Throughout the fall, I took the kids to Belkin Lookout Farm for loads of apple picking and train rides.  Every week I made a big vat of homemade applesauce.  So many friends ask how I make it so here is my recipe.  It’s super simple, healthy, reduces plastic waste, and is affordable.

1. Wash apples thoroughly, core and chop into small pieces. I process mine in a Food Mill after cooking so I leave the skin on.  This adds more fiber to the applesauce, but also gives it a pretty pink color. It’s just as I remember my Nana’s applesauce, with a little less sweetness.

2. Add about a 1/2” of water in the pot and heat on medium low for about 15 minutes, or until apples are mushy. (I am feeding the applesauce to my little guy so I use water instead of cider.  The cider does give it just a little more flavor.)  Add 3 cinnamon sticks to a large pot, but you could also add about 1 tsp ground cinnamon as well.

3. Set a Food Mill over a large bowl.  Once apples are cooled, process in food mill. Remember to discard the cinnamon sticks.  I add a large scoop at a time and process it for a few minutes.  Make sure you scrape the bottom of the food mill to get all the sauce.

4. Store applesauce in the refrigerator for up to one week.  It doesn’t usually last that long in our house as we use it for baby food, toddler snack and as a side dish with roast chicken.

It does take a few minutes to get it all done, but it’s totally worth it.

Healthy Homemade Granola via RandomRecycling.com

We have been making this nutty granola recipe every week for well over a year now. The kids love making it with me and it’s fun to tweak it with different dried fruits and nuts throughout the year. Below is our standard recipe but feel feel to just add in the nuts and dried fruits you have on hand. The honey is the key ingredient as it helps the granola maintain it’s crunchiness.

Photo by Tara Bellucci

Enjoy a little sweet granola with homemade yogurt and you will start the day off on a happy foot.  Once you get the basics down, you can tweak it a bit to your taste.  A little less sweet or a little more nutty, you can alter the recipe to make it your own.  I tend to use a mix of sweeteners depending on how much I have of each in the house.

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I love this recipe and serve it with fresh fruit and yogurt. If you want it less clumpy/sticky, you can swap out the honey for maple syrup. I also buy a lot of ingredients in bulk to keep the cost low. The pecans are pricy, but add a lot of flavor.

Enjoy!