Easy Homemade Applesauce

I love fall. I love the cool crisp weather and the beautiful colors on the trees and the APPLES. My cousin, Christy, and I went to the Cherry Hill Apple Orchard today. They have a crazy selection of apples that they grow right there in their orchards. The apples are not organic, but Cherry Hill uses integrated pest management to reduce the need for pesticides, and they make efforts to be good stewards. I bought a 1/2 bushel of apples (about 22 pounds) for $12, which is 55¢ per pound – a great deal. Now I am not sure what I was thinking when I bought 22 pounds of apples. It didn’t look like that many apples when surrounds by gazillions of other apples, but in my kitchen, it sure was a lot of apples. I made two batches of applesauce and still have about 1/3 of the apples left in my fridge. These apples are so crisp and fresh (getting them right from the grower) that I think they will keep until next fall.

So here is how to make very easy homemade applesauce. Wash the apples, quarter them, cut out the seeds, and keep the skins on. Put them in a large pot. Fill the pot about 3/4 full with water. Put the lid on and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down a bit, keeping a gentle boil. Stir them a few times because the apples on the bottom cook more quickly. When the apples are soft, remove from the heat. (Using cold water it takes about 25 minutes to come to a boil and cook the apple.)

Use a fine mesh strainer to scoop the apples out of the pot. Strain and dump into a food processor. Fill food processor about 3/4 full. If you want, add a dash of cinnamon and a teaspoon of sugar. Food process until sauce reaches your preferred consistency. Dump applesauce into a container. Continue until all apples are sauce. You can have delicious homemade applesauce in less than 45 minutes! And it freezes very well.

What kind of apples make the best applesauce? I have no idea. I have made it with many different kinds of apples, and I think it usually tastes the same. I like to use sweet apples so that I can use little or no sugar. These were red delicious apples.

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I wanted to create an easy one-bowl-recipe for low fat muffins without egg replacer or tofu. Egg replacer isn’t complicated, but it adds one more step and has multiple ingredients (I prefer to use simple one ingredient products). These delicious muffins are really good for you if you skip the topping, but the topping makes them extra special and is worth the extra calories and second bowl needed for mixing it.

Muffins:
1 ½ cups of whole-wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup soymilk
2 cups of apples cut into small bits

Topping (optional):
¼ cup organic sugar
¼ cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons of vegan butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Wash and chop apples and set aside (I keep on their skins). In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon). Add wet ingredients (maple syrup, applesauce, and soymilk) and mix. Fold in the cubed apples. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray muffin tin with high heat canola oil (I used muffin wrappers for the pictured muffins, but they stuck a bit when I unwrapped them). Spoon the muffin batter into tin. You should have enough to make 12 muffins. In a small bowl mix all topping ingredients with your fingers and then crumble onto of the muffins. Bake at 400ºF for 23-25 minutes.

1 muffin without topping has 80 calories, 0 fat, and 1.6 grams of protein

1 muffin with topping has 126 calories, 3 grams of fat, .5 grams saturated fat, and 2 grams of protein

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Very Easy Vegan Apple Pie

Since finding Wholly Wholesome Whole Wheat piecrust, making pie has become one of the easiest (although high calorie) desserts.

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1 pack of 2 Wholly Wholesome Whole Wheat piecrust
5 medium apples (any kind you like)
2 TB flour
3 teaspoons of cinnamon and sugar
2 TB vegan butter

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1. Take piecrusts out of the freezer to begin thawing.
2. Wash apples and slice them thinly. I always leave on their skins – it gives it a nice texture.
3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour on the bottom of one of the crusts.
4. Place 2 sliced apples in the crust.
5. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon/sugar over apples.
6. Crumble 1 tablespoon of butter over apples.
7. Place remaining 3 sliced apples in crust.
8. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon/sugar and crumble 1 tablespoon of butter over apples.
9. Preheat oven to 400º.
10. While oven is preheating, put empty pie shell in oven for a minute to thaw just a bit. Remove from oven.
11. Using a sharp knife, cut around edge of the empty shell to take off the thick edge.
12. If you want a high calorie snack, place cutoff crusts on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar or salt.
13. Turn empty piecrust upside down over apple pie.
14. Place on a cookie sheet cover loosely with foil.
15. Bake pie and cutoff crusts at 400º for 15 min., flipping cutoffs once. Remove cutoffs and let cool.
16. Turn oven down to 350º and bake pie for another an hour, take off foil for the last 20 minutes. Let pie cool for at least an hour before serving.

Wholly Wholesome piecrust is made with Organic Non-Hydrogenated Palm Fruit Shortening. The smoke point of palm fruit shortening is about 450º.

High Calorie Details (it would be a lot less calories if you used only 1 crust): 1/8 of the pie has 408 calories, 26 grams of fat, 10 grams of sat fat, 0 cholesterol, and 4 grams of protein. Eek! Definitely only for special occasions!

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