Birds are singing, cherry blossoms are blooming, and it’s slightly less rainy! Spring is coming! But we are still waiting for a lot of those spring veggies to come up and bring new life to our gardens and farmers markets. While we are anxiously awaiting their arrival, it’s a good time to think about using up some of the storage crops left over from winter before the new season.
At the markets and stores you can find farmers and sellers trying to get rid of the last of their potatoes, rutabagas, and apples before the new ones begin to come in. Because of this, a lot of the produce you find is slightly damaged or ugly. Of course that doesn’t mean it is bad or lacking in nutrition. It just requires some extra love and attention!
It’s a great time to make a large batch of mashed potatoes or a big pot of applesauce, dishes where you can cook up a large quantity of produce. Just be sure to cut out the bad parts! At HIP, we found ourselves with a large amount of slightly damaged apples that we turned into some delicious roasted applesauce for one of our Senior Meals. The applesauce was a huge hit so we thought we would share the recipe with all of you. The original recipe is from Martha Stewart and can be found here.
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 pounds small assorted apples, such as Gala, McIntosh, or Fuji (about 10)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine water, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- Scatter butter pieces over mixture, and top with apples. Roast until apples are very soft, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Working in batches, pass apple mixture through the medium disk of a food mill and into a bowl. (If you don’t have a food mill, you can puree the applesauce in a food processor and then strain it.) Stir in spices. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.