The other day, our almost 10 year old got braces. She was very brave and even gave me permission to take this scary photo. But watching her in the chair gave me flashbacks to my own days of having a mouth full of metal – and the soreness and discomfort that went with it. It was time to plan some menus filled with soft foods that she would enjoy but that wouldn’t add to her pain.
It wasn’t the best timing, considering our apple tree is bursting with fruit. Gone are the days that she can take a big bite into one of these…
Luckily, I have a great recipe for apple sauce (below), so she won’t feel like she is missing out. She and I brainstormed a bit and came up with several suggestions for meals that she would enjoy:
Breakfast: yogurt or kefir, scrambled eggs, oatmeal or cream of wheat, waffles or pancakes, smoothies, zucchini bread
Lunch: quesadillas, tuna, grilled cheese (but not too hard and toasty), soup, fruit, soft pretzels
Sides or Snacks: guacamole or hummus with cucumber slices, polenta, rice, roasted squash or sweet potatoes, baked potato, gnocchi, bananas, mandarin oranges, grapes, stone fruit, sliced
Dessert: milk shakes (of course!), raisin rice custard, tapioca, pudding, chocolate mousse (fancy, huh?) and frozen yogurt
3 lbs. apples, organic if possible
4 strips of lemon peel
3 inches of cinnamon stick
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
white sugar, to taste, up to 1/4 cup
1 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Wash the apples. You can even use dish soap, as long as you rinse them well.
- Cut the apples with a knife, wedger or apple peeler/corer/slicer.
- Compost the core and peels or feed them to your chickens.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel 4 strips of rind from the lemon. (You will notice that the white part is left behind – and that’s a good thing. It tastes bitter.)
- Cut the lemon in half.
- Juice the lemon, either by using a juicer or reamer, or by squeezing it by hand.
- Measure 3-4 Tablespoons of juice into a small bowl.
- Measure the brown sugar and add to the lemon juice.
- Measure the salt and add to the lemon juice and brown sugar.
- Put the pieces of apple, the contents of the lemon juice bowl, and a cinnamon stick into a pot.
- Cook on low until the apples are tender, between 20-30 minutes.
- If you wish, you can smash the apples with a potato masher, or you can leave them chunky
Note: Teachers can make this recipe with their students in the classroom. Simply use a crock pot and let the sauce cook on low for as long as you desire. But be warned, you will make the whole school smell good, so be ready to have other students and teachers come begging for a taste.