Try this super easy and healthy zero waste homemade applesauce to please your palette and your crew. Cinnamon also optional! Read on for simple instructions and a little more about our best resources for zero waste lifestyle advice.
This is part of a series,Simply Relish, about limiting waste and making the most of what we have in our kitchens to create simple and tasty recipes while reducing our impact on the planet.
Zero waste is trendy jargon, but you know who I think knows more about zero waste than any of us? Our grandmothers.
I haven’t met your grandmother, but if she’s anything like mine, she knows how to stretch her resources. She has mad sewing skills to make whatever she wants from whatever is on hand. She can turn the fruit of her home garden into meals for months for her family. And when the power goes out, she springs into action with all the skills.
Maybe that last part is just my grandmother when we’re vacationing in an island in northern Minnesota during a giant thunderstorm… but the gist rings true across a generation. Our grandmas (and grandparents, to be fair), lived without all the plastic and processed luxuries that fill our landfills now.
This applesauce is an ode to my grandmother. I simply peeled and sliced apples, then sauteed them in water until soft and delicious. You can add cinnamon, if you’re feeling so inclined. I also added the peels and cores to my backyard compost pile.
Depending on your grocery store, you may be able to buy cinnamon in the bulk section. I discussed more about the intersection of zero waste and baking in my Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Zero Waste Baking. Applesauce is also a great replacement for oil in many recipes, which makes zero waste a bit easier if you don’t have zero waste oil alternatives near you.
Not only did I get the recipe from my grandmother, but she also gave me the fancy peeling tool as a gift. She knew the one she owned had caught my eye, so she bought me one not long after I used it at her house.
As we think about how to reduce our waste and be more thoughtful about our purchases, maybe we should reflect a bit more on how our parents and grandparents live. It doesn’t make sense to “go back in time” for everything (and that’s not realistic), but they can probably offer us a good bit of zero waste inspiration.
Zero Waste Homemade Applesauce
- 6-8 apples peeled and sliced
- 5-7 cups water
Saute apples on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add water periodically so it does not get dry. Continue stirring and adding water until sauce has reached desired consistency.