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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CHOCOLATE~ CARAMEL APPLESAUCE

Applesauce has developed a reputation as the least-sexy snack around, and for good reason.The prepackaged kind tends to consist of bland, runny pureed apples, sugar and preservatives.Clearly, you’re better off making your own, which is great because it’s absurdly easy and has the added benefit of making your house smell amazing.



Nothing says fall more than apples!
Crisp, juicy apples and cider, fresh from a local orchard...
candy apples at the fair... or a house filled with the wonderful
aroma of apples and spice coming from the kitchen.




There's something about the fresh autumn apple that's definitely worth capturing and savoring all year.  I had a hankering for some fresh homemade apple-sauce. So over the weekend I whipped up a batch and it turned out amazing! Here’s an easy recipe for you to try. Home-made apple sauce is a great low-calorie, nutritious snack.







No peel applesauce makes for easier preparation that yields a beautiful sauce full of extra nutrients.Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce is an ideal texture for even early post-ops; smells like heaven and is super easy for even a non cook. Make a big batch; your family will eat it up. Blend your delicious applesauce with unflavored yogurt, cottage or ricotta cheese, or use to sauce thinly sliced roasted turkey tenderloin or chicken thighs.

Whitney Crab Apple Tree

Eating fruit is part of a nutritional diet but apple skins specifically contribute to preventing chronic diseases. Apple skins contain phytochemicals and quercetin, which can be linked to a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes.

The phytochemicals in the apple skins also work as antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants help your body remain healthy by fighting off the process of oxidation, which could lead to life threatening diseases. Apple peels can help to reduce the growth of cancer cells in the liver and colon.

Directions:

1. Prepare your water bath by filling with water 3/4 way up the side of the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. In the meantime, sterilize your glass canning jars in the dishwasher by running them through a cycle. Place a small pot on the stove with the canning lids to sterilize as well. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer while you can the applesauce.

2. Cut your apples into large chunks, removing the core and seeds. No peeling is necessary!I use this handy dandy cutting device I found at the apple orchard.Remember to add the cores to your flower beds... the worm friends will love ya!
3. Place the apples in small quantities in your blender and add approximately 1/2 cup  apple cider before pulsing/blending the mixture until smooth. Add more cider as necessary.
Process the Apples with Water
4. Transfer pureed apples to a large stock pot and  add 1 small  bottle caramel syrup( the kind you flavor coffee with), a package dry hot chocolate mix and cinnamon (I use about 1 Tbsp cinnamon and 1 Tbsp or more apple pie spice for a large stock pot full of applesauce). Heat sauce until just warm. Add 1 Tbsp. vanilla.

5. Once the applesauce is heated and sweetened, pour carefully into your sterile glass quart size canning jars (a funnel is ideal for this process). Place hot lids on jars .
6. Place jars in a boiling water bath. Once water bath is full of jars, cover, and return water to boiling point. Once it is boiling, process for 20 minutes, Transfer to the counter to cool completely.


Now get  to making some applesauce! It really is that easy and not very expensive. Once you taste homemade applesauce you’ll wonder what the store-bought variety is really from.


Give a jar to friends and family with some granola. What great Christmas gifts !