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Homemade Applesauce

5/23/2014 9:56:00 AM

Tags: Homemade Applesauce, High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Alternative Sweeteners, Michelle R.

Michelle RThis past year and a half, I have become an avid food label reader, but there are certain products for which it never occurred to me to read the label. A perfect example of one of these products just happens to be one of my sons’ favorite treats: applesauce. Call me naive, but I just figured it would have apples and maybe a tad bit of some sort of sweetener.

I am sure you can imagine the look of surprise on my face when I read that there were 22 grams of sugar in this little 1/2-cup of applesauce … and the sweetener used? High-fructose corn syrup. A study was conducted in 2010 by Princeton University, and they found that rats fed HFCS gained fat 300 percent faster than those fed an equal (or slightly larger) serving of fruit-derived sugar. Also, consuming high-fructose corn syrup increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. It also elevates triglyceride and LDL, a.k.a. bad cholesterol, levels. It has also been found to be especially destructive to your liver. But the most alarming statistic I found was that high-fructose corn syrup is often loaded with alarmingly high levels of mercury. 

One study found mercury in more than 50 percent of samples tested. And if you did not know, mercury exposure can result in irreversible brain and nervous system damage.

The American Heart Association recommends that women ingest no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar from any source, and for most men, it's no more than 150 calories a day from added sugar. That's about six teaspoons of added sugar for women and nine teaspoons for men. 

Now with that little tidbit fresh in your mind see if you can wrap your head around this: 22 grams = 5 teaspoons. That’s in a little 1/2 cup of prepackaged applesauce, y’all, and we are feeding this to our children! 

If you must use a sweetener, honey, agave nectar or brown sugar are much more healthful alternatives to white sugar, sugar substitutes, and most certainly to using high-fructose corn syrup. 

Here is the recipe I used to replace my sons' store-bought applesauce.

What you’ll need:
6 pounds apples (cored, peeled, and cut into at least 8 slices)
1 cup apple juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar, or 1/2 cup brown sugar

Place all ingredients in large pot and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, making sure to stir often. Depending on the consistency you like, you can use a potato masher like I did, or you can use a food processor/blender for a smoother texture. This recipe made enough to fill eight 8-ounce mason jars, and will last inside the fridge for a while.

applesauce jars
The completed applesauce.



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Post a comment below.

 

Mary
5/28/2014 4:52:06 PM
Hi, Michelle, and welcome! Good blog, and I'm looking forward to reading more. Mary from Old Dog, New Tricks!

NebraskaDave
5/25/2014 8:59:24 AM
Michelle, Welcome to the GRIT blogging community. The food journey that you are on will be interesting to follow. I'm looking forward to your future posts about how to live healthy on a budget. I agree that our food system has indeed failed us. In just one life time our culture has separated from where and how the food we eat is processed and grown. My nine year old grandson asked the question when he saw how much was involved to grow food, "Grandpa, why do you go to so much work when all we need to do is go to Walmart and buy it?" Unfortunately, his thinking is common place in our culture today. At least he knows now how much work is involved to grow that ear of sweet corn that he loves so much and hopefully will be a little more thankful to the farmer that grew it. ***** Fresh produce is another whole subject for discussion. There are no labels to tell if pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, or what ever other kinds of cides have been dumped on the produce while growing and harvesting. It certainly can be a toxic pool of chemicals that we ingest with our food these days. Is it any wonder that debilitating diseases begin to creep into our lives when we begin to age. It is a great thing you have decided to do with actively trying to reduce the amount of sugar in your family's food. ***** Have a great less sugar day.



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