My favorite hiking snack idea came from my 1 year old granddaughter! While feeding her homemade applesauce, it dawned on me that I should be packing this nutritious food for my hikes. Apples are a quick source of energy to keep me going strong when I am burning a lot of calories on the trail.
When my kids were young, I fed them freshly pureed food with a baby spoon. Today’s babes eat from a brilliant invention – a squeezable pouch! Disposable pouches filled with a variety of fruits and veggies line the grocery store shelves. As someone with food allergies, I prefer to prepare my own foods to ensure that the ingredients are safe for me to eat. I also aim to be environmentally conscientious, therefore I pack my food in reusable, lightweight containers.
To prep this snack, I combine a variety of apple slices in my 8 quart Duo Instant Pot. For extra energy, I add Chia Seeds to the cooled applesauce mixture. Sometimes I toss in other fruits, such as sliced pear or whole strawberries. Within an hour, I have filled squeeze pouches piled in my freezer drawer! When it is time to hike, I throw 1-2 pouches into my food bag, and I am ready to go. The frozen pouches keep other food items, such as hardboiled eggs, chilled until I am ready for a snack or lunch break. Back at home, I rinse the pouches and place them into the top rack of the dishwasher for super easy clean up. Each filled pouch weighs about 8 ounces.
Instant Pot Applesauce with Chia Seeds
- Pressure Cooker
- Immersion blender or potato masher
- 12-14 Apples, peeled and sliced Combine 2-4 types including both tart and sweet options
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 1 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
- Optional fruit: 2 cups of blueberries or strawberries; Substitute several pears for apples
- Peel and slice the apples, placing them into the Instant Pot. Include the optional fruits as well. Add lemon juice and water. Seal the Instant Pot and turn on the pressure cooker. Set to Manual cook, high pressure, 8 minutes. Be sure the vent is closed.
- When the Instant Pot alarms rings after the 8 minute cook time, open the vent to release the steam. Use a thick towel or pot holder to prevent scalding your hand or arm. Open the pressure cooker carefully as there will still be steam rising from the applesauce mixture.
- Use a large spoon to mix the applesauce into a smooth sauce. If there are still chunks from apples or the optional extra fruit, use a potato masher or immersion blender.
- Allow to cool. Mix in the chia seeds. Using a 1 cup measuring container, scoop a little less than a cup of sauce into the reusable pouch, carefully sealing the package. Place into the freezer for storage until time to hike.