Tuesday Timesaver: Homemade Cherry Applesauce in 18 Minutes


One of our fave parts of summer is all the fresh produce. This summer we’re especially loving cherries, one of this year’s “in” ingredients according to trendspotters at the annual Fancy Foods Show, which took place in Washington, DC, last week. Mason first tried and enjoyed cherries in oatmeal. When I picked up a carton of cherries at the market last Thursday, I decided to combine some with organic Gala apples to make cherry applesauce. In addition to all the fiber from the apples and vitamins from both fruits, the cherries pack a powerful punch of antioxidants. The applesauce still tastes like applesauce but with a slight hint of cherry and it has a gorgeous rosy color. I cooked and pureed the rest of the cherries to make cherry yogurt (2 ounces of cherry puree + 3 spoonfuls of full-fat Greek yogurt). I made cinnamon-spiced applesauce with the rest of the apples.

Of course I could have just gone to the store to buy the cherry applesauce but the brand my store carries has 17 grams of sugar and 15 milligrams of sodium. No thanks. If there were an all-natural brand at my store and I were to walk there  to buy it — I live in New York City and never drive  — it would take 30 minutes round-trip, plus I’d have to haul Mason in his stroller. It only took 18 minutes to whip up the cherry applesauce after Mason went to bed (I already had the fruit on hand as part of our summer staple). I felt great knowing that the vitamin-rich applesauce I was going to feed Bug the next morning was totally natural — and that I saved time making it. Does your babe like applesauce? If so, do you mix it with other fruit?


Homemade Cherry Applesauce

Ingredients

10 fresh cherries
2 Gala apples

Directions

1. Wash cherries, remove pits, and slice in half. Set aside.
2. Wash, peel, core, and dice apples. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Add apples and cook for 9 minutes; add cherries and cook both fruits together for 3 more minutes.
3. Drain and rinse the fruit under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture or mash with a potato masher for a chunkier texture. Makes about 10 ounces.
4. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to 3 months.

Cherry Puree

Ingredients

Fresh Cherries

Directions

Wash cherries, remove pits and slice in half. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Cook cherries for three minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Puree for a smooth texture or mash with a potato masher for a chunkier texture. Freeze in 2-ounce portions for up to three months.

Cinnamon-Spiced Applesauce

Ingredients

4 Gala apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Water

Directions

Wash, peel, core, and dice apples. Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Cook apples until tender (about 12 minutes). Puree until smooth, adding in cinnamon halfway through.  Add water if needed. Makes 16 ounces. Freeze leftovers for up to three months.

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  1. by Lily

    On July 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Is it necessary to cook the cherries? I have blended some fresh cherries with yogurt and applesauce without cooking them. Should I be cooking them first?

  2. by Heather

    On July 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Lily–there’s no reason that you have to cook them if they’re very ripe. I just do to make them extra soft to blend.

  3. by Stacey

    On August 4, 2011 at 7:19 am

    You say in each recipe…”cook for ___ minutes”, but you fail to say how you are cooking the fruit. Is it boiled in water (or juice) on the stovetop? Or do you put it in the microwave to soften the pulp? I’m eager to use the recipes, but I don’t want to boil off nutritional properties (or nuke them either). Thanks for the recipes and the clarification.

  4. by Heather

    On August 4, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Hi Stacey — Apologies for the confusion. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat until the bubbles are very soft. Cook apples for 12 minutes, adding cherries for the last three. Drain and rinse under very cold water. If you still have questions, feel free to email me directly at heather.shott@meredith.com. Many thanks for your interest in High Chair Times!