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My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Product review: The best single-serve applesauce is ...

I have found that large-scale applesauce jars tend to get shoved to the back of our refrigerator over a period of two to three days, and, when I finally find it again, it's usually morphed into a mad science experiment growing pink mold. Why applesauce generates pink mold is something I don't quite understand. Any scientists out there: please refrain from explaining. I really don't care, either. It's simply an aggravating fact of life.

For this reason, unless I am making a recipe requiring large amounts of applesauce, I stick to single-serve applesauce snacks. Maybe you have children who inhale a whole jar of applesauce at one shot, but even with three adults in the house, this shoving the big jar in the back of the frig phenomenon occurs and the applesauce spoils. So, while generally, this would be your most expensive option, I personally find single-serving applesauce a better buy.

One day a couple of years ago, while cruising down the aisles of Wal-Mart, I discovered the mother lode of Mott's Healthy Harvest brands, which include no-sugar-added, flavored applesauce. I tried some and it has become one of my favorite snacks, substituting for the artificially-sweetened rice pudding snacks I was eating a little too regularly. Each one is approximately one serving (1/2 cup) of applesauce, making for no-brainer portion control (my favorite kind). Admittedly, unless you're topping it with frozen Cool Whip Light (my father's favorite trick for an apple-pie-like dessert), it's hard to overeat applesauce.

My favorite Mott's single-serve applesauce is a tie between Healthy Harvest Peach Medley (which includes peach and mango puree in addition to applesauce) and Healthy Harvest Strawberry flavor. Make sure it says Healthy Harvest and no sugar added on the package, or it will be sweetened applesauce. (The plain Granny Smith Healthy Harvest also is good, but it's just not my favorite kind; however, the enclosed photo gives you an idea of what the single-serving package looks like.)

I've tried Musselman's; I've tried store brands; however, I keep coming back to Mott's single-serve applesauce (and that was before additional flavors were available. I think it's the best (although the new no-sugar added brands I just saw on Amazon look intriguing and I may someday revise my opinion).

A helpful hint: if you buy the large container of applesauce and are valiantly trying to use it up, stir in a pinch of pumpkin pie spice into each serving to perk up the flavor.

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