Applesauce & Other DIY Projects to do Before Winter

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Applesauce Recipe

As winter approaches, there are some time sensitive projects we always set aside time to do. We wanted to give you a rundown of a few of these projects so you can be doing them too!

Applesauce Recipe: Chunky or Smooth

Apples are in right now, so it’s the perfect time to get your applesauce made. We try to make enough to last until the next fall.

First, determine your favorite type of applesauce. Do you like chunky or smooth? The smooth stuff reminds us of baby food (and makes Matt gag), so we make chunky.

Chunky applesauce recipe

Get an apple slicer/peeler/corer to process the apples and place into a large stock pot. Add about an inch of water and some cinnamon (to taste), turn on high heat and begin stirring and mashing with a potato masher. Cook and mash until you reach your desired consistency and place in jars for canning, or eat fresh. Refer to your canning guide for proper procedure.

Smooth applesauce recipe

Start by coring and quartering the apples with a paring knife. Cook down apples as described above then pour into a stainless steel chinois sieve and process into a bowl. Pour the pureed apples into jars for canning, or eat fresh. Refer to your canning guide for proper procedure. (You can also use a sauce maker to make smooth applesauce.)

Homemade Sauerkraut

We’re big fans of fermented foods, and sauerkraut is one of the easiest to make. With cabbage in season right now, we buy a few heads and make enough to last several months. We only use a little bit of sauerkraut at a time, so a few quart jars of it will last through the winter. Check out our Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe and all the health benefits it has.

Elderberry Cough Syrup or Elderberry Glycerite

As weather gets colder and we spend more time indoors, we work hard to guard our health from the increased germs we encounter. Elderberry is a recommendation you may hear from doctors if you ask for alternatives to the flu shot. Some doctors recommend taking it from about October through March to prevent illness. Elderberry products are so easy to make and taste great so kids won’t mind taking them. This fall I made an elderberry glycerite, which has a much longer shelf life than elderberry syrup and is so concentrated that you only need a few drops daily, but it takes a few weeks to make. This means you need to get a jump on making it now! Check out our tutorial here on making Natural Elderberry Cough Syrup and scroll to the bottom of this article for an easy Elderberry Glycerite recipe.

Psssst…many companies will be sold out of dried elderberries this time of year, so check here or here if you can’t find them.

Flavored Extracts for Holiday Baking or Gift Giving

Extracts can take up to a few months to make, so it’s wise to plan ahead for these. If you want to give great Christmas gifts to the foodie in your life, things like vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and stevia extract are simple to make, but need to be started now. For your convenience, we have tutorials to help you make your own Vanilla Extract and other Flavored Extracts.

Homemade Kahlua

Kahluah also makes a great holiday gift and is a fun drink to serve at holiday gatherings. But Homemade Kahlua has to stand for three weeks before drinking or giving as a gift. So if it sounds like a project you’re dying to try, check out our article on Homemade Kahlua and start gathering your ingredients soon!

Homemade Moisturizer

You can make DIY moisturizers all year long, but I find it especially helpful to make them this time of year as I start to notice a difference in the texture of my skin. I’m in need of a heavier moisturizer now that warm weather is a thing of the past. Through the cold months I use this Non-Greasy Hand and Body Moisturizer as my everyday lotion. But I also like to have several of these Chocolate Scented Lotion Bars on hand – one on my nightstand, one in my purse, and several to give as gifts. You might also fall in love with this Herbal Body Cream or Homemade Moisturizer for Natural Hand Repair.

Are you gearing up to do any projects before winter hits? We’d love to hear about them! Share with us in the comments!


About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebookand Twitter.

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  1. Andresa says

    My elderberry syrup has been made. I’ll probably need to make some more as I was taking multiple and larger doses for over a week due to experiencing flu and cold; I really wanted to get the immune system built back up. Now I’ve dropped down to my normal spoonful before bedtime. Something I’ll continue at least through the end of the year.