Tag Archives: homemade applesauce

Applesauce

15 Oct

I have been wanting to try my hand at home canning for a long time but for some reason it frightens me. I bought a canner this spring with the intention of canning jam, tomatoes, pickles and applesauce this year. Unfortunately, our garden harvest wasn’t as abundant as we had anticipated and we were able to keep up with the produce with ease. Our plum tree also failed to really produce well this year. Last year we were swimming in plums! Plus, being pregnant I have lost all energy to accomplish many of these extra tasks and struggle to keep up with the ordinary tasks of running a household and raising a toddler.

Since we went apple picking and brought home 23 lbs of apples, I had no excuse but to finally do some canning. Yesterday I made a big stock pot of applesauce. I used this video as a guide from one of my favorite blogs, Passionate Homemaking, that sadly is no longer active. Her video shows how to make easy no peel sauce.

I washed, cored and chopped my 11+ lbs of Jonagolds.

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Due to the size and strength of my blender I pureed my apples in batches of four chopped apples and 1/2 cup filtered water and repeated until all apples were pureed.

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Pour all pureed apple, skins and all, into a stock pot and warm on low heat. Add a little cinnamon and sucanat if desired to flavor and counter the tartness.

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Meanwhile, prepare your jars and water canner. Fill up your jars, leaving the appropriate head space and process for 20 minutes fully submerged in the boiling water.

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Remove your jars from the canner after 20 minutes and set to cool. After 24 hours check to see that the jars are sealed and don’t pop.

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Since this was my first time canning, I decided to only can 6 pint jars. I saved another jar that is a tad larger than a quart to go immediately into the fridge and the teeny bit extra I put in to a freezer container to freeze. Over all I made about 19 cups of sauce!

I was hoping Linden would love it as much as store bought sauce because it does have a slight gritty texture from the skins. It is more nutritious with the skins and heartier in my opinion but it had to pass the taste test after all the hard work!

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The verdict: Finger licking good! He devoured 2 bowls of sauce and asked for a third but I gave him an actual lunch instead.

I checked my jars today and they are all sealed so my first canning adventure was a success! It was not as scary as I had always imagined it to be. I will be more bold next time and can more.

 

 

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Apple Picking and Pumpkin Harvesting

13 Oct

I have never been apple picking, like real apple picking… I have picked a few off of my parent’s little tree but never in acres upon acres of trees and apples everywhere the eye can see!  I have been wanting to go for ever and today we finally made it happen. It also turned out to be the most beautiful fall day which made the whole thing perfect! We decided to go to Bellewood Acres. They are not a certified organic farm but use organic practices and are major supporters of the YES on I-522 so we felt super good about supporting their farm. They not only have 25,000 apple trees with 15 varieties to choose from but they also had a small pumpkin patch, apple crate train, corn fields, a distillery and a huge bistro and farm store where they sell ciders, pies etc. We made sure to bring home some honey crisp apple cider and could not pass up the delicious apple cider mini donuts they were cooking up outside!

We started our visit by posing at all of the photo spots, of course! Be prepared for this post being a mega photo dump.

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Then we ate our donuts and boarded the apple train.

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We were dropped off in the orchard and started our apple picking in the Honey Crisp rows because they are without a doubt my favorite apple ever! We also filled up another sack full of Jonagolds.

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Linden had so much fun picking the apples and putting them into the sacks. He also really enjoyed chucking the apples as far as he could toss them, much to my chagrin!

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After picking our apples, we went to harvest our little pumpkins. Linden loves pumpkins so much he kept giving them hugs and kisses hahah

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We made it home with two bags of apples, totaling 23 lbs 3oz! We prepaid for a 10 lb bag of both the Honey Crisps and Jonagolds but since you just fill up the bag yourself we came away with a few extra pounds!! After averaging out the cost we paid with how many apples we ended up with it came out to about $1.25 per pound! I plan on making a big batch of applesauce this week with the Jonagolds and just keeping the Honey Crisps for eating, except for a few which will go into a pie, of course.

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The Honey Crisps were more per pound compared to the Jonagolds but over all, they were way cheaper then we pay anywhere else and we got to pick them! It was nothing like I had expected either. I pictured tall trees and having to climb up ladders but this orchard is much more accessible because the apples are growing along vine like trestles which is much more efficient and kid friendly! I had such a fantastic time, despite my only getting 4 hours of sleep last night. The day was very memorable and we were able to kill two birds by just getting our pumpkins on the same day. We will most definitely return to the U-pick orchard next year and probably stock up on double the apples.

