January 23, 2012

Secret Weapon: Applesauce

First batch of applesauce.  Since then, I've been peeling the apples -- to much better results!
Apples continue to be a fantastic resource for my GERD gut.    This is an anti-trigger food for me -- no problems with apples in any form, and I am one of the countless people who swear apples help minimize GERD when eaten alongside other foods.   The fiber is a huge help in my intestinal health, too -- which coincides with better stomach/esophageal health, for me.

There are dozens of "testimonials" around the web and in bookstores promoting the use of apples or apple products (apple cider vinegar, apple juice, etc.) as a GERD preventative but American healthcare professionals are still not convinced.  Why?  There are no formal, scientific studies on the value of apples in fighting GERD symptoms, so of course the medical community has to balk at the "anecdotal" evidence.   (When will "natural" remedies get their due?!  Maybe the "snake oil salesman" sites distract "serious" researchers from considering them.  Not to mention Big Pharma, which has the big bucks to entice doctors to study lucrative pills instead of fruit.)

Some favorite examples of pro-apple/cider vinegar real-life accounts I found online:


In any case, I'm swearing by apples.  They are nutritious, tasty, and never exacerbate my GERD -- I'm convinced they help minimize symptoms.   Lately, I've been swapping my Mott's Natural Applesauce for homemade applesauce.   Now, like the dried beans vs canned beans, there's almost no going back.  Once you get the apples peeled, a batch that lasts a few days is quick and easy to make.  And, what a great way to use up an oversupply of apples!

This is my third effort, and the best yet.  Here, I took six apples of various varieties, including a few heirlooms.  I bought a sack at my local greenmarket from the "discount" table -- if they are slightly bruised, that's not a problem.

Step 1: Peel apples, chop into small pieces, and add to a large pot.  Add enough water to float the bottom layers but do not cover the apples - I've found this amount works best.   For six apples, I added about a cup of water...

Step 2: Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.  Let simmer until softened.  Once soft, take a potato masher or fork and mash away!  Don't worry about getting it entirely smooth at this point… continue simmering.

Step 3:  Continue simmering until smooth.   You'll have to experiment with the amount of water per apples.  Also, you may want to add cinnamon or a cinnamon stick, but I like the clean taste of the plain applesauce (you can always add cinnamon when serving).  I serve either cold or warmed up a bit.   Spoon into batches and enjoy!

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