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sugarless

Homemade Applesauce

Warm applesauce, fresh from the pan is one of my favorite fall childhood memories.  Every apple season, my grandmotherly babysitter, Ms. Betty, would whip up a huge batch of applesauce to store for the winter.  On almost every autumn visit and on into the brisk winter, Ms. Betty would heat up a bowl of that golden applesauce, topping it with a special sprinkle of extra cinnamon, for both my brother and I’s little stomachs.

What else is a traditional, old-time cook going to feed two unconventionally vegan kids?  Vegan or not, smooth applesauce almost always gets kid-approval.  I certainly didn’t care how many times in a row I was served the naturally sweet treat.  It never got old to me.

A childhood pleasure and still a favorite today, I continue to enjoy applesauce straight from the pan, this time filling my own kitchen with the sweet smell of cinnamon and apples.  Nothing beats that on a cool fall day, especially when the apples also come from a basket you filled straight from the tree.

Homemade Applesauce

(Serves 4)

-3 apples, peeled and chopped
-1/2 cup of water or apple juice, plus more depending on juiciness of the apple variety
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-2 tsp. honey or brown sugar, optional

Heat medium-large saucepan over medium heat.  Add water, apples, and cinnamon.  Cook until water is reduced and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.  (Add in extra water by the tablespoon if water begins to evaporate too quickly, and apples don’t release enough juice.)  Remove from heat and stir in sweetener, if desired.  Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor, blending until desired consistency is achieved.  Serve hot or cold.

Mint Tea Recipe

There’s absolutely nothing more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than a glass of iced mint tea.  Luckily, mint prospers all throughout the summer, and as any herb gardener knows, it often takes over the garden as it grows.  While mint can add a refreshing quality to anything in which it’s added, my favorite way to utilize it when I have it growing in my summer’s garden and available in quantity is in tea.  The following recipe is more than easy, so don’t worry about breaking a sweat on these hot, steamy days.

If mint isn’t growing nearby and the quantity called for in this recipe isn’t available, consider halving the recipe.  It may seem like quite a bit of mint, but try not to skimp on the tea’s star ingredient.  Poured over ice, the powerful minty flavor is needed.

Mint Tea Recipe

Ingredients

  • Simply Mint Tea
  • -40-50 12-inch mint sprigs, about 2 cups of leaves, tightly packed
  • -Water, 7 cups
  • -Honey, if desired (The tea is so delicious all on it's own, it really doesn't need sweetener. But, if you're accustomed to a little sugar in your tea, feel free to add in some honey.)

Instructions

  1. Strip mint leaves off stems. Wash leaves. In a 2 quart kettle, add 6 cups of water. Place kettle on high heat and bring water to boil. Turn off heat and add mint leaves, using a spoon to submerge leaves. (Add honey to taste, if using.) Recover kettle, and let steep at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
  2. Pour tea through strainer into a pitcher. Serve in a glass over ice. Relax and enjoy.
https://foodfitnessfreshair.com/2010/06/27/mint-tea-recipe/