Slow Cooker Applesauce

A while back, I went to an apple orchard with my family.  I came back with a whole bushel of apples, which is way more than two people can eat because they start to go bad.  There are so many things that you can do with apples, like pies, crumbles, apple butter, baked apples, apple donuts, the list goes on and on.  While those are all fine and dandy one of my favorite, and easiest, ways to use up apples is to make applesauce.  There are many ways that you can make applesauce, but I find the simplest way is to make it in my slow cooker.  I can barely call this a “recipe” as it really doesn’t take much to make, but here is how I make my applesauce!

Slow Cooker Applesauce 

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  • 2 to 3 pounds of apples (really as many as your crockpot can hold)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • water

 

1. Wash and cut your apples into slices, making sure you get rid of the core and seeds.  You can peel your apples, but I like to keep the skin on for extra fiber

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2. Place apples in your slow cooker and add in lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add in 1/2 to 3/4 cups water depending on how many apples you have.  You don’t want to cover the apples with water, just enough to add a little bit of steam while cooking.

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3.  Cover and cook the apples on low for about 6 hours.  Remove cinnamon sticks and either using a hand blender (the easiest way) or blender/food processor, blend the apples to desired consistency.  I like them smooth but you can leave in a few chunks if you like.

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4.  Let the applesauce cool completely and then move to a mason jar or other container and store in the fridge.

 

I like to use my applesauce to make baked goods like muffins, bread, or cookies.  It also is a great topping for pork chops or even as a delicious and quick snack!  Now go and cook up those apples!

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How To Enjoy Fall

Fall is the best.  I don’t just think that because my birthday is in the fall or I got married in the fall or one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving, is in the fall.  Sure, all those things further my love of fall but they aren’t the main reasons.  There is a change in the air and the scenery and it inspires change in daily life too, at least for me.  While many people think of spring as the time of renewal and things coming to life, I feel like fall is the same way.  The leaves turn to beautiful shades of gold, orange, and red, there is a certain crispness to the air, and the seasonal offerings at the market are warm and hearty.  It’s just a great time of year and I think we should all take some time to enjoy it!  These are some of my favorite things to do come fall time.

Apple Picking

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My family has always gone apple picking during the fall.  Whether it was on a school field trip or a day off on our own, I have many memories of picking apples.  This Monday, I got the chance to go apple picking with my parents and my sister and her fiance.  I haven’t been apple picking with my family in a few years and it was great to relive some fond memories of my childhood.  There is nothing better than walking up and down row after row of apple trees, sampling as many apples as your stomach can hold, and loading up bags with your favorites.  Anyone who has been apple picking can tell you, fresh picked apples are just better.  And tons of apples can only lead to good things like apple pie, apple crisp, apple sauce, and apple butter.  Plus, what would apple picking be without a stop at the country store for fresh apple donuts and homemade fudge?  Go find an orchard near you and enjoy this fall favorite activity.

Pumpkins

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You know I love pumpkins and it’s no secret that the rest of the population goes pumpkin crazy this time of year.  I like eating them, baking with them, decorating with them, picking them, and just being around them.  Pumpkins are great and when I see the first few pumpkins hit the stands, I know fall is pretty much here.

Squash in General

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I like zucchini and summer squash just as much as the next person, but there is something so satisfying about winter squashes.  They’re creamy, filling, versatile, and so tasty.  There are so many varieties out there, butternut, kabocha, delicata, acorn, kuri…. The list goes on and on.  You can eat them in pretty much every dish during the fall.  Add them to soups, salads, stuff them full of delicious things, bake with them, or my personal favorite, roast them.  You can make them sweet, savory, or spicy.  They might look intimidating, but once you know how to handle them you’ll be eating them all the time.  Go get some from your local farmer’s market and enjoy immediately!

The Scenery

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I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful I think fall is.  I feel like the leaves change from day to day providing new and even more gorgeous scenery than the day before.  And the smell of fallen leaves, raked leaves, and burning leaves are some of the best scents I can think of.  I also love fall weather.  It’s usually fairly mild, chilly in the mornings and evenings but with that golden sunshine the afternoons are pleasantly warm.  This is the best time of the year to get outside with your workouts before the harsh weather of winter comes.  I love running in the brisk weather in the morning and then taking a long stroll in the afternoon, crunching leaves underfoot along the way.  Fall is when I soak up that last bit of sunshine before I’m stuck indoors during the winter.  Find a way to get outside during this time of year.  Whether it’s for a workout, a walk a football game, or just sitting out in your backyard, enjoy that fall air.

I could keep writing on and on about all the things I love during the fall.  Watching football games, band competitions, being around family and food at Thanksgiving, celebrating my anniversary with my husband, sipping warm tea and reading while it’s raining outside, smelling my mom’s hot apple cider simmering on the stove are all things that I love about this season.  While you might not be as passionate about fall as I am, you can definitely find something to enjoy about this time of year.  Get out there and make the most of fall!

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Happy Fall!!