Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Crockpot Applesauce

How is it that being home one day with my children after a 3-day blissful vacation with my handsome husband has me wishing I was highly medicated in a psych ward? Not really (OK, yes, really - but I think that's insensitive to say, but now I've said it), I imagine psych wards are a horrendous place I shan't joke about, but recently I'm hyper aware of women locked up in institutions after reading this book

Seriously thought provoking. Makes one feel a lil' bit more grateful, for about 3 seconds...then I look at my two year old's work of art and come back to my current reality. The reality of two huge piles of sandbox dirt on the carpet of my bedroom floor. Carpet. Bedroom. Floor. 

How does he do that? Three floors up from ground level. Why does he do that? Because he's two? How does he sneak by me? If you have enlightenment to any of the above or how to discipline a two year old we need to have virtual coffee, stat. Until then, I'll just be feeding the demon child two year old this crockpot applesauce. 
Alas! Let me forget about the pile of sand I need to remove from my Dyson and tell you about applesauce. I'm not one for kitchen gadgetry, I like my Santoku, a good cutting board and the subject, but using this little contraption made the job a lil' bit quicker.

Yes, leave the peel on! It must be proven somewhere that all the nutrition and fiber is in the peel. Don't throw it out...it all gets whirred up in the blender at the end. 
I wish I could tell you the variety of apples I used, but I can't! Because they came from my neighbor's yard -isn't that sweet? I just knocked on their door and viola!  I took a bite of one and could tell it was a good for pie making variety, because it was a little on the soft side and not very tart. 
My apples are dressed with cinnamon, lemon and orange juice. I think you could also use apple juice or water in the place of the orange juice. I added 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, which I think was cinnamon overboard, but I've been know to go overboard before. 

How can you use applesauce? 
  • Substitute oil in muffins, cookies, and quick breads with applesauce. 
  • Use as baby food. 
  • Make a homemade granola by tossing oats, sunflower & flax seeds, applesauce & honey on a large cookie sheet. Bake at low heat for several hours, tossing frequently. 
  • Top pancakes or latkes with applesauce.
  • Add to your morning bowl of cooked oatmeal.
  • Serve warmed applesauce with pork chops. 
  • Use as a dipper for churros, doughnuts or other baked goods.
  • Stir into yogurt.
  • Running low on jelly? Use applesauce in place of jelly in your PB&J's. 
  • Freeze in 1 or 2 cup measurements to use throughout the winter months. 

Crockpot Applesauce
yield: 6 cups

prep time: 25 minutes
cook time: 6 hours

10-15 apples, depending on size, chopped, skin-on
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup water, orange or apple juice

Place all ingredients in a large crockpot and stir well to combine. Cook on low heat for about 6 hours, stirring once or twice.

Once apples have broken down and have turned to mush, place them into a high-powered blender or food processor and whiz up to desired consistency. Note: You may need to add a little water or juice to help the blender along.

Move applesauce to a container and chill well. Once applesauce is cold move into freezer-safe containers and freeze up-to a year or use within a week in the refrigerator. 

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I'd love to hear all about your kitchen adventures! Xo, Becki