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Got Apples? Easy Ways to Put Them Up



My son Nathan and his boys pickin’ apples in our orchard.

Got apples? I do!  They are crisp and sweet and ultra delicious and healthy! But because we don’t spray them, very few are perfect enough to endure winter storage. Plus I always have plenty of ground apples from windstorms. Here’s some simple ways to put up apples without too much effort:

Too-Easy Applesauce

Wash apples and cut in fourths, removing the core. Do not peel. Fill a big cooking pot with apples (mix varieties for the most delicious taste) and 1″ water. Put a lid on and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until apples are tender. Ladle into a blender and puree. Blend until smooth or chunky. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon if you like. No need to sweeten. Pour into recycled cottage cheese or yogurt containers, leaving 1″ space for expansion when freezing. Write “Applesauce ”13″ on the lid, and freeze—you’re set. This is really sweet and delicious on whole wheat pancakes, waffles, to top baked custard or stir into plain yogurt!

Ready-to-Go Apple Slices

To prevent browning, pour 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, orange juice or  a few tablespoons of lemon juice diluted in water into a big bowl. Or just dissolve a vitamin C pill in 1 cup of water—it works just as well. Wash apples and slice them right into the bowl, discarding the core. I leave the peels on because I don’t like too much work, and it really doesn’t matter: the finished dessert is just as scrumptious!  Toss from time to time to make sure the juice coats all the apple slices as you are filling up the bowl.

Lift apple slices out of juice to drain and put into a labeled ziplock freezer bag. The juice/water in the bowl can be reused. Close bag, inserting a straw just before sealing  and suck out all the air before sealing completely. It should look vacuum packed.  Lay the bag down and flatten it so it will stack more easily in the freezer, and be the right thickness to put into a dish when preparing a dessert later.  You don’t have to thaw the apples to use them, as they will thaw and cook in the oven. These bags are so handy to have in your freezer.  Pull one out, remove the frozen apples slab to your pan and put a crust or apple crisp topping on it, and bake.   You can also use frozen sliced apples to make a batch of warm applesauce at breakfast time to top  pancakes!

Dry ‘Em

If you are short on freezer space, put those apples on the dryer.  You do have to peel these apples because the skins turn leathery and hard to chew in the dehydrator.  So, this is more work, but here goes:

Peel apples and slice about 1/2″ thick.  Slice across apple slices to make chopped cubes (or actually rectangles). Don’t cut them too small or thin or you won’t be able to pry them off the drying trays.  They really shrink!  Process in dehydrator until dry but pliable.  Store in a glass jar and use to add to muffins, coffee cake, sweet breads, cookies, granola, etc.

Yum! Apple time…

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  • SaraA February 12, 2014, 12:31 am

    Hi Diane, I have been reading your blog off and on for over 7 years and have learned so much from you! I was wondering, after 4.5 years, are you and Louisa still sugar-free? I was originally inspired by you in 2009, and have tried unsuccessfully all this time to go SF, but usually lapse at about the 3 month mark, and then go on a sugar binge. Just haven’t managed to kick it to the curb! Was wondering if your victory has lasted, or if either of you have struggled with relapses as well. Thanks, Sara

    • admin February 12, 2014, 12:45 am

      Thanks for writing Sara. Here’s how it worked. Life got very complicated (some sore trials came our way) and it worked more into an ideal but more realistic. I don’t usually eat much sugar, as I know it is not good for me, but if someone makes me cookies, I will eat some, because they came with love and being loved is more important than being sugar-free. And there are times in high stress circumstances where you cannot control what you eat, and are just glad you have food (thinking of stressful times). So, yes, I try to eat healthy and usually do, but I’m thinking it shouldn’t take too much effort/thought or it might take on too high a priority. Loving kindness, that is the sweet I want the most of, and try with all my heart to serve up. ; 0 )