Homemade applesauce for a sweet side dish after Meatless Monday

Growing up, I loved visiting my grandmother's house because of everything she cooked. Now grown up, I still think she made the best American country cuisine I've ever tasted. One of the dishes she always had in her fridge was homemade applesauce. Much like homemade vegetable broth, applesauce made from scratch (this version adapted from Betty Crocker's cookbook) enhances anything you use it in. But it's also a tasty side dish -- naturally vegan and gluten-free -- that's so easy to make there's really no reason to ever use the store-bought version. (Sorry, Mott's.)

See also: - Vegan blueberry muffins with lemon for a breakfast treat on Meatless Monday

You will need:

4-5 cooking apples (Braeburn or McIntosh, preferably) A little over 1/2 cup of water 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Cut the apples into quarters. Cut off the stems and cut out the seeds. Peel the apples, placing them in a saucepan when they're finished. 2. Add the water to the apples and bring to a boil on your stovetop. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until apples are tender. Use a potato masher to smash the apples. 3. Add the cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. Stir in the additions and cook for another minute. 4. Mash them up one last time. Cool before storing in the fridge -- or you can serve the applesauce warm. Whatever you do, save at least 1/2 cup of this homemade applesauce, because next week, we'll be making my grandma's applesauce muffins -- vegan-style.

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