My friend Linda in Fort Bragg gifted me a huge bag of apples from her backyard tree. These were organic, and wonderfully sweet Gala apples.
There were too many for our small family to eat before they went bad and the apples were too delicious to go to waste. I decided to make applesauce. The sauce would be delicious later in the year with roast pork or simply with yogurt for breakfast. They were so sweet I wouldn’t need to add much sugar or honey. To make things even easier for myself, I decided to keep the skin. It’s good for you, isn’t it? If you are not convinced, see the notes at the bottom of this post. By the time the apples cooked down the skin had melted into the apples, it was not noticeable. What the skin did do was gave the applesauce a gorgeous pink tint, helped by a small handful of cranberries. I froze this sauce (the canner was in the garage and I didn’t feel like all that “to-do”) to keep the freshness (yes, it did do that). This is the easiest ever applesauce but you could also call it lazy woman’s applesauce!
Easiest Ever Applesauce (recipe makes 2 quarts)
- 5-6 lbs. of apples, each washed, cored and cut into 7 pieces, unpeeled
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- handful of cranberries (optional)
- 2 inch piece of lemon rind
- 2 vanilla beans
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1/2-1 cup of water
- Sterilize 4 pint or 2 quart heat-proof jars by running them through the dishwasher on the hot cycle or filling with boiling water.
- Add the apples, cranberries (if using), lemon, vanilla, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of water to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and turn the heat to medium.
- Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning and checking to see if you need to add additional water.
- Using a potato masher, mash in the pan until your desired chunkiness. Taste and add honey to taste, these apples didn’t need much. I’ve seen a recommendation in other recipes for 1/8 cup of sugar to each quart of sauce.
- Fill the jars leaving 1 inch at the top to allow room for expansion.
- Screw on the lids and and let the jars cool on the counter before placing in your freezer.
If you have an abundance to apples from your own backyard tree (or a kind neighbors), I recommend this easy recipe. Adjust the amount of honey to the sweetness of the apples. A serving of this applesauce has the goodness of fresh apples with very little added sugar, with the extra benefit of keeping the skin. Doubtful? Here is more about the important nutrients contained in the peel:
The peel is home to ursolic acid, an important compound in the obesity-fighting ability of apples. Ursolic acid seems to increase muscle and brown fat, which in turn up calorie burn, thereby lowering obesity risk, at least in mice, according to a 2012 study.
In addition to the higher doses of certain nutrients, the apple skin offers several other health advantages. Eating the apple skin might reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, including liver, breast and colon cancers, according to Cornell University. The peel contains compounds called triterpenoids that have the power to destroy cancer cells, as well as prevent new cancerous cells from growing, Cornell University reports. A 2009 article published in the “Journal of Food Science” reports that the antioxidants in apple peels can help protect your heart health by preventing the oxidation of polyunsaturated fats. Oxidation of fats increases your risk of heart disease. – See more at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/470237-does-the-apple-skin-have-the-most-nutrients/#sthash.C4zhbiLi.dpuf
Lastly, an unpeeled apple has 5.4 grams of fiber, a peeled one only 2.8. Your microbiome will thank you for the peel.
Moral of the story, eat the peel. Wash it well if the apples aren’t organic, but it is still better to eat the peel even if they are not.
This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Jazzmine at A Dash of Jazz and the theme is nostalgia.