It’s so easy to make healthy crock-pot applesauce using your slow cooker! This unsweetened applesauce can be canned, frozen, and is a great way to use apples in season.
According to Merriam-Webster crock-pot is a hyphenated word, did you know that? I had to look it up since my spell-check always tells me I made a mistake when I write “crockpot”. “Crock pot” just seems funny, and I know not everyone uses the phrase “slow cooker”. I’m glad we all learned something today.
One of the things I’ve been most excited about having a “real fall” is apple picking. We did go once in California, but there’s something about the idea of picking apples on a crisp cool day that seems so very “autumn”. It was a non-negotiable thing we had to do this season. So we headed out to a lovely 250+ year old farm nearby to pick apples and a perfect little pumpkin.
Even though Princess is still a little young for apple picking, she seemed to enjoy it. I feel as if maybe the time she spends learning about food and making things from scratch will help her make conscientious food choices later? She’s only 9 months old though, so I’m probably getting a little ahead of myself.
If you are curious, she is wearing my necklace. Darling girl has a love for jewelry like her mama.
Back to the apples, we picked just over 10 pounds of assorted apples, and I had my first actually delicious Red Delicious apple. Fresh Red Delicious taste absolutely nothing like the sandy-textured rather bland monsters you buy at the grocery store. All the apple varieties we picked tasted wonderful, and more importantly, were grown without pesticides and other icky things.
I have plans for all 10 pounds of apples, but the first thing I chose to make was this applesauce. First of all because it takes no time at all, second because it’s a great snack/condiment/side, and third because I have plans to make things that require applesauce.
Given how popular this has been in our house, I will be procuring more apples and making another batch or two for the freezer before apple season is over. You’ll be surprised at how easy this is to make and will never buy applesauce again, pinkie promise.
You can cook the apples over the stove, but I like using my crock-pot. I think it gives the natural sweetness a little more time develop. This means you don’t have to add any sugar to the recipe. That’s a win-win in my book!
I don’t add any butter either, just four ingredients and that’s it. You don’t even have to use a specific blend of apples. I like to use a blend of sweet and tart apples. Do whatever makes you happy.
If you can though, head to a local farm before the season is over and pick your own. It’s not only a fun experience, but you support a local producer. And of course, you’ll end up with some of the best-tasting apples you’ve ever enjoyed.
- 3 lbs fresh apples
- 1/4 c water or no-sugar added juice of your choice
- 2 T fresh lemon juice
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks (optional)
- pinch of salt
- Wash and dry your apples.
- Peel, core and slice the apples, placing them into the slow cooker as you go.
- Toss the apple sliced with the fresh lemon juice, then add the water (or juice), pinch of salt, and cinnamon sticks (optional).
- Set the slow cooker to high for 2-2.5 hours or low 4-4.5 hours or until apples are tender and cooked through.
- Use a potato masher or food processor to reach the desired consistency and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze for later.
The applesauce may be stored in the refrigerator for a month, or you may choose to freeze up to 6 months or water bath can up to 6 months. The recipe may be shelf stable for longer after canning, but I have never had a jar of applesauce last longer than 6 months, so I cannot personally vouch for this recipe.
Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker with Digital Timer Stainless Steel
OXO Good Grips Potato Masher
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