There are so many seasonal goodies out this time of year. Before school starts, you can start seeing glimpses of candy corn and pumpkin spice flavored everything on the shelves of Target. I always get a little excited, to be honest.
Then as the weather cools, there’s pumpkin cookies galore, apple donuts and turnovers, ciders, mulled wine, and even more. So much indulgence, it’s no wonder the average person gains 5 to 10 pounds over the holiday season.
And although it’s perfectly fine to indulge occasionally, I like to keep something just as festive but much healthier on hand for when I’m feeling like a seasonal snack!
Enter sugar free crockpot applesauce. When they are acting like crazies, and nobody wants to eat anything of any nutritional value, this snack saves me. Unlike the time I tried to hide carrots in macaroni and cheese. Fail. It’s sweet, tastes like a dessert, but it’s simple, refined sugar free, and amazing. BONUS: Crockpot.
- 3 +lb bag of apples any flavor, I like Granny Smith
- 1/3 cup unsweetened apple juice or white grape juice or water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Peel the apples (optional). I don't peel the apples, because I like keeping the extra fiber in the applesauce. Plus, I use an immersion blender so the peels are unnoticeable. However, if peels bother you, then you can remove them.
Slice up the apples, and place them in the crockpot. I can usually fit 8 apples in the crockpot at a time, and it makes almost 2 quarts of applesauce.
The next step is to mix the apple juice or water with the cinnamon and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Then, pour the mixture over the apples and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours.
I love using Granny Smith apples for this recipe. I know Granny Smith is a little more sour than other apples but it gave the crockpot applesauce a really nice flavor without being too sweet like a lot of applesauce is.
Once the time is up, the apples are nice and soft and the house smells delicious. I used a potato masher and mushed them up a little, and then I get out the immersion blender and make sure that the peels are pureed up nice and smooth. And the crockpot applesauce is done. It is a big hit with the kids, especially since it tastes just like the filling in apple cobbler. You can change up the mixture by using different types of apples, and adding more fruits for more flavors.
This usually makes about 2-3 quart sized mason jars, and I let them cool in the fridge and then freeze them. They freeze/thaw very well, I usually stock up on these jars while apples are on sale during the fall. It works out well for us to have applesauce year round!
What’s your favorite tasty treat from the Fall harvest?