Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Use It Up: Apple Core Sauce

Many things are tossed into the garbage can when they still have lots of good life left in them. Use It Up is a section on how to use this "trash" to make new useful items for your home or to re-purpose items to avoid a purchase.

The other day I dehydrated four dehydrator loads of apples. At the end of it, I had a bowl full of apple cores. I didn't want to throw them away, so I decided to make apple sauce. In the future, to keep a prettier color, I will spray the cores with lemon juice as I go.

I just tossed the apples into a pot with a tiny bit of water and a tablespoon of cinnamon and cooked on low heat for about 15 minutes. I had a good mix of apple varieties, and half of them were on the sweeter side. Had the apples been less sweet, I may have added a bit of sugar or honey to the sauce. Once the apples were soft and easily mashed with the back of the spoon, I poured the apples and the juice that had seeped out into the blender. I pureed the apples til smooth. I used a sieve to strain out the bits of stem and seed in the sauce. I ended up with 3 cups of applesauce: perfect for a side dish with dinner.

As I continue to dehydrate several loads of apples for the next month, I will keep making sauce and freeze some of it to enjoy later.

Instead of making apple sauce, you could make juice. The obvious way is to use a juicer, but unless you have a mammoth pile of cores, cleaning the juicer seems to be too much of a hassle. I toss the cores into the blender, add just a little water and blend til smooth. Then I work it through a strainer. This method gives me a lighter juice, which is fine as sometimes straight juice is a little too sweet for me.

Whether you are dehydrating apple chips or freezing bags of apple slices for a year's worth of pies, making applesauce or juice out of your cores makes the best possible use of your apples. It reduces waste, lowers the cost per serving, provides more food for your family and reduces your environmental footprint. Compost the seeds and other bits strained out to stretch it even further.

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