Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Apple a Day...Dixon Farm Apples

An apple a day may or may not keep the doctor away, but it is certainly an excellent bit of advice.

We just received a fantastic gift from some of our friends back in New Mexico.  Dixon Farms near Cochiti Lake in New Mexico is the home of the best apples in the entire world.  Yes, this is my own personal opinion, naturally, but anyone who has tasted their Champagne apples knows what I am talking about.

I used to buy bushels of these yellow apples and made homemade applesauce for my brand-new baby.  He's 23 now, so he must have thrived on that applesauce.

One of the biggest reasons for making my own applesauce is that I was in total control of how much salt and sugar was in the end product. By making my own baby food (and canning it) I taught my child to learn to taste the natural flavor of the food.

Did you know that salt is designed to make you eat more. It is certainly a taste enhancer, but it causes people to actually eat too much.  If you've been told to lay off the salt, do so for both your blood pressure and your weight.

The easiest way to make applesauce is to peel the apples.  (When you use organic apples, you know that you can place peels and cores in your compost pile without any concerns for lingering pesticides.) Remove the core and cut the apple into chunks of about one inch.

Fill a stainless steel pot with your apple chunks and turn the heat on medium-low. As the apples begin to heat they will sweat.  Cover the pot to retain all this fluid.  Cook gently, stirring from time to time, until the apples are completely softened.  Different varieties of apples take different amounts of time to cook until the apples are soft.  Some people like their applesauce totally smooth, in which case you need to run the cooked apples through a Foley mill.  I recommend this if you intend to use the applesauce for baby food.

Otherwise, leave a few chunks in the applesauce and it will look a little more like this:

When making applesauce, you can add a tiny bit of cinnamon, but I prefer to make my applesauce completely plain, and that way everyone can add cinnamon to their own taste.

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