Fall and harvest season is here and with it the scents and sights that make this a colorfully delicious time of year. Orange, russet, ruby and gold are just a few of the colors decorating trees and fields at this time of year. Those colors almost have an odor one can smell; pumpkin, apple and hazelnut are scents that seem to hang in the air. As Fortuna prepares for the annual Apple Harvest Festival in October, there isn’t a better time to gather a few apples and have your preschooler help you make a simple applesauce recipe.
No sharp tools (aside from a knife to cut the apples in half) and special supplies are needed to create this yummy afternoon snack. Apples, some local honey and a dash of cinnamon are the only ingredients required. A microwave, a serving spoon and a potato masher are the only required tools. Your little will feel like a chef and they will learn that eating local and healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Besides, spending time with mom or dad is always a way to make your child smile.
Gather your apples, honey and ground cinnamon, along with a large microwave-safe bowl, a serving spoon and a potato masher. Have your child help you wash the apples. Depending on the age of the child and the size of the apples, you can allow them to cut the apple in halves or wedges with a butter knife or an adult can complete this step.
Place the apples in the bowl and cover with a paper towel or wax paper. Cook on high one minute at a time until apples are soften, but not completely cooked. The goal is to soften them to the point that they are able to be scooped or scraped from the peel with a serving spoon. This will depend on the wattage of the microwave oven and the size of the apples.
After the apples have cooled slightly, let your child remove the apple flesh from the peel. Some guidance may be necessary. Save the peels for the compost pile and place the scooped bits of apple into another container.
After all the peels have been removed from the apple, have your child use the potato masher to turn the apple bits into sauce. Depending on the sweetness of the apples, add as much honey as desired to sweeten. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and serve or chill before serving.
Choose any apple to make your applesauce. Softer apples, like Golden Delicious, are much softer than Fuji or Granny Smith. However, a tart apple added to softer varieties can add a wonderful mix of flavors.
Use cinnamon to add some flavor, if desired. Use organic, if possible. You could even purchase cinnamon sticks and show your preschooler how to grate cinnamon.
Honey is used to sweeten applesauce, if necessary. Using local honey not only supports neighbors and friends, but contains pollen from local plants. This helps fight allergies.
large mixing bowl
Use a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl to heat and mash apples. Glass is preferable to plastic. Make sure to use caution when removing from the microwave. The bowl will be hot.
Serving spoon is used to scrape apple from peel. A metal spoon is preferable because it will have a sharper edge than a plastic or wooden one.
Potato masher is used to smash apples. Any kind will do, but one made from a material other than plastic is usually sturdier. Those that have a rubber grip on the handle will help little hands hold on.