Homemade Applesauce: Natural, Tasty, Surprisingly Easy
Apples are everywhere in stores and farmer's markets this time of year, but bobbing for apples isn't the only fun thing you can do with this versatile fruit. Making homemade applesauce is easier than you might think, and offers a chance to showcase the sweet and tart flavors of different varieties.
Applesauce is a kid-friendly way to have an apple a day while offering protection against cancer--a Cornell researcher found that apples contain a phytonutrient called quercetin, which is more effective in blocking tumors than vitamin C. In fact, one apple "packs more cancer-fighting antioxidant capability than a 1,500-milligram megadose of vitamin C."
Start with apples from your local farmers market and follow these recipes(1, 2) to make your very own applesauce. Applesauce can be served both hot and cold with additional toppings of whipped cream, ice cream, or yogurt. Or try to make homemade apple butter, a delicacy unequaled by the stuff you can find in the store. Many savvy cooks keep homemade applesauce in the freezer to have on hand as a low-fat substitute in baked goods.
Applesauce is one of those kitchen techniques that needs to be demystified, while the different apple varieties need to be discovered and savored with the appreciation of a connoisseur. A little elbow grease yields a far superior product that can be canned and passed along as homemade gifts.