When I was planning out all the things I thought I'd do myself when my son arrived making his baby food topped the list and quickly dropped off the list. I can't really tell you why it just did; there were no fancy puree to be found on his plate. However, now that he's a little old and can have a wider range of foods I find myself jumping back into the homemade frenzy and discovering just how easy it all is.
Of all the little food discoveries, like how it's possible to slip veggies into everything (my child will be eating secreted greens until he's a teenager), I'm discovering everyday how easy it is to make those things we just grab off the shelves, like last weeks granola which took a whopping 30 minutes counting baking time.
The biggest thing that I now swear never to buy in a store again is applesauce. Seriously folks it's like manna from heaven - straight up homemade applesauce. It doesn't have the preservatives. It doesn't have the extra sugars. Most importantly it's not neon green.
The steps for your most basic applesauce is ridiculously simple.
1) Peel and cut up apples - just like boiling potatoes the smaller the pieces the faster they will cook.
2) Put cut up apples in a saucepan over medium heat with just even water to cover the bottom of the pain a prevent sticking. Toss a lid on it and stir every once in a while until nice and soft. (Note: at this point the soft apples are a great treat for little fingers once cooled down)
3) When soft put the apple pieces in a blender and purée; DON'T liquify! And you're done.
Total Time - Prep: 10 - 20+ minutes depending on the amount of sauce you're making Cooking: 5-10 minutes per saucepan
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator, I suggest no more than a week if it lasts that long. This batch here was made out of 9 medium-ish sized apples and resulted in about 40 oz of applesauce. The bag of apples probably cost me about $4-5 because we're not at the height of the season, but it still resulted in applesauce that cost about 10 cents an ounce. I full intend on making and canning a large batch next year at the peak of the delicious (and cheap) apple season.
Like with the granola, making homemade food products is not always about the cost savings unless you're always comparing it to the most high-end organic alternatives. However there are always added benefits such as having acquired a new skill, finding one more way to give your children the healthiest foods you can or making your home warm and smelling like baked apples right before bed time.