To soften apples for quick and healthy applesauce or as an alternative to jarred baby food, you will need to cook them briefly. You can also partially soften apples to make them easier to chew while still keeping their shape. If you are in a time pinch, you can soften apples in the microwave, rather than on the stove. Once they're fully softened, you should be able to mash them with a fork and add in any flavorings or add them to your recipe.
Peel the apples and remove the cores.
Slice the apples into pieces that are all the same size. The more equal in size your apples are, the more evenly they will cook in the microwave. If you are preparing several apples, place them into a bowl and mix them with a couple teaspoons of lemon juice to keep them from browning.
Place the sliced apples into a microwave-safe dish. Cover the apples with water and place them in the microwave.
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Microwave the apples in 1- to 2-minute intervals depending on how soft you want the apples and how many you are cooking. Check the apples after each minute until they reach the desired consistency.
If you're softening the apples only so they're easier to chew, it may only take 1 minute in the microwave.
If you're cooking the apples for a baby, make sure you allow them to cool before you serve them.
Christina Martinez has been writing professionally since 2007. She's been published in the California State University at Fullerton newspaper, "The Daily Titan." Her writing has also appeared in "Orange County's Best" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and print journalism from California State University.