Lately I’ve been trying to bake a bit healthier in an attempt to have less salt, sugar, and fat in our diet (and I guess less calories would be nice too). A few different people have mentioned to me that you can substitute applesauce for oil when you bake, and I have a couple recipes in mind that I’d like to try this with–black bean brownies (you heard right!) will probably be the first one.
Since I have some apples leftover from apple picking, I thought I’d start by making my own applesauce. It’s probably the easiest thing to do ever, and it’s really yummy (especially warm). So here’s the first step towards healthier eating!
Homemade Apple Sauce
- 6 apples (I used Cortland)
- 1/2 C water
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional–I used less because although I love cinnamon, I don’t want to taste it in my baking)
Peel and cube the apples (you can leave the peel on for pink applesauce, but it has to be sieved after to get rid of the peel, which is more time consuming), and add water, sugar and cinnamon. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes until apples are cooked.
While you are waiting for the apples to cook, it’s probably a good idea to eat my favorite snack–apple slices and peanut butter.
As an aside, I recently switched from regular to natural peanut butter when I saw the ingredient list went from 20 or so words I can hardly pronouce to “peanuts, salt”. Even though its a serious pain in the butt to mix in the oil the first time you open natural peanut butter, I learned that if you keep the jar in the fridge rather then at room temperature it’s less likely to separate and you should never have to mix again.
Anyway, back to the applesauce. Let it cool and then puree in a blender, adding water if you want it to be less thick (but you probably won’t).
Sometime over the weekend I’ll try a baking applesauce-oil substitution and let you know how it goes. Also, I started a project today growing my own alfalfa sprouts (thanks to my mom, who spent some of her earlier years a dedicated hippie), and in a few days I’ll post the results. If you have any healthy or weird substitution ideas, I would love to hear them!