Fall means it’s apple season

Making applesauce can be a quick and fun activity to do with your kids.

Looking for a fun activity to do with your kids? After a trip to the apple orchard to pick some apples, why not make some applesauce!

Apples are very nutritious. The average 3.5 ounce apple has 52 calories. There are about 14 grams of carbohydrates in an apple. These carbohydrates are divided into ten grams of sugar and four grams of dietary fiber.

Although typically eaten raw, apples can be made into yummy desserts such as apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, preserved for later by canning or freezing them.

Making apple sauce is very easy to do. Select apples that are a combination of sweet, juicy and crisp. Some favorite apple sauce varieties are Braeburn, Cortland, McIntosh, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Jonamac, Ida Red or Rome. For a tart flavor, try adding one or two pounds of tart apples to each three pound of sweeter fruit.

Wash, peel and core apples. To prevent the apples from turning dark, a commercial ascorbic acid mixture can be used. (Be sure to read the label on the container for how much to use). Another method to use is one teaspoon of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to one gallon of water. Put the apples in the solution until all the apples for apple sauce are peeled and sliced. Drain the apples. Put the apples into an eight to ten quart sauce pot. Add half of a cup water. Stir occasionally to prevent the apples from sticking and burning. Heat the apples quickly until they are tender. This will take anywhere from five to 20 minutes depending upon the maturity and variety of apple.

For a chunky style apple sauce mash the apples with a potato masher. For a fine almost silky style sauce press the apples through a sieve or food mill. If desired, add about 1/8 cup sugar per quart of sauce. If you desire a sweeter sauce, taste and add more sugar. Remember adding sugar also adds calories.

From here, the applesauce can be eaten hot or chilled and eaten.

If you’re canning the applesauce for later, Michigan State University recommends reheating the sauce to boiling. Pack into hot clean jars, leaving a ½-inch head space. Remove the air bubbles. Wipe the jar rims with a damp clean paper towel. Adjust the lids and process in the boiling water bath technique: Pints for 15 minutes. Quarts for 20 minutes.

Making applesauce is a great way to enhance a child’s reading skills (reading the recipe), math skills (counting the apples, measuring the cups of apples and amount of sugar) and food safety (washing the hands before working in the kitchen).

So if it is fall, it is apple season. Why not make some applesauce today!

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