By Fredrica Syren
In my gardens, I always have grown fruits, herbs and vegetables to provide food for my family. The one thing I never have grown, though, is apples, and here I am now in Sweden with two big apples trees. They have been producing so many apples that I have been swimming in them. Sure, we’ve enjoyed eating a ton of apples but I couldn’t keep up with the volume of harvest. So I went into full let’s-make-something-of-these-apples-and-preserve–them mode.
I asked you all on Facebook for some ideas, and you all delivered great ones. Here are some recipes that I tried that were successful for me. Since I don’t add preservatives, I have to freeze cooked apple dishes or we have to consume them within days. I always freeze in glass containers and in small amounts to (A) reduce the use of plastic and (B) make defrosting the right amount easy.
Making applesauce from fresh apples is so easy, and it tastes great. On weekends, my kids love eating applesauce with hotdogs to mimic a fast food meal. (I know — sad). The secret is that I don’t add sugar. Instead, I add some vegetables to it make it even more nutritional. Our 6-month-old baby also loves this applesauce.
2 large sweet apples
Peel fruit and vegetables, and remove core from apples. Dice and place in a pot, and cover with water. Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Puree in a food processor or blender. If you prefer chunky applesauce, use a potato masher instead. Let sauce cool before attempting to freeze.
This is a great snack for everyone and a perfect food to take when on the go. I always leave the peel on because it looks pretty and adds more fiber. But you have the option of peeling them. I dry my apples in a dehydrator, but it can be done without one by using a window screen or oven rack covered with cheesecloth.
Wash and core apples. Slice very thinly. As an option, use a mandolin slicer. Dip each slice into water with a little lemon juice to prevent darkening. Place in a single layer in dehydrator or on a sheet. In a dehydrator, it will take a couple of hours; at room temperature, a few days.
I love apple chutney in Indian dishes and as a condiment for BBQ.
4 large apples
2 garlic cloves
1½ tsp. jalapeno pepper
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 cup raw sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
Peel and core apples, and dice them. Mince onion, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Grate ginger. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 44-55 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze.
You know what they say: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Actually, there might be some truth to this. Of course, it takes more than an apple to be healthy, but it surely is a step in the right direction. Filled with so much goodness, they are good sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber helps clean out the digestive system. Apples also contain a good amount of minerals, and Vitamins C, K and A. Make sure to eat the skin, too, because that’s where lots of the vitamins and antioxidants are.