Sunday, May 10, 2015

How to make Applesauce at home

My experiment with making applesauce at home began very recently. Though I have heard about the good factors, it never occurred to me to try making it at home. My tryst with the farmer's market shopping made me buy a large bag of apples. I set out to make applesauce the very next day.
It is a very easy process and I froze the cooled pureed applesauce in 1/2 cup measures. I have been using it in place of oil/fat in baking. Remember I have been making muffins and quickbreads and freezing them in batches. It is a goto food when I or my little one want a quick snack.

Makes 2 cups of applesauce
Apples, Fuji variety - 1 kg (2 lb)
Water - 1/4 cup
Sugar - a pinch (optional)

Wash, peel and core the apples. Chop into 1" pieces. Place in a heavy bottomed pan with water and sugar. Cover and cook in medium heat for 30-40 minutes until the apples are soft. Allow to cool and puree in the blender until smooth.
This can be used right-away as a snack or as an oil substitute for baking.
Or you could measure 1/2 cup quantities and pour in a freezer safe ziploc bags and freeze flat in a plate. When frozen, place in another large ziptop bag and date it.
To make chunky applesauce:
Reserve half of the cut apples and add them at the 20 minute mark. Blend with an immersion blender or just pulse a few times in the blender.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Morning Glory Muffins (Low Calorie/Vegan) | Muffins and Quick Bread Recipes

My LO has taken a liking to muffins and quick-breads and I am making many varieties of muffin batches like this Very Berry Muffins and this recipe here. This muffin here uses less oil than the typical morning glory muffins and substitutes apple sauce instead. I have also used Agave syrup instead of regular sugar making it a teeny bit naturally sweetened. I store the batch in a freezer safe ziptop bag and pullout one whenever needed and microwave for half a minute. 
Adapted from here
Makes 12 muffins
Whole Wheat flour - 2 cups (can use a mix of both whole wheat and all-purpose flour)
Cinnamon powder - 2 tsp
Ginger powder - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Grated carrots - 2 cups (about 4 medium sized carrots)
Dried fruits - 1/2 cup (I used a mix of cranberries, raisins and figs)
Unsweetened Applesauce - 1 cup (recipe follows)
Oil -1/2 cup (Canola/vegetable)
Agave nectar - 1/2 cup (can substitute honey/maple syrup)
Vanilla extract - 1 tbsp
Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners or grease with oil. Sieve the dry ingredients (first 6) together. Mix the grated carrots, dried fruits, applesauce, oil, agave and vanilla in a separate bowl with a fork. Pour over the flour mixture and mix until no streaks of flour remain. Set aside for 10-15 minutes (You could also preheat the oven at this time). Fill in muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes. When done, transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container for a few days or freeze in a ziptop bag for several weeks.
Note: Fan of nuts? Add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts in the batter before baking.