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Applesauce can be a versatile ingredient

Recipe: Fruit substitutes for milk in old-fashioned pancakes


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Applesauce makes a healthy substitute for milk in the pancakes. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Apples are keepers. Harvested in fall, they continue to stay firm (and ripe) while in cold storage for months.

With a large Granny Smith apple tree, I still have "fresh" home-grown apples in the fridge -- plus a lot of applesauce. As the fruit starts to soften, I cook it into sauce, giving me more options of how to use up my apples. (And I can freeze the sauce.)

Of course, applesauce is great as a side dish on its own, but it's also a versatile ingredient in baked goods. (I use it as a substitute for milk or sour cream in muffins and quick breads.)

And it makes delicious pancakes. They smell like apples on the griddle.

Applesauce pancakes
Makes about 8 (5-inch) pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce
1 egg or 1 egg substitute
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Butter or margarine for griddle (about 1 tablespoon)

Instructions:

Preheat griddle. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

In another bowl or large mixing cup, mix together applesauce and egg or egg substitute until blended.
Gradually add applesauce mixture to dry ingredients. Mix in oil. Batter should be spoonable, not stiff. If needed, add 1/4 cup more applesauce.

Butter a hot griddle. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto griddle. Cook until little bubbles start to appear in the surface (about 3-4 minutes). Turn pancakes and cook until done.

Serve warm with butter, margarine, syrup or powdered sugar.

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RECIPE

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.

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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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