal favorite)
  • Santa Cruz
  • Vermont Village
  • Wild Harvest

How to Make Homemade Organic Applesauce

Use organic ingredients! Serve warm or cold, and enjoy! The following organic applesauce recipe is courtesy of Necessary Room.

Ingredients

2 to 3 organic apples, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup organic orange juice (fresh squeezed or a 100 percent orange juice brand)
1/8 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp ground organic cinnamon

Method

Combine orange juice and chopped apples in a deep saucepan.

Boil for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.

Stir in brown sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon.

Cook uncovered until the apples reach the desired consistency (for about 20 minutes), stirring often. Adjust measurement of ingredients to suit your taste.

Serve warm and enjoy.

Note: You can store up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Put in food processor or blender and puree if you prefer applesauce with a smoother texture.

Heavenly Homemakers and Simple Daily Recipes have two similar and equally detailed recipes for making homemade organic applesauce in large batches.

Baking with Applesauce

Organic applesauce can be used to replace liquid fats (not softened butter) when baking. Replace melted butter or oil with an equal amount of applesauce. Be aware — you may need to bake a tad longer when using applesauce (Mother Earth News, 2009).

The following moist, organic pumpkin bread recipe is a great example of a tasty, irresistible baked good that has oil that can be replaced with applesauce.

From a Libby’s advert (2004). Makes 2 loaves.

Ingredients

3 cups organic flour (all-purpose is suggested in the ingredients, but I’ve used organic varieties)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons organic pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups organic sugar
15 ounces of pureed, very smooth organic pumpkin
4 large organic eggs
1 cup organic applesauce (unsweetened, with cinnamon if you’d like)
1/2 cup organic orange juice or water
1 cup organic frozen, fresh, or dried cranberries

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Oil, flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, applesauce, and orange juice in large mixer bowl; beat until blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir until moistened. Fold in cranberries.

Spoon batter into loaf pans and bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove (to wire racks if you like) to cool completely. 

Applesauce is also good as a substitute for eggs in some vegan dishes.

 image: little blue hen