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Tag Archives: applesauce

Seven Recipes to Use Up Apples (and how to freeze them)

One of the many things I fell in love with when I first saw our current home were the apple trees in the garden. Both produce eating apples, one red and one green. Every summer since we moved in, we’ve had loads. And every year I promise myself that I’ll be better the following year with using them!

7-Apple-Recipes

So what can you do when you have too many apples? Here are some delicious recipes to eat now or to put in the freezer or pantry for later.

1. Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Chutney

NaturalKitchenAdventures-SlowCookerSpicedAppleChutney

Source: Natural Kitchen Adventures

The perfect accompaniment to a cheeseboard, this spiced apple chutney from Natural Kitchen Adventures is cooked in the slow cooker making it super easy – just throw everything in and leave it to cook itself! You can feel super organised by keeping some of this chutney for Christmas, when there’s never enough time to cook.

2. Carrot, Apple and Oat Breakfast Cookies

MyFussyEater-Healthyreakfastookies

Source: My Fussy Eater

A cookie you can eat for breakfast? Yes, please! Packed with healthy ingredients (oats, carrots and bananas as well as apples), these are a terrific way to get more fruit and vegetables into any fussy eaters you may have. Apart from grating the carrot and apple, this is a quick and easy ‘throw together and mix’ recipe.

3. Apple Crumble Flapjacks

CharlottesLivelyKitchen-AppleCrumbleFlapjack

Source: Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen

Charlotte’s apple crumble flapjacks would be a wonderful after school snack as well as a delicious dessert with custard. They’re so simple and quick to make, and a great way to get your little ones helping in the kitchen. These aren’t going to last long in our house!

4. Apple Cinnamon Blondies

MarshasBakingAddiction-AppleCinnamonBlondies

Source: Marsha’s Baking Addiction

These blondies from Marsha’s Baking Addiction look so lusciously gooey and packed full of apple. Like all my favourite recipes, they take very little time to prepare and better still, everything is mixed together in the one bowl, no mixer needed. Perfect for afternoon or dessert as the days are getting cooler, I can’t decide whether these would taste better with ice-cream or custard.

5. Mini Cardamom Apple Pies

DomesticGothess-MiniCardamomApplePies

Source: Domestic Gothess

These super cute mini apple pies from Domestic Gothess are spiced with cardamom and cinnamon. Make several batches to keep in the freezer to impress unexpected guests. And I won’t tell anyone if you use store-bought pastry to make them even easier and quicker.

6. Homemade Apple Chips 

LivingSweetMoments-AppleChips

Source: Living Sweet Moments

No dehydrator is necessary to make these yummy apple chips or crisps. While you’ll get a good arm workout slicing them, after that the oven does all the work. They should keep well in an airtight container or ziplock bags, and would be perfect to add to school lunch boxes.

7. Unsweetened Apple Sauce

apple sauce

Source: The Gingerbread Mum

Apple sauce isn’t just for babies or to eat with roast pork. It’s a brilliant sweetener and sugar substitute, and super easy and quick to make. You can freeze batches of sauce either in ice cube trays or ziplock bags depending on how you’ll use it later.

How to Freeze Apple

If you still have apples to use, simply freeze them. Then you’ll always have a supply to use in cakes, crumble or even smoothies. Shelly from Frugal Family Home has some advice for how to freeze apples.

What’s your favourite way to use up apples?

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Spinach muffins

Yes, you read correctly, spinach muffins. And they’re sweet. I’ll let you have a minute to get your head around that.

Still can’t imagine what they’d taste like? Don’t worry, neither could I when I came across the recipe by Weelicious. I’m still on my mission to get more vegetables into Nicholas, so I thought I’d continue my attack from a sweet angle too.

I’ve made two batches of these now, modifying the original recipe both times. Honestly, they’re a strange taste sensation and I certainly won’t be waking up any time soon thinking ‘Mmmm, I fancy a spinach muffin.’ But I made them for Nicholas not me.

Reading the numerous comments for the original recipe, many people who’ve made them say you can’t taste the spinach and that they taste like plain vanilla muffins. For me the spinach taste is strong, and its metallic flavour in combination with the vanilla is probably what confuses my taste buds. But I made them for Nicholas not me.

The original recipe has applesauce and sugar. I replaced the sugar with honey to be healthier (I honestly can’t see the point in packing a muffin with spinach goodness if you then add sugar, sorry). I also left out the salt, as just reading that in the ingredient list made my taste buds apprehensive, and again why add it to your munchkin’s food if you probably don’t need to (after tasting them I think adding the salt would make the clash between sweet and savoury too much).

For my second batch I also left out the baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) as I really don’t like the taste of it in muffins. It didn’t affect the texture and the taste was better. Yes, for me, but I made them for Nicholas not me!

Nicholas has eaten them but without gusto, however he hasn’t been completely well this week. We’re going to the joint first birthday party of Nicholas’ best friend at the weekend. It’s a party with all the babies from his antenatal group, so I will go armed with my spinach muffins and see how they go down with a pack of one-year-olds.

