Thursday, March 31, 2011

A is for...Apples for your Health!

     A is for.....Apples!  How could I not start the first day of the challenge with that basic wholesome (no packaging required!) old Lunchbox standard.  Apples are fantastic!  Lovely and red (or green or yellow), crunchy and sweet.  Kids love them and Mums do too.  They are a great portable snack in their own right.  but then there are all the great things you can do with apples for lunch box treats as well as after school or breakfast foods.  Before I stopped including peanut butter on my Daycare menu, sometimes we would have apples and peanut butter and rice cakes for snack.  There is something delicious about a piece of apple with a smear of peanut butter across it that just says "yum".  We still have apples and rice cakes for snack, we just have cheese instead of peanut butter.
I don't even want to think about how many apples we eat our way through in our house each week (well, maybe I do...5 for lunches, and then 4-5 for snack for daycare and then another 2 for those who like to snack after school...I feel like Friendly Giant, lining up the chairs..."and here's one more for two to curl up in", but I digress, I am sorry...) Sounds like it adds up to about 10-12 in a day...times that by 5 days...Add a few for the weekend...And I think it is time to buy an apple tree or two!  (of course I think even one of the smaller trees needs about 4 years to produce its first fruit...And a big one takes something like 7 years!)

And of course, there is always a recipe!  This one comes from Dietitians of Canada "Great Food Fast" that was published in 2000.  You can still buy it, or find it in your local library.  When I was a kid, my Mum used to make something called "snackin' cake" from a mix, and this recipe (which also tastes a whole lot better) makes me wonder why my mom used a mix at all, 'cause this one is that easy!

 Lunchbox Applesauce Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray or grease an 8 inch square baking pan.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (fine grind if you can get it)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup applesauce

Frosting (yes, this one is so good, but you can add the frosting too if you want, it makes it a bit "special")
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp milk or cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Cake: Sift together in a medium bowl flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, blend eggs, oil, sugars on high speed for one minute or until mixture is light and fluffy.  Stir in applesauce; blend at medium speed for 30 seconds.  Add dry ingredients; blend at medium speed for 30 seconds or until well combined.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted into center of cake.  Cool in the pan.

2. Frosting:  In a medium bowl of an electric mixer, blend icing sugar, butter, milk and vanilla at high speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add additional milk as required to reach desired consistency.  Spread frosting on top of the cake.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Sometimes when I make this cake, I leave off the frosting all together and just sprinkle some icing sugar over the top.  It always goes over well.  Easy to make and very inexpensive!

Thanks for stopping by!  And if you want to check out some more "A to Z blogging" I have included one of the blog links for the letter "A":  "allison writes" is the "A" blog 
Happy Packing!


  1. What a neat post! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks for the recipe! :) I just love apples.

  3. Great "A" post, who does not love a apple? They are delicious! :) Thanks for the recipe too!

  4. Sounds like you definitely need a couple of apple trees, Kim!
    Look forward to more of your A-Z blogs - and finding out what else you have in your lunchbox!

  5. Your recipe for apple sounds great! I will have to try it.

    I am doing a recipe a letter for the A to Z challenge and started with apples as well!

  6. Thanks for stopping by! And @ the lady with the umbrella, I liked your apple pie filling recipe! Yum Yum
    On to the next letter!

  7. sounds delicious, Kim. I'd like to give it a try.

  8. Kate, it will be your new "go-to recipe", it is just that easy. And everyone thinks its so "special" to have "cake" in their lunch, you will be the kitchen hero!

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