Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Staple Recipe: Slow-cooker Applesauce

I'm writing this post in a hospital waiting room. My husband is finally getting the shoulder surgery he's been wanting to have for several years. His shoulder dislocates fairly regularly and it prevents him from doing many of the activities that he enjoys -- even picking up Luc certain ways. So it's a good hospital visit today, but that doesn't make it any less long!

Applesauce is a baby and toddler staple. From the age of 6 months, you'll be going through a lot of this stuff! The slow cooker makes preparing a big batch of applesauce so easy and convenient. You can then freeze it in whatever quantity works for you. You could use baby cubes for infant-sized portions and one-cup container for toddler, child, and adult portions.

Not only is it a great healthy snack on its own but it makes a great mixer for baby food purees, especially mixed with meats and vegetables that baby may find less appealing on their own. I will be posting a great puree recipe in the coming weeks that features this pre-made applesauce but really so many things taste great with the addition of a bit of sweet apple. It also great to have on hand in the freezer to bake with or to use as a dip for waffle strips.                                                

Slow-cooker Applesauce

- 3lbs  Macintosh apples
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-  2 quarts (8 cups) water
- 1/2 cup water, apple juice, or cider

In a very large bowl mix the 2 quarts of water with the apple cider vinegar.

Peel, core and quarter the apples, placing them in the bowl of water as you go, making sure they get submerged (this step prevents browning).

Once you are done cutting the apples, drain them well and add them to a slow-cooker (at least 4-quart capacity) and add the 1/2 cup water, juice or cider.

Cook on high for 3 hours. At the end of that time giving the apples a good stir will make them dissolve into applesauce.

* This recipe is for unsweetened applesauce. If you'd like to sweeten it for kids over one year or yourself, replacing 1/4 cup of the water for 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (a darker grade is best) results in a seriously delicious applesauce free of refined sugar.

* Makes approximately 3 cups.

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