Saturday, December 31, 2011

Slow Cooker Applesauce {Vegan}

Day 365.

I made it! 365 days of meals for our entire blended-eater family to enjoy together. And for our final converted meal of the year, we've chosen an easy breakfast of homemade whole food CrockPot applesauce. This is not only a delicious breakfast, but also a great way to keep applesauce on-hand in single servings for baking and slow cooker recipes. I use applesauce frequently as a replacement for oil and sometimes egg.

Now that I've decided to participate in Get Real in 2012, I am moving away from my conveniently sized kid cups of applesauce (the Mott's natural packs). I'll miss their convenience, but it really is a lot less expensive (not to mention healthier) and easier to make adjustments for personal preferences when you make your own. To keep it relatively convenient, I'm using my muffin tin to freeze 1/4 cup portions for future recipe use. The entire batch makes about 4 cups or about 16 1/4 cup servings. This will work much like my Frozen Fruit Cups for toddler teething and sore throats.

Slow Cooker Applesauce
Adapted from CrockPot Applesauce Recipe.
Ingredients for 4 cups (16 1/4 cup servings)
  • 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut in eighths (I used organic gala)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or sucanat (optional, I usually leave it out)
Directions
Place all ingredients in a 4 or 6-quart crock. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. Mash with a potato masher or a fork.

To freeze and store for baking and recipe needs: place 1/4 cup in each of 24 silicone muffin tin slots (or plastic wrap-lined metal muffin tins). Flash freeze until solid (at least 4 hours). Remove applesauce rounds from muffin tin (pop out or peel out, depending on which type of tin you use) and divide applesauce pucks among gallon freezer bags to refreeze.

To use: Thaw individual serving in a bowl in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and use in recipes as egg and oil substitutes.

Other uses: mix into oatmeal or serve frozen for toddlers with sore throats or teething aches.

The Results
This applesauce is incredible. The vanilla was a bit of a surprise, but it really enhances the flavor. The recipe is so simple to put together and you cannot even imagine how easy the apples are to mash (mine were easy to puree with a fork or potato masher after just 4 hours). We like ours a little chunky, but you can mash a bit longer or hit it with an immersion blender if you like it smooth. The kids and adults all love this applesauce much more than the pre-packaged stuff.

This post is shared with What's for Lunch Wednesday , Gallery of Favorites, Simply Delish and Muffin Tin Monday.

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I've been following you for a long while and have recommended your site to many of my friends. Love the recipes a great deal. :)

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  2. Thanks so much Two Kayaks! I'm so glad you like the recipes and hope your friends have, too.

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  3. I am going to have to try this recipe, I would love it if you share your recipe here:

    http://juliejewels1.blogspot.com/2011/12/show-your-stuff-4.html

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  4. Looks tasty. Thanks for sharing with Simply Delish. Happy New Year!

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