ApplePearSauce Recipe + Blogging Vacation!

An anonymous reader requested yesterday that I share my applesauce recipe. It’s actually apple/pear sauce, but it works the same with just apples. And, it’s nothing special other than I leave all the skins on and I don’t add any sugar! Here it is:


Apples and pears (I used about 15 apples and 10 pears)

Cinnamon sticks and/or ground cinnamon

1-2 lemons


Quarter and core all apples and pears. Set into a large pot. Add 1 cup water (you may need more – enough so the fruit won’t burn, but not too much or you’ll get watery sauce). Squeeze the juice of 1 or 2 lemons into the pot. If using 30+ apples, I’d use more than 1 lemon, but use your own judgment. I think lemons are one of the best foods that exist, but I’ve been accused in the past of “over-lemoning” things. Add cinnamon sticks and/or ground cinnamon to taste. Turn heat on high for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer and cover.

Stir occasionally and when fruit is soft enough, start to mash it as you stir. Cook until the sauce is your desired texture. I like my applesauce extra chunky, but if you want it smooth you can use an immersion blender to puree. Remove cinnamon sticks before storing. I like to serve it hot, so I just scoop some into these ramekins and heat it in the oven while I prepare the rest of dinner.

Keeping the skin on the fruit adds some fiber and texture to the sauce. It also makes the applesauce a pretty pink color, which is so much more appetizing than white or yellow! I recommend making this in big batches for two reasons: your house will smell amazing, and also it freezes well so you can enjoy it all throughout autumn and winter.

I also wanted to let you guys know that I will be taking the next TWO weeks off from blogging. I have to admit I’m pretty excited for the break – mainly because I have some other fun things planned that don’t involve school/blogging/work! In the meantime, eat healthy and try to stay active as we transition into fall weather. It’s a great time to be outside, and also to try some hearty chili or vegetable soup recipes!

See you on October 18th!

Fruit = Sugar = Fruit

My teacher gave us a friendly reminder yesterday that fruit, despite all of its wonderful nutrients, is still classified as a simple sugar. Yes, that means it’s in the same category as things like juice, soda, candy, or fat-free ice cream.

Fruit contains mainly fructose, which is the sweetest of all of the sugars. Simple sugars such as fructose go straight into our bloodstream after eating them, which gives us a quick rush of energy. Our body tells our pancreas to produce the hormone insulin, which is released and attaches to the sugars to guide them into our cells. This all happens very quickly, leaving us craving another energy burst by way of more simple sugars. As you can see, it’s this process that leads to constant sugar cravings.

But fruit is supposed to be healthy for us, right?

While fruit does contain many antioxidants and important nutrients for our health, it cannot be ignored that fruit is high in sugar. The skin of fruit does contain some fiber, but not much. The best way to approach eating fruit is to consume it with a protein and a fat. This way, the sugar will take longer to get into our bloodstream, and we will feel full for a longer period of time. This prevents the instant spike in our blood sugar. Rather than craving more sugar immediately, we will feel satisfied.

So basically, a piece of fruit alone is not the most well-rounded snack, especially for someone who tends to enjoy or crave sugar a lot. Some foods that would pair well with fruit that include protein and fats include nut butters; nuts and seeds; full-fat yogurt; a smoothie that includes flaxseed oil, nuts and tofu; or even some cheese.

And speaking of fruit, I happened to get an enormous amount of apples and pears from my CSA the past couple of weeks, so I made applepearsauce last night. I couldn’t find a recipe that I approved of so I made up my own – apples, pears, lemon juice, cinnamon, and a little bit of water. I kept the skins on and did not add ANY sugar. It turned out perfectly – nice and chunky, and just sweet enough. We had it with dinner (grass-fed steaks, kale chips, cucumbers and peppers) so there was plenty of protein and fat in the meal. But just a little tip for those of you that make homemade applesauce in the fall – no sugar is needed! The natural sugars in the fruit keep it plenty sweet. Also, if you keep the skin on the fruit, you’ll get a little extra fiber and texture!


Recognizing a Food Allergy or Intolerance in Your Child

Food allergies and intolerances are often discussed at my school, as they can be the starting point for more major health issues later in life. Many unpleasant symptoms can be eliminated once food allergies or intolerances are addressed and dealt with. However, many parents are unaware of how to recognize a food issue in their child, and therefore they often go undetected and the kids grow up eating foods that are harming their bodies and their health.

There is a big difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance. Food allergies occur when your immune system reacts to foreign substances in the body. The resulting symptoms are caused by the chemicals made by the immune system as it tries extra hard to fight these foreign substances. This immune reaction is then triggered every single time these same foreign substances enter the body. Food allergies start in the first year of life in about 80% of cases. A food intolerance, on the other hand, is a reaction to food that does not involve the immune system at all. When someone has an intolerance, they can often tolerate small amounts of the food, but larger amounts can prompt symptoms. Intolerances are often caused by a lack of a particular enzyme needed to metabolize a specific nutrient or substance in a food. The best example is lactose (milk sugar). It is estimated that about 70% - 80% of all adults are lactose intolerant.

Some of the most common symptoms of a food allergy or intolerance include vomiting, excessive spitting up in infants, diarrhea or constipation, colic, sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing, coughing, asthma, and any type of skin rash such as hives or eczema. Other less common symptoms can include puffiness in the face, sleeping issues, headaches, ear infections and ADD or ADHD.

The difficult part of diagnosing food allergies or intolerances based on symptoms alone is that they can show up within minutes of when the child consumes the food, or within days or even weeks. It may be hard to link a skin rash in your child to the grilled cheese sandwich they ate the weekend before at a birthday party.

Some of the most common foods that people are allergic to include cow’s milk and other dairy products, eggs, gluten (wheat), peanuts and tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds), beans, soybeans and other soy products, fish and shellfish. Other slightly less common causes of food allergies or intolerances include citrus fruits, food additives, pesticides, and mushrooms.

If you suspect your child may have a food allergy or intolerance, try eliminating that particular food from their diet for 1 month to see if symptoms go away. It is very important that allergies and intolerances are detected early on to prevent more permanent damage to the child. A specialized doctor or nutritionist can help you figure out how to eliminate certain foods and what to watch for.