SPINACH MUFFINS

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Makes 12 small muffins
Freezable

1 cup fresh spinach, packed tightly
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (apple puree)
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Extra vegetable oil, for greasing muffin tin

Preheat oven to 175C and grease your muffin tin with a little vegetable oil.

Put the spinach, applesauce, egg, vanilla, honey and vegetable oil in a food processor, and puree until the spinach has broken up into small pieces and the mixture has combined.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a medium-sized bowl.

Pour the spinach mixture into a large bowl and carefully fold in the flour mixture, mixing just enough to combine the ingredients (mixing too much will make your muffins heavy).

Divide your mixture evenly between the 12 muffin holes.

Bake for 12-15 mins until a skewer comes out clean.

Banana teething biscuits (take two and sugar-free)

Exactly two months ago I made my first attempt at teething biscuits from a recipe I found on Kids Spot. I’m a bit ashamed now to look at the photos of my very crisp (some would say burnt) biscuits! I’ve been playing around with the recipe since then and am finally happy. I’ve also made them sugar-free!

You’re really making a banana loaf, slicing it and then cooking it again. I’m sure there are lots of other flavours you could try this technique with; a carrot loaf immediately springs to mind… hmmm, I don’t think my experimenting with teething biscuits has finished! Also because you’re making a loaf or cake, you can substitute the sugar with applesauce/apple puree, which you can’t do if you’re baking traditional biscuits (they won’t crisp up).

Look at my original post if my instructions aren’t clear in terms of cutting the loaf to make the biscuits or you aren’t sure how to line the tin, as I included more photos there.

These biscuits aren’t super sweet, but certainly sweet enough for most babies and toddlers. My discerning client is very happy with them 😉

SUGAR-FREE BANANA TEETHING BISCUITS

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1hr 30 mins
Makes about 20
Freezable

2 tbsp applesauce/apple puree
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 1/2 bananas)
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat oven to 180C and line a slice tin with baking paper.

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until well combined.

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown on top and cooked through when tested with a skewer.

Take the banana loaf out of the oven, remove from the tin and let cool a little. Leave the oven door open to cool and drop the temperature to 150C.

Once cool enough to handle, cut the loaf into slices about 1 cm in width (using a bread knife is easier). Lay the slices on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for another 20-30 minutes.

Leave the biscuits to cool on a wire rack and they will harden as they cool.

Tip: if your biscuits start to soften being kept in an airtight container, pop them into the oven at 150C and bake them again (10-15 mins should be enough).

French toast soldiers (sugar-free)

Breakfast. I’m never that creative with my own so I guess it’s logical that I struggle to be creative with Nicholas’. Mashed banana and yogurt has been our staple since his early days of weaning. He still eats it about three times a week, it never fails (he starts chanting ‘nana!, nana!’ as soon as I pick up a banana), and I can prepare it while still half asleep. But regardless of whether or not he gets bored of it, I get bored preparing it and also feel guilty that I should be giving him more of a variety of food to start the day.

In the early months of weaning I did grated apple, grated pear, grated apple and pear (!), and baby porridge. I don’t know why I never thought of French toast then. Slightly crispy on the outside, and lovely and soft inside, it’s certainly something a baby can tackle with their super strong gums, and a great baby-led weaning food. It’s also a nice way to introduce baby to other flavours like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

Thanks to Once a Month Mom, I discovered you can freeze French toast after you make it (saves you throwing away the unused egg mixture), make it into kabobs, and, more surprisingly, you can hide vegetables in it (she adds butternut squash puree!). I haven’t tried adding vegetables, but I have tried adding some mashed banana and also applesauce to the mixture before dunking the bread and these additions both work well.

You can dunk your soldiers in applesauce or a warm berry compote, drizzle with golden syrup or maple syrup, or serve them with fruit on the side (raw or stewed). Nicholas seems to like them as I do – plain with a drizzle of honey.

FRENCH TOAST SOLDIERS (SUGAR-FREE)

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Makes 1 toddler serving
Freezable

1 slice of bread, cut into 4 or 5 ‘soldiers’
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg
1 tsp honey (optional)
a couple of drops of vanilla essence (optional)
1 tsp butter

In a bowl large enough for your ‘soldiers’ to lie down in, lightly beat the egg, milk, and cinnamon or nutmeg (and honey and vanilla, if using).

Lay your ‘soldiers’ in the eggy mixture and let them soak on both sides while you heat the butter in a small frying pan over a med-low heat.

Fry the bread for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown.

Variations:

  • add mashed banana or applesauce (or even pureed butternut squash or sweet potato!) to the mixture before dunking
  • use cute cookie cutters to make different shapes of ‘soldiers’ to surprise your little one

Sugar-free carrot loaf

I don’t know about you, but when 4 o’clock comes around my tummy starts feeling empty. Nicholas is usually napping and I’m ready to sit down, have a coffee and not think of mummy things for a little while. Then my mind wanders to thinking about what chocolate we have in the house!  So looking for something healthier for me that could also be a healthier sweet snack or breakfast option for Nicholas, I thought I’d try adapting this Foodista recipe for breakfast carrot muffins.

