Monday, May 19, 2014

3-Ingredient Applesauce (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)


To be honest, I had never been a huge fan of applesauce growing up. The texture, the taste of the sugared stuff, I just never cared for it. Then, as my tastes changed, as they often do when you become an adult I grew to like at a simple, easy snack.

Speaking of learning to appreciate different foods as an adult, I tried something new this past week and had to share that experience.

For the first time I tried cooking beef liver. There are so many great benefits to eating organ meat, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Plus I know the hubby loves it. I found this delicious recipe for Beef Liver with Fig, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion Compote. Sounds so good right? Fig, bacon, and onions; how could this not be good??

I followed the recipe exactly as instructed, and it all smelled delicious. After piling it on a plate with a yummy side and taking pictures, I took a nice big bite with everything in it. I first tasted the AMAZING compote and immediately decided I would make that again. Thinking, this isn’t too bad, I continue to chew the first bite. Then it hits me, that grainy metal taste, and I was done! I could barely even choke down the bite I had taken. Nope, no can do, liver this way is not for me. I scraped off my compote and ate that with the side. They hubby, on the other hand, ate his piece and mine, and said it was great! At least I know, I can cook liver well. Next time I plan to try mixing it with other meat and try to get it in my body that way.




Back to applesauce. As I realized I enjoyed eating it, I decided to only eat the sugar free version. Why would you need to add sugar to applesauce anyway? Apples are sweet enough! Then, after still not being satisfied with the store bought version I thought, how hard can it be to make it myself?

Around this time we start our very first CSA. If you don’t what that is, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA's allow suburban and urban residents to have access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers. When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer. Weekly or bi-weekly, your farmer will deliver that share of produce to a convenient drop-off location in your neighborhood. 

Everyone week our CSA included a half dozen or a dozen apples. Considering there are only two of us in the house, the best thing I could do with all those apples would be make some homemade applesauce.

Ingredients 

6 apples peeled, cored, and chopped (any type)
1-2 teaspoon of lemon juice
½ cup of filtered water
Cinnamon (optional) add to taste



Equipment

Cutting board (er duh)
Apple corer (if you have one)
2- 16 oz mason jars
Potato masher or blender

Simply Made

Step 1

In large stock pot, add water and lemon juice to combine.

Step 2

Peel, core, and chopped apples in to small uniform pieces. It’s important to try and get them all around the same size to make sure they are cooked through at the same time. As you chop, add the pieces to the pot containing water often. This will help prevent the apple from turning brown.




Step 3

Place pot on burner at high heat. Bring water to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the apples have softened



Step 4

Remove from heat and choose method of mashing. If you like chunky applesauce you can use a potato masher until you reach desired consistency. Personally, I like it to be very smooth, so I put it in my blender and blend that sucker up.

Step 5

Here you have two chooses. 

1. Since you are only make 2 jars, all you need to do is be sure your mason jars have been cleaned thoroughly to pour the applesauce in to them. I recommend using a canning funnel, but if you don’t have one, you can spoon the mixture into the jars. These jars will need to go in the fridge and will last about 2 weeks once opened.

2. If you want to double or triple the batch and store them in the cupboard, you will need to follow proper canning protocol. Canned jars will last in a cupboard for around 6 months, not that mine ever last that long. Here is what you need to do that:


Equipment

Large canning pot (or large stock pot if you have it)
Kitchen Towel
4- 16 ounce mason jars

Proper Canning Instruction

Step 1 

Place kitchen towel at the bottom of stock pot. On top of that place empty jars, lids, and rings in pot and fill with water until it almost hits the top of the jars. 

Step 2

Bring to a boil and boil for at least 10 minutes to sterilize jars. I would recommend doing this while the apples are cooking down.


Step 3 

When apples mixture is ready for the jars, remove using jar lifter. Pour the mixture into jars using canning funnel, leaving a ½ inch head space. Remove lids and rings from pot using a lid lifter (I recommend getting this because they make life easy). Place lids and ring on each jar. Don’t go too tight, but enough that your hands can comfortable turn. Be sure rims are clean before placing lids and rims on the jars.

Step 4

Once jars are filled and seal, return them to large stock pot, and be sure there is enough water to cover 1 inch above the top of the jars. Add more water if necessary. Set burn to high and bring to boil.

Step 5

Once the water returns to boil, set timer for 20 mins. Keep an eye on the pot, you want it to be boiling steady, but not out of control. This is what can happen if you don't watch it:


Step 6

When time is complete, turn off heat and remove pot of burner. Carefully remove jars from pot with jar lifter and place on kitchen towel. You don’t want to put it directly on a cool surface for fear of shocking the hot jar.

Now just let them sit. You will soon hear the “pop” sound of the seal (our favorite part). It will take several hours for them to cool completely, so just leave them be. Once they are cool you store them in your cupboard. They will last for a few months in the on the shelf. When you’re ready, pull them out and enjoy! Just be sure to then store them in the fridge.


1 comment:

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