Tag Archives: snack

recipe: homemade applesauce

22 Feb

One of the most satisfying snacks–or desserts–is a bowl of warm homemade applesauce. I’m not a fan of regular applesauce (you know, the kind that’s thin and very regular in its texture?). But I like a chunky, very cinnamon-heavy warm applesauce.

This is a very easy recipe, and if you have any canning know-how, you can preserve this and stick it in the pantry. My kids eat lots of applesauce, and I like knowing what’s in it. If you make a smaller batch, just keep it in the refrigerator. (Actually, there’s also no reason you couldn’t freeze it.)

If you want to make a large batch to can or freeze, buy a half-bushel of apples. Otherwise, use as many as you think you’ll eat in a few days–a few pounds is enough for a small batch. Obviously, you’ll get the best apples and prices in the fall, but I’m making this today so I thought I’d post it.

As for the best kinds of apple for this dish, it’s up to you. A tart apple will produce a tart sauce, unless you add sugar/honey; I like to mix in at least some sweeter apples instead of adding sugar. My favorites for sauce are Jonagolds, Romes, Galas, and Cortlands. Mix together whatever kinds you like! My only observation here is that Granny Smith, which I like for eating raw, is too tart for many people’s taste in applesauce.

Ingredients:
Apples (as many as you want)
Cinnamon (as much as you want)

Peel, core, and chop the apples. I don’t get too carried away with this–even quartering the apples is really enough.

Put the apples in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until the apples are soft enough to mash with a potato masher. Mash them until they reach the texture you like. If you like very smooth sauce, you could use a blender or food processor to puree them instead, but be careful pureeing hot food.

Add cinnamon to taste. I really like cinnamon, so I use a lot, but it’s entirely a matter of preference. If you do want to add some sugar or honey, this is the time; I find that it isn’t necessary at all.

If you want to can the applesauce, fill your canning jars and process them in a hot-water bath. My canning book recommends 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts, but I suggest that you consult the most recent recommendations to assure best food safety.

This sauce also makes an excellent filling for apple turnovers, if you’re feeling decadent. If you cooked slices of apple and didn’t mash them, you could use this process to make pie filling that would be a lot less sugary than most recipes.

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recipe: roasted chickpeas

26 Jan

Okay, stay with me here: these are really good. Seriously. I saw recipes for these all over the place, but I don’t actually like chickpeas. (I like hummus and falafel, but just chickpeas themselves? Nah.)

When you roast them, though, they get crunchy and delicious. It’s quick, it’s easy; it’s high-protein; it’s easy to take along for portable snacks or lunches.

This is more of a method than a recipe. Use whatever spices you like. I’ll list a few of my favorite spice variations at the end.

Ingredients:
* canned chickpeas (you could also cook your own dried ones; I just don’t usually plan ahead that far)
* a drizzle of olive oil
* spices of choice (see below)

Rinse the chickpeas well in a colander, until bubbles are gone (you’ll see some bubbles when you start rinsing). I don’t bother to remove the chickpea skins, though I have read that you should; they get crispy and delicious, too, in this setting.

Toss chickpeas with olive oil in a baking dish. I like to use a glass one.

Add your spices and stir. Bake in 450-degree oven until the chickpeas are brown and toasty. Make sure you really let them brown; they are not nearly as good if they’re not crunchy!

Spice Suggestions:
* garlic: add two or three cloves minced or crushed garlic and some ground pepper.
* lemon-pepper: sprinkle with lemon-pepper seasoning.
* Chesapeake: sprinkle with Old Bay or other Chesapeake-style crab seasoning.
* Indian: sprinkle with curry powder, cumin, and/or garam masala.
* Mexican: sprinkle with cumin and chili powder (for a smokier kick, use chipotle powder).

snack idea: Honeycrisp apple + almond butter

20 Oct

I realize this blog has been sluggish of late–I’m teaching five classes this semester!–but I thought I’d post a quick snack idea. I think I’ve recommended Honeycrisp apples before. They’re much, much more delicious than regular apples. They taste…like cider, I guess.

But paired with a dollop of almond butter, they’re like a dessert. It seems totally indulgent, but it’s really very good for you. I have tried peanut butter, and it’s okay, but almond butter is another different level of tasty.

The only downside, as I see it, is that almond butter is a lot pricier than peanut butter. I figure, though, if it gets me to eat a healthy snack on a regular basis, it’s worth it.

[And if I’m really in the mood for something dessert-y, adding a square of dark chocolate doesn’t hurt either.]

healthy snack idea: Honeycrisp apples

25 Nov

This is the apple season, and I can get Honeycrisps again!

If you’ve never had a Honeycrisp apple, run–don’t walk–to your car and go to the nearest grocery store and GET ONE. They are the best apples. They’re only available in the fall, though. (Right now, Costco even has them!)

They make an excellent snack, especially paired with some kind of protein. A few ideas:

* slice them and dip in natural peanut butter
* eat them with a slice of reduced-fat cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese
* cut them up and serve as a side dish with dinner
* fancy-schmancy: arrange, sliced, on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with finely shredded Gruyere. Grind some fresh pepper on top. (Thanks, Jaleo restaurant, for this one!)

Or, if you’re feeling decadent, there’s always caramel.