Saturday, 23 November 2013

Back to Basics: Homemade Applesauce in Half an Hour!

My sister’s mother-in-law has several apple trees in her yard which means every fall I get a big bag of yummy organic apples. Some of the apples are, well, how can I put this? Not pretty. And maybe a bit mushy, and there might be a worm or two enjoying the fruit. One of my favourite things to do with this bounty (sans the wormy ones) is to make applesauce.  The lovely looking apples make their way into something more showy, like a beautiful apple upside-down cake.  But that's for another post.
 I love that I know what’s in it my homemade applesauce, and my daughter loves getting it in her lunch as a ‘treat’.  Applesauce is also a great way to use up apples that are just getting a bit soft.

If you choose to, you can peel the apples before you make the sauce or leave the peels on and then pull them out after it's cooked.  I usually just peel them first unless the skins are super smooth.  I also find that, depending on the type of apples used, sugar is often not needed.  Just taste it first and then decide.

Homemade Applesauce

  • 6 medium organic apples
  • Stick of cinnamon or ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2-4 TBSP cane sugar or coconut sugar (if needed)
  1. Chop and core the apples, you can leave the peels on if you like.  Put them in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat.  Add the cinnamon stick or powder.
  2. Once lots of juice is running out of the apples turn down to a low heat.  Taste to see if you need sugar and stir it in now if you do. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick and any peels and mash.

    I make heaps of applesauce and freeze it in 1/2 cup portions for snacks and recipes.  I have never had it in the freezer longer than about 3 months but I would think it will be good for up to six.  


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Pumpkin Spice Mix


Why buy Pumpkin Spice Mix at the store when you probably have all the ingredients you need right in your pantry? Making this mix could not be easier and it contains no extra junk or mystery ingredients.  All you have to do is find a nice jar with a lid and put all the spices in and voila, pumpkin spice mix.  It's that easy. Really, I can't believe it took me so long to make my own.  Quite honestly I feel like a bit of a sucker for buying the packaged stuff.  Don't feel like a sucker. Join me on the "Aren't I clever I made my own Pumpkin Spice Mix" team.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Festive Holiday Granola with Pumpkin and Cardamom

I discovered this recipe when I was looking for something new and delicious to make with pumpkin puree.  I changed it up a bit to reflect Grandma's real food outlook and gave it a new name.  I think it tastes like Christmas and it would make a wonderful homemade gift in a simple canning jar with a beautiful bow.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Pumpkin Muffins

One of the joys of autumn is the many beautiful varieties of pumpkin.  I love them all, not to mention the fabulous tasty treats we can make with the rich sweet flesh hiding inside.  I prefer to make my own puree for a few reasons (how to make your own homemade pumpkin puree).  One, I know what's in it. Two, I don't have to worry about BPAs leeching into my food (post on BPAs). And three, it fills the house with a wonderful smell that  just screams Autumn!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Pumpkin time - Make your own Pumpkin Puree


 Pumpkin time! 

On our recent trip to the pumpkin patch I decided to try a couple of different varieties.  I fell in love with a beautiful red pumpkin, a French variety called Rouge Vif d Etampes, and had to have it.  The green one, that my daughter calls "the brain" pumpkin, is actually called a Triamble.  Both are good for Halloween and for eating so they came home and sat on our porch for a few days and then came inside to warm up, in my oven!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Strawberry Vanilla Crumble Pie (Gluten Free)

Strawberry Time! 
 A few days ago I went strawberry picking for the very first time.  The adults picked as much as we could while the kids played wagon races and ate as much as they picked.  The sun was out and there was ice-cream for everyone when we finished. If you have never gone berry picking before I highly recommend it.  What a great day.  And best of all we had loads of berries to eat.  So when I got home I created this little number.  I call it Strawberry Vanilla Crumble Pie.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Why My Daugher Won't Be Selling Girl Guide Cookies and How You Can Help to Change Things.

Last year my daughter joined the Girl Guides of Canada.  She loves going to Brownies and I love the experiences that she has there.  She learns about safety, giving to her community, and respect for herself, her friends and their environment. She has great role-models and loads of fun.  Many of the camps and other activities that they do are paid for by weekly dues, by parents, and significantly by the sale of cookies.  Cookie sales are a vital part of the Girl Guides.  Without the sale of cookies many things the Girl Guides do would not exist.
So why did I tell my daughter that she can't sell cookies next year?  Simple: they are full of GMOs.  I spend much of my day avoiding GMOs, helping my daughter avoid GMOs, and explaining to others why they should avoid GMOS.  I simply cannot then turn around and ask my daughter to sell them to her friends and family.

So what to do?  Girl Guides needs the money they make from cookie sales to keep the organization going, but selling GMOs is not an option for our family and I imagine for many others as well. 

Enter Linda Cirella, a mom and Guide Leader from Victoria BC.  Linda wants to support Girl Guides but doesn't want to sell cookies full of GMOs.  Her solution?  Change the cookies. And to that end she has started a petition to the Girl Guides of Canada to remove the GMOs.
I have signed the petition and I encourage you to do the same. 
Just follow this link and help the Girl Guides of Canada to see that GMOs are an important issue and that selling unhealthy food is no way for this esteemed organization to make money. 
Thank you for your support and be sure to share this with your friends and ask them to sign too!


It has come to my attention, through the comments below, that I have neglected to make clear that we are financially compensating our Brownie Unit in lieu of selling cookies. We consider it our responsibility to pay for our daughters activities and would not expect the other parents/girls to have to pick up our financial slack, so to speak.  We adore the Brownies and The Girl Guides of Canada.  It's the GMOs that we abhor.

I have also attached a photo of the ingredient list from the back of the GG Cookie box.  My grandma would not recognize most of those ingredients.