Whole30 Recap: The Final Days

23 May

Day 22

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With the start of our final week I had a sweet potato southwest style breakfast bowl. I remember lunch being super crazy this day because I was watching 2 kiddos along with Linden. I had about 10 minutes to throw something together and so I ate some tuna patties, frozen veggie mix with sesame seeds and an apple with almond butter. As a special treat to start off our last week, I made a SWYPO. A SWYPO is a no-no on the Whole30. It is basically something that mimics a non-Whole30 food like a healthy paleo muffin or pizza. I avoided making anything considered a SWYPO for the whole challenge but as a special treat I figured it would be ok once. So I made cauliflower pizza and salad with hard boiled eggs as my protein.

Day 23

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I still had a little bit of tempeh leftover from the BLTA’s  from last week so I tossed them into a breakfast egg wrap. For lunch I finished off the SWYPO pizza. We had an asian style dinner with cauliflower fried rice, “teriyaki” marinaded salmon and broccoli ginger broccoli.

Day 24

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My new favorite breakfast is the kale, tomato scramble. For lunch I had spaghetti squash with tuna and pesto. Dinner was leftovers of our asian dinner.

Day 25

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Can you tell how much I love kale scramble!? Leftover pesto lunch and mashed cauliflower, roasted asparagus, homemade applesauce and salmon cakes for dinner. Steven had pork chops on this day.

Day 26

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Another delicious southwest breakfast bowl.  I am getting a little tired of sweet potatoes though. Left over salmon cakes and vegetable bone broth soup for lunch and a smorgasbord dinner of veggies, almond spread, salmon cakes, apple sauce and sautéed zucchini.

Day 27

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Yummy Saturday breakfast of roasted sweet potatoes, almond spread and cucumber and burnt fried eggs! We were running out of food and went shopping later that afternoon which is why there is cucumber at breakfast. Also, I always manage to cook beautiful eggs for Steven and ultimately ruin mine every time because I am trying to do a million thing at once haha. Leftovers lunch: soup, salmon cakes, fruit and bell peppers. For dinner I tried a recipe for deconstructed fish tacos that turned out terrible. It looks nice in this picture but does not taste that great. I served it with watermelon and pineapple, almond coleslaw.

Day 28

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Sunday started out well. We had kale scramble for breakfast and then our day went horribly down hill when Linden had a seizure. Read about that here. We were at the hospital for 8 hours that day. We had been there for 3 hours when we realized it was 5pm and we had yet to eat lunch. Steven went to the hospital cafeteria and tried to find the most Whole30 compliant food he could. He did pretty well. My meal was a salad with balsamic and olive oil dressing with hardboiled eggs. He got a chicken salad but didn’t realize it had a soy ginger dressing. Soy is not allowed but C’est la vie! We thought we were doing well enough! We also were told we should be leaving soon after that. So we declined friendly offers for dinner because it seemed we would be home in enough time to actually cook up some dinner.  Little did we know that they lost Linden’s urine sample and we wouldn’t be discharged till after 10 pm. By the time we got to our car and went to the drug store to buy Motrin it was so late! We were absolutely exhausted and starving. Nothing was open, anything I could cook at home would take too long and too much energy and that is when our Whole30 died! We had horrible disgusting Taco Bell at nearly 11 at night. So close to the end of our Whole30 and it was ruined, cannon ball style! Bean and cheese burrito and nachos supreme no beef.

Day 29

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We had already meal planned for the week which included 2 more full Whole30 days and the start of the reintroduction phase. The reintroduction phase allows for dairy to be introduced on Day 1, gluten containing grains on Day 4, non-gluten containing grains on Day 7 and finally, legumes on Day 10.

Since we basically ruined that by consuming Taco Bell and defeated the purpose of a slow reintroduction phase, we decided to end our strict Whole30. As I said above, we had already meal planned and grocery shopped for the strict Whole30 and Dairy introduction so by default most of our remaining meals complied but for breakfast this day we celebrated by taking a walk to Starbucks for Americanos with cream and bagels with cream cheese.

Lunch was leftover nasty fish tacos, but I still had to cook them. I find fish is better freshly cooked instead of cooked and reheated. If I had already cooked it though, it would have saved us a Taco Bell stop haha.

Dinner was veggies, apple sauce and pork chops again because Steven said that was his favorite meal so far. I just had tuna cakes instead.

Day 30

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Our last day we had kale scramble for breakfast. I even had it for breakfast the past few days post Whole30 because it is so delicious. For lunch I had an apple with almond butter, soup and a cup of whole milk yogurt. Not very Whole30 compliant but close. I think I may have even eaten a slice of cheese as a snack that day too. We had leftovers for dinner.

We are finished. Not as strong as we had hoped to end this but life intervenes indeed!

I will write up my overall synopsis and results in another post. Stay tuned!

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