Eat Happy, Be Healthy!
Homemade Applesauce with a Special Twist
Most people peel their apples when making applesauce to keep the texture nice and smooth. But in the process they are discarding the most nutritious part! The apple peel is rich in gut loving and anti-inflammatory polyphenols including well known quercetin. Quercetin is most well known for inhibiting the production and release of histamine, thereby reducing the severity of seasonal allergies and other histamine related symptoms.
The peel is also an excellent source of pectin a soluble fiber which can soothe the GI tract and can be especially helpful when struggling with diarrhea. Pectin is also fermented by good gut microbes and therefore helps support a healthy and diverse gut microbiome.
Since we are keeping the peel on for this applesauce, it becomes increasingly important to choose ORGANIC apples, as conventional apples are highly sprayed with pesticides. And to help improve texture of applesauce, I recommend grating the apple peels instead of just coarsely chopping the apples. Although this is an extra step, it allows the apple peel to easily dissolve during the cooking process, leaving the texture more smooth. With the addition of the skin, and the increase in polyphenols and pectin, the applesauce is pinker in color and is thicker in texture.
However, apples are rich in fructose and sorbitol, two kinds of sugars that are considered FODMAPs. If you don't tolerate either of these well, then applesauce (and apples) may trigger uncomfortable digestive symptoms until the underlying cause is addressed, such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), which can lead to fructose malabsorption. Some people unfortunately, struggle with hereditary fructose intolerance, and will have to limit fructose entirely to avoid uncomfortable symptoms.
Spices (fresh ginger root, cinnamon, vanilla, etc)
Sweetener of choice (optional) - depending on the type of apple you may need more of less
Wash your apples and grate the peels. Cut out the core and dice up the remaining apple flesh. Add the grated peels, apple bits, water, lemon juice, and your choice of spices to a large pot, cover, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the chunks. Remove lid, and mash with a potato masher or whisk, stir in salt, and optional sweetener to taste. You may continue to simmer uncovered for a couple of minutes to evaporate excess water if needed until desired texture is achieved. Transfer to a sealable glass jar and enjoy. I love it with Nancy’s whole milk yogurt or cottage cheese.
Show me your applesauce making skills!!
Harvest Cranberry Baby FRUIT BLEND
Apples and pears are often found in baby purees. However, you will not find one with cranberries and ginger. Exposing your baby at a young age to new and different flavors is important. Cranberries can be very tart, but if you add a handful to naturally sweeter fruit like apples and pears, you can gradually introduce your baby to this nutrient dense berry. Although the collagen powder is optional, it is a great way to add easy to digest protein. Make sure to use organic fruit.
Makes 10 Servings
Time: ~20 minutes
1 medium apple
1 medium pear
1 small piece peeled ginger root
Juice of 1/2 orange
2 tablespoons Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Collagen (optional)
2 tablespoons salted grass-fed butter
Rinse off and dry the apple, pear, and cranberries (make sure to choose firm berries). Core the apple and pear and cut into quarters. Place a metal steamer basket into a medium pot and fill with water to just below the steamer basket. Add the apple, pear, and little piece of ginger root. DO NOT add the cranberries yet. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
Once at a boil reduce heat to medium and steam for 12-15 minutes or until very tender. Finally, add the cranberries and steam for another minute. Remove from burner and transfer the fruit with a large spoon to a food processor. Chop the ginger into small pieces and add to fruit. Process until smooth (its okay if there are tiny pieces of skin). Add the orange juice, collagen, and butter. Pulse until combined.
Transfer to a baby food freezer tray, cover, and freeze. Once frozen transfer to a silicone ziplock bag or glass mason jar and keep frozen.
To thaw simply remove one serving and leave in a bowl in the fridge overnight or quickly microwave for 15-30 seconds. Prior to serving make sure to test the temperature to make sure it is not too hot for baby.
Tip: Toren loves it plain or mixed in whole milk Nancy's yogurt.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 48kcal, 2.5g fat, 6g carbs, 1g fiber, 1.5g protein.
Banana Strawberry Cream
Banana Strawberry Cream BABY FRUIT BLEND
This tasty combination is always a hit with babies. You can use fresh or frozen strawberries depending on the season. Please always choose organic strawberries because conventional strawberries are one of the top 10 most heavily laden pesticide produce items.
Makes 10 Servings
Time: ~15 minutes
1 medium ripe banana
1-10z package organic frozen strawberries (left at room temperature to thaw a bit)
1/4 cup grass-fed organic heavy cream
2 teaspoons chia seeds
Place the strawberries and banana into a food processor and pulse until desired texture is reached. Keep it smoother for new eaters, and leave some texture for more advanced eaters. Add the chia seeds and heavy cream. Pulse to combine.
Transfer to a baby food freezer tray and freeze. Once frozen transfer to a sealable ziplock bag or mason jar. Pull out as needed and thaw overnight in fridge or quickly microwave ~15 seconds. Make sure to feel the mixture before serving to make sure it didn't get too hot.
Tip: You can mix this into cooked oatmeal or into whole milk yogurt if desired. If you transfer some into a silicone teether, then you have a baby fruit popsicle!
Nutrition (per serving): 45kcal, 6g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 2.5g fat, 0.5g protein.
Note: You may use substitute the heavy cream for 1/4 cup organic canned full fat coconut cream but you need to add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to ensure similar fat/calorie content.
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.