The best applesauce on the planet

 In Food for Zen, Zen Kids

Autumn in New York makes me think of crisp weather (not this year!), falling leaves and apple picking! We love spending the day at a local farm with the kids, picking apples, drinking cider and going on hayrides. Such a wholesome family day! My favorite apple orchard around the NYC area is Fishkill Farms because they don’t use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and care about sustainable farming and growing healthy food. This is important to me because my son eats 4 apples a day (he takes the ‘apple a day, keeps the doctor away’ advice a little too seriously!).

According to the EWG, apples have one of the highest loads of pesticide residues (even after washing!) and since we eat them on a daily basis I’m worried about the cumulative exposure to chemicals on little bodies. Kids are especially sensitive to toxins because their bodies and immune systems are not well developed to efficiently eliminate toxins.

Ok, back to the farm…We get greedy at the farm and buy too many apples, not one bag like normal people, we bring home several huge bags of apples. You would think we are feeding a football stadium full of people, not a family of 4. Then the fun begin…We come up with recipes to use our bounty and whip up apple muffins, apple cake, apples strudel, apple pie, apple pancakes and apple overnight oats. But our favorite apple food of all times is the humble applesauce.

Homemade applesauce makes the best breakfast, condiment, snack or dessert. It’s so easy to make you will wonder why you don’t make it more often, just peel some apples, throw them in a pot and blend for 30 seconds. ┬áIt will taste absolutely divine. With a hint of lemon and vanilla (and no added sugar) this is perhaps the best applesauce on the planet. Enjoy!



  • 10-12 large apples
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 strip lemon peel (about 2″ long by 1″ wide)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract (optional)

How to:

  1. Peel apples, core and cut into eights.
  2. Place apples, cinnamon stick, water, lemon peel and juice and vanilla, if using, in a large pot. Bring to boil and then turn down heat to simmer. Cook with the lid on for 20 minutes. The apples should be soft and falling apart.
  3. Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick and lemon peel. Reserve the liquid (too much added liquid will make the sauce too watery).
  4. Transfer cooked apples to a high speed blender and blend until silky smooth. Add a bit of liquid if the sauce is too thick.
  5. Refrigerate and enjoy!
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