I used wholemeal flour and used my apple sauce instead of sugar to be healthier. I also substituted the butter with vegetable oil, upped the carrot, added some sultanas and vanilla for extra sweetness, and some spice (cinnamon and nutmeg). I was very happy with the result – a dense moist loaf. Next time I’ll try adding some walnut pieces for some crunch.

This recipe works well both as a loaf or as muffins. Spread with some butter to be indulgent!

SUGAR-FREE CARROT LOAF

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hr
Makes 1 loaf
Freezable

2 cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup grated carrot (packed in as tight as you can!)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sultanas


Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg) in a medium-sized bowl.

To the grated carrot mix in the wet ingredients (apple sauce, beaten egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla).

Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix fairly quickly to combine. Stir through the raisins and sultanas.

Pour into the loaf tin and cook for 50-60 mins until golden on top and cooked when tested with a skewer.

Variations:

  • add some chopped walnuts
  • add some powdered ginger or cardamom for some extra warm spice
  • make as muffins

Tip: if you have a food processor, check if you have a grating attachment to make preparing the carrot faster and easier.

Sugar-free apple pikelets

I’ve now whipped up three batches of apple sauce (or applesauce as Americans seem to use). Like most things, the more times you do it the easier it gets and I now feel like I know what I’m doing!

I thought I’d try it out this time as a sweetener in my banana pikelet recipe, replacing the honey. I still have a few banana pikelets in the freezer so I made apple pikelets this time using grated apple. I also meant to add some sultanas to the batter, but my mind drifted onto other things and I forgot. Oh well, there’s always a next time!

Pikelets are small pancakes and are perfect for children to cook when they’re old enough to start doing supervised things in the kitchen. They’d also be a good way to get kids to experiment with different flavour combinations.

These pikelets, like my banana pikelets, aren’t super sweet. You could add some honey to the batter or serve them drizzled with honey or, if you’re not worried about them being sugar-free, add 1/4 cup of sugar to the batter. And don’t worry if you don’t have bicarbonate of soda, as they work just as well without.

Pop the leftovers in the freezer to have for breakfast or a snack another day.

SUGAR-FREE APPLE PIKELETS

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Makes about 20
Freezable

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 sweet apple, grated
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
small piece of butter, melted, to grease the pan

Sift flour, bicarbonate and cinnamon into a medium-sized bowl. Add grated apple, apple sauce and egg, and mix to combine. Gradually add the milk until you get a fairly thick batter (you might not need to add all the milk).

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and brush with melted butter. Use a tablespoon to drop the mixture into the pan. Cook in batches, turning when bubbles appear on the surface (1-2 mins). Cook the other side until golden brown (about 1 min). Lift out and cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm.

Variations:

  • add sultanas or raisins to the batter
  • use other fruit instead of the grated apple (mashed banana, whole blueberries, mashed strawberries, etc.)

Tip: Wipe your pan clean with a piece of paper towel after each batch and then brush with some more melted butter.

Apple sauce

I’ve made apple sauce before on many occasions but only as an accompaniment to pork. In fact I think that’s the only way I’d ever eaten apple sauce. Trawling the internet for baby-friendly recipes I kept coming across apple sauce used as a sweetener then discovered its use as a sugar substitute. So I searched for some recipes just to be sure it didn’t have any ‘secret’ ingredients.

I was surprised to discover that the majority of recipes had sugar in them (maybe my searching skills aren’t as good as I think they are!). Hmmm, why put sugar in something you’re using as a sugar substitute? Ok, you’re still reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe and yes, some apples need some sweetening up, but why not just use sweet apples? Armed with some sweet Gala apples I was ready to experiment.

One of the things I dislike most in the kitchen is peeling fruit and vegetables. One of the reasons is that I’m super clumsy and easily distracted so no matter how much I try to concentrate I always manage to either peel some of my finger or slice through a nail. And besides wounding myself, peeling can take up a lot of time.

I decided not to peel the apples and see how the sauce turned out. Not only did it save me loads of time, but there’s lots of goodness in the peel. If, like me, you don’t have one of those wonderful gadgets that cores and chops your apples into wedges in one go, just chop the four sides off each apple, chopping the large pieces in half. I also added some slices of lemon to the pot to stop the apple from browning as it cooked.

Some recipes add ground cinnamon after pureeing. I wanted to keep my apple sauce plain as you can always add cinnamon at the point when you’re adding it to a recipe. Some people also add some butter as well as sugar to the finished sauce. I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

So how did my experiment of leaving the peel on work out? Well the peel does produce a slightly grainy texture to the sauce after pureeing it. If you’re using the sauce in other recipes you’d never know this though. Even if I was feeding the sauce to a baby (either on its own or mixed with other fruit or vegetables) I honestly wouldn’t worry about the texture.

APPLE SAUCE

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Makes about 1 1/2 cups or about 450ml of sauce
Freezable

6 sweet apples (eg. Gala, Red Delicious or Fuji)
1 cup water
2 slices of lemon

Chop the four sides off each apple and chop the large pieces in half. Put the chopped apple in a medium pot with the water and slices of lemon.

Bring to the boil then drop the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so the apple cooks evenly.

Drain the apple and discard the lemon. Puree in the pot with a hand blender.

Now I’m off to make something with my apple sauce!