Lunchbox Monday: Applesauce, Homemade and Naturally Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on October 12, 2011

Greetings!  And yes, I know it’s Wednesday.  Sigh.  I need to get on track here.  Part of what I have been doing lately is organizing everything that got out of whack this summer from all the book and life busy-ness.  Still working on it, but feeling much less crazed this week.  I swear, the older I get, the more I realize my true need to take breaks and find calm during even the most busy days.  It is a constant learning process for me.

As you can imagine, I am craving comfort foods.  I have many comfort foods up my sleeve.  But the one that is most on my mind at the moment is applesauce. I don’t think you get something so simple, easy, and perfect to make and to eat.  We have two dwarf apple trees in our garden–one Honeycrisp and one Liberty–which both reach about waist high on me.  They produce a ton of full-sized apples.  We harvested the apples last week.  (I use the royal we, but it was actually dAhub who did it).  And so, my mind has been on how to use them.  As I’ve discussed in the past, I have Oral Allergy Syndrome to many raw fruits, including apples.  Therefore, I can’t eat raw apples (much to my sadness).  So, dAhub and Girlfriend are able to eat our apples out of hand, but I need to find recipes made with cooked apples so I can enjoy them as well.

In addition to apple pie, applesauce is always one of the first things I make with our apples.  The applesauce I make is sweetened with honey, and I was fortunate enough to find Seattle honey–even better, honey from my neighborhood–at one of the farmer’s markets next door.  So, this particular applesauce is locavore in the extreme.

This recipe is quite easy and leaves room for your own adaptations.  I am not a huge cinnamon in applesauce fan, so I make mine with a tiny hint of cinnamon.  But you can add more to your own taste.  It makes about 4 cups of applesauce, which for us is about a week’s worth.  I put it in Girlfriend’s lunchbox.  I eat it for my own breakfast or lunch.  And dAhub snacks on it when he’s puttering in the kitchen.  I had no idea how special this was until dAhub commented on how much he likes my applesauce and how weird that was because he usually hates applesauce.  I had no idea. Even after 16 years you can learn something about your partner.  Also, I freeze it in popsicle molds for after-school treats.

One thing to note is that I puree this applesauce with an immersion blender so it’s smooth, but you can puree yours in a blender or a food processor.  Or you can use a hand-held potato masher and make your sauce a bit chunky.  Experiment!

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