Jessica Grosman

Homemade Autumnal Applesauce

Jessica Grosman
Homemade Autumnal Applesauce

Thank you so much for all of the replies to my newsletter last week!  Clearly, many of you are excited about my return to private nutrition consulting.  At this moment, I have room in my weekly schedule for a few more clients; so if you're interested in working with me, please let me know.  I'm offering a complementary 15-minute phone call, which is the perfect amount of time to chat about your interest in working with me and to learn what I can offer to you. 

Earlier this week, I went to an exquisite wine dinner with my husband.  The wines were all from a Tuscan vineyard that my husband visited during our honeymoon.  We tasted six different wines at this dinner, as well as enjoyed a sumptuous 4-course meal.  I felt like I was on vacation, while still in Baltimore!  It truly was a wonderful evening, full of delicious wine, food, and joyful conversation. 

But as I awoke the following morning, I didn't feel 100%.  I was quickly reminded of the effects of indulging in the pleasures of wine and its culinary pairings.  All I craved at that moment was simplicity, nothing fussy or overly flavorful.  Comforting food, something that would calm my stomach and my mind.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make for myself and eat for the next few hours.  Applesauce.  Homemade applesauce.

From the perspective of a Registered Dietitian (my formal education hat), applesauce is part of the BRAT diet (banana rice applesauce toast), a diet meant to calm the GI tract and reduce the incidence of diarrhea (sorry, not pretty).  I ate a fair amount of applesauce growing up, poured from the jar with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top.  I even bake with applesauce, it adds lots of moisture and texture to many homemade baked goods.  But this kind of applesauce - industrially produced and void of flavor - is not what I was craving.  I wanted real applesauce.   

Luckily, I had a plethora of locally-grown apples sitting in a bowl on my kitchen counter.  At this time of the year, I always buy a bunch of different varieties at the farmers market.  My current favorite is Autumn Crisp, a cousin of the famous Honey Crisp; it's juicy, crunchy, but not as sweet as the ubiquitous Honey Crisp.  I chopped-up 6 apples, put them in a pot with a splash of water, a cinnamon stick, and let the pot simmer for about 30 minutes.  Then I put the mixture through a food mill, my most unsophisticated kitchen gadget!  The resulting applesauce was still warm when I enjoyed the first few spoonfuls.  I felt my entire body relax.

Food is powerful.  It helps us to feel emotions that we otherwise might ignore.  In the case of this applesauce, it was the medicine that my body needed, after an evening of delicious excess.  Tell me, what foods have the power to make you feel better when you're suffering?  How do you calm your body, relax your mind, and bring harmony to your soul?

As always, let me know if you try my recipes - I love hearing your kitchen success stories!  And if you're interested and ready to work with me, please be in-touch soon, as my schedule is filling-up quickly.    

Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.

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print recipe here

Ingredients:  (note - use organic whenever possible)

6 apples - a mix of varieties makes the tastiest applesauce
1/4-1/2 C water
1 cinnamon stick (optional)

Directions:

Wash the apples.  Cut them into 8 wedges, discarding the core and seeds.  Place in a heavy-bottomed pot, along with 1/4 C water and a cinnamon stick, if desired.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and stir occasionally to prevent the apples from burning to the bottom of the pot.  If the apples seem too dry, add an additional 1/4 C water.  After 30 minutes, take a peek at the apples; they should be broken-down and mushy.  Remove from the heat and keep covered, allowing the apples to steam while they cool slightly.

If you have a food mill, assemble it with the medium blade and place over a large bowl.  Remove the cinnamon stick.  Pour the apples into the food mill and turn the handle to mash the apples into sauce. 

If not using a food mill, place the warm apples into a large mixing bowl, remove the cinnamon stick, and mash with a large fork or a potato masher to desired consistency.  Large pieces of apple skin may not break-down smoothly and should be discarded.

Pour the warm applesauce into a quart-sized mason jar and allow to cool to room temperature before placing the lid on top and chilling.  Or eat the applesauce right from the large bowl...it's most delicious while still warm!

Notes:
recipe yields 1 quart of applesauce
double or triple the recipe, if desired 
applesauce keeps well, covered and chilled, for 3-4 days