I’ve always loved applesauce. My Swedish family would tell me that my mom, who was my first and best inspiration for cooking, was a master of homemade applesauce. As I got older, she didn’t have time to make it from scratch anymore, but we always had a big jar of it in the fridge at home, and usually little snack packs that she would pack in our lunches. My favorite way to eat applesauce was slightly warmed with a little bit of milk and cinnamon. I really don’t know if that sounds like a weird combination or not, because to me that’s always just how it was. I still eat it from time to time, but generally buy it these days to use in baking.
While I have recently acquired a food mill in hopes of starting homemade tempeh production, today I certainly didn’t have enough time or apples to warrant breaking that piece of gadgetry in for applesauce. But it sounded so good! In an effort to increase my fruit and vegetable intake, especially in raw form, blending up a raw applesauce concoction sounded like the perfect solution.
I’m very picky about apples. I tend to favor the tarter side of the apple spectrum, and I only like crisp apples. (Red Delicious is probably the worst apple I know. That grainy mass of mush is something I just can’t get behind.) Lucky for me I live in the home state, nearly the home city, of the Honeycrisp apple. It’s a pricier apple, to be sure, but also one of the best apples you’ll ever sink your teeth into. If you haven’t had it, and you have access to it, I recommend it. It’s a delicious blend of sweet and tart, with the most amazing crisp when you bite into it. Hence, I gather, Honeycrisp. When it’s not in season, I like Pink Ladies, Fujis, Galas, and sometimes straight up Granny Smiths. The kind of apple you pick for raw applesauce will affect the final outcome since there’s no added sugar in this recipe, but you can vary the spices to your liking as well. I went for a tangy, warmly-spiced version.
This recipe is partially a result of what I had on hand at home, as well as trying to incorporate some more healthy ingredients into my meals. This explains the kiwifruit, and the coconut butter. Kiwifruit adds vitamins C and E and added dietary fiber in addition to its wonderful flavor. Virgin coconut oil is a healthy fat with a variety of beneficial properties, and it also makes a really great (and comparatively cheap) moisturizer. I have plain coconut oil at home, but I did opt for Artisana Amazon Bliss here, which also contains acai, maca, goji berries and cacao nibs. I could go on and on about the healthy properties of all the ingredients, but let’s just say this is both healthy AND delicious. By not cooking the apples, you are also preserving a lot of the nutrients, while leaving them unpeeled adds fiber and texture. (But if eating the peel weirds you out, or you don’t think you have a strong enough blender/food processor, feel free to peel them.)
Spicy Raw Applesauce (makes two servings):
2 c apples, cored and chopped
1 kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
juice of half to one lemon
1 tbsp coconut oil*
1 tsp garam masala, or other spice combination
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until desired consistency is reached, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. (If you can vary your speed, start with low and increase until the larger chunks of apples are incorporated.) This can take a few minutes depending on the strength of your blender.
Also, I was tagged by Krista and Lisa to tell you seven random things about myself. I’ve seen this meme a lot while reading my blogroll, so I’m going to cheat and not tag anyone to avoid double tagging. Here goes:
1) In the winter, my hands get really really dry from a combination of frigid Minnesota weather and the sanitizer solution we use at work. So dry they practically form scales and often crack and bleed on the knuckles…it’s really gross. I’ve begun combatting this by putting lotion on and wearing gloves whenever I can at work, and coming home and slathering lotion or coconut oil on my hands and slipping them into these little cotton gloves I have. They’re really snug-fitting, and make my hands feel weird, but it keeps the moisture in.
2) I stopped reading for pleasure once I finished college, especially fiction. (Novels that is, I read blogs for pleasure all the time!) I used to read all the time, several books a month, but now I’m not sure I’ve read any more books cover to cover than I can count on one hand. The most recent book I actually finished was Cherrie Moraga’s Loving in the War Years (which was really amazing).
3) I’ve never broken or sprained a bone (speedy recovery shellyfish!) or had surgery. Maybe I’m cursing myself my revealing this publicly, but there you have it.
4) Once I “snogged” a hairy coo on the Isle of Skye. This means that a highland cow ate a digestive biscuit that I was holding in my mouth. It wasn’t really as gross as it sounds, he was very considerate about neatly extracting this morsel without touching me with his slobber. Somewhere I have soundless video footage of this recorded with my first digital camera from 2001.
5) I’ve seen an elf owl, the second-smallest known owl in the world. We came upon it coming back to our campsite late at night in Bentsen-Rio Grande Park in southern Texas. Along with coming within ten feet of a ruffed grouse in a thicket along a northwestern Minnesota logging road, and finally spotting the very small and fast black-throated blue warbler, this is one of my favorite bird sightings.
6) My girlfriend and I can share most of our clothes, despite our height and leg-length differences. Shoes are another story. You know how lots of people who have been together for a long time start to look like each other in small, subtle ways? I think we’re morphing into the same person. Or at least, two people with one wardrobe.
7) I’ve sang karaoke twice in my life (I’m a shy person with terrible performance anxiety), the second time being last week at the only lesbian bar in town (which is now closed). My friend and I sang Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield.” I don’t know if people were more excited about the song itself or that we were singing it not-too-horribly, but there were people dancing wildly.