I do my best to prepare recipes that will work for my entire family. That is a tall order, since my 2-year-old currently eats like, well, a 2-year-old. He prefers grilled cheese and chicken nuggets to everything and actually tells me he doesn't like green food. How has he possibly already learned that?! Green is his favorite color!
I haven't been shy about my love of preparing large portions of recipes and freezing them (like most recently with these sweet potato muffins and these breakfast burritos) because when I find something that works, I want it in bulk. These boys of mine eat so much. One super simple autumn recipe that can be adapted a zillion ways is homemade apple sauce. I know, you're probably rolling your eyes like "duh!", but seriously - do you make your own apple sauce? Because you should! It's ridiculously easy and tastes so authentic when made at home. It can easily be stored and frozen, then defrosted or reheated. Plus, when it's served hot, it's an indulgent treat for this lady.
OXO Tot sent over a few products for me to try out with my apple sauce recipes - the food masher and glass baby food blocks (awesome for stashing in the fridge or freezer, with no BPA!) and the feeding spoon set. They were super useful, not just in prepping the apple sauce quickly but for storage purposes, too. My method with apple sauce is prepping and cooking the apples, then dividing into two batches and seasoning each slightly different depending on who will be eating it in my family. I make my 2-year-old Everett a basic version of apple sauce, keeping the recipe free of added sugars but with lots of cinnamon (his favorite seasoning.) And I make myself and my husband a spiced version, with caramelized onions and nutmeg and allspice, served heated over pork or chicken. Yum. Apple sauce is a win for everyone in this family!
A Few Notes:
1. You can prepare these two recipes side by side in two large stockpots so to easily prep and cook both recipes at the same time.
2. I don't bother with peeling the apples, because once they cook down I don't think the skins are any kind of nuisance. I prefer my apple sauce with some texture. How you like them apples?
3. I use any and every type of apple - not picky over here. Each time the flavor is a little different, based on the type of apples used!
Apple Sauce for Toddlers
- 4-6 apples, diced
- 1 cup water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Spiced Apple Sauce for Adults:
- 2-4 apples, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 cup water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp. each: allspice, nutmeg & cinnamon
- a dash of cloves
1. Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.
2. Using the OXO food masher, mash the softened/cooked apples to desired consistency. I like my apple sauce a little chunky, but I mash it up extra good for Everett to enjoy.
3. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer and serve as needed.
Honestly, I would have to make, like, a quadruple batch to actually have enough to freeze, because we go through this stuff so fast. But the OXO glass baby food blocks are awesome because they are made of borosilicate glass, which is thermal shock resistant. This means they can go directly from the freezer to the oven or microwave, and there's no need to wait until the apple sauce is fully defrosted before heating it up. Which is what I like to do with it. HOT APPLES, YOU GUYS. There's nothing quite like it. :) One more thing to note - if you like your apple sauce really smooth, then you could always throw the hot apple mixture from the stockpot directly into a blender. But using the food masher is a really quick and less messy way to achieve apple sauce when your little ones are pulling on you for a fast snack.
Other fun uses for apple sauce:
- serve heated over ice cream (yes please. Please.)
- to replace eggs in baked goods
- served atop french toast/pancakes
- in oatmeal, to naturally sweeten
How do you make your apple sauce? Any wild ingredients I should try to mix things up a bit? Let me know if you try out these recipes, because I would love to hear what you think!
P.S. - Other apple recipes that I obsess over - my roasted pumpkin & apple butter, this blueberry-apple baked oatmeal, and this apple & spinach green juice.
Many thanks to OXO Tot for sending me free products to include in this post. All opinions expressed are my own. And many thanks to you for reading and supporting brands that continue to make this blog possible!