If you have been following along since we started the new year, you will know that I am trying to simplify and be a bit greener in 2019. (If you haven’t been following along? Why not?! Sign up for a weekly musing right in your inbox!! Share too!! ) Recently, I convinced the kids to help me make some homemade apple sauce. They love the packaged stuff — even the ones with hidden veggies! And although the little plastic cups are recyclable (or re-useable as paint pots, planters, etc. etc.) I wanted to see if the kids would enjoy the homemade stuff just as well as the pre-packaged, store bought apple sauce.
It’s not even apple season — but I bought a big bag of “naturally imperfect” fruit (ha! there’s a thought for ya!) and enlisted the youngest two to assist in the process. (I read somewhere that if you get them involved, then children are more likely to try whatever you are making… not so much in our house… but hey! Keep learning, right?)
We divided and conquered: one of the kids peeled the apples, one sliced, and I got to go behind and clean up all the messes! Very quickly we had a nice selection of apples to make our small batch of apple sauce with. Here is the recipe we used:
- 8 or so medium sized apples (peeled, cored and cut into chunks)
- about 1 cup of water (use more or less depending on how thick you like your applesauce
- 2 cinnamon sticks
That’s it! I was tempted to throw in a carrot or two, but since the beloveds were helping me, I didn’t want to scare them off just yet! I have made applesauce in the crock pot as well, but I wanted it a little faster this time, so we boiled the above ingredients in a big pot until the apples were soft enough to blend up with the hand blender. Don’t forget to take the cinnamon sticks out! We didn’t add any sugar to our applesauce, as the cinnamon sticks and natural fruit sweetness make it just fine without added sugar! It smelled WONDERFUL!
I have saved a bunch of these little jars with lids, so once the applesauce was done, we filled up the jars and voila! Homemade apple snacks! The big test?! How did it compare? Well… it is yummy… but the crew decided it was best eaten warm and fresh. I have also discovered it tastes great with yogurt for breakfast! One downside to not having preservatives… our homemade applesauce must be kept in the fridge, so it is just not as convenient to grab and go as the pre-packaged, quick snacks we buy. It might taste better, and be better for us… so we will continue to use it often, but convenience may rule out the effort this time. At least it is not on my shopping list for this particular week!
It’s the way it goes sometimes, isn’t it?! We may know that homemade is better, but despite the benefits, we sometimes opt for the easier choice. I’m reminded of the rich man in Matthew 19. He wants to do right, follow Jesus and do good by following the commands, and yet, he struggles with giving up his wealth, his conveniences, his easy-go-lucky life full of riches. I’m discovering that the “simple” things I am choosing to pursue this year are not always the easier options. It takes time to make healthier meals and map out my shopping lists. It takes time to grow deeper in our relationships; it takes effort to study and plan and better ourselves. It is hard to say “no” to some things in order to prioritize others. I, like the rich man, have done many things well, but I struggle to let go of other things. So be encouraged, with me, that our faith journeys are just that: journeys. We follow a winding path and sometimes take a few steps back before moving forward again. The goal is to keep moving forward. Jesus goes on in the story of the rich man, to remind us that with God, all things are possible, and that our rewards will be waiting for us in Heaven one day, if we chose to follow Him. I bet He will even have homemade applesauce warmed up and ready to share!