Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crockpot applesauce

We found out that our daughter (10 months) has issues with gluten, so to help save money and for the fun of it, I have been making home made baby food. Her favorite food is applesauce. She'll eat just about anything if it's mixed with applesauce. We were using Gerber baby food before, and for 2 containers of applesauce, it was $1.10 on sale. I made enough applesauce to fill 15 containers for $3.28. That is 21 cents per container. Big time savings! It is SUPER simple to make. =)

Step one: Pick out your apples. You will want the sweeter apples, like Red or Golden Delicious, Gala, or Braeburn. It means you will have to add less sugar in the end.

I used Gala this time since they were on sale
Step two: Peel your apples. Simple but time consuming. Linnea (my daughter) and I watched The Lion King while I was peeling. Maybe I am just a slow peeler.

I only peeled 7 apples because that is all my crockpot can fit.

Step three: Core and slice up your apples. It is okay if they have bruises. You won't be able to tell when they are done cooking. You want to cut out rust spots and worm holes. Those will affect the taste of your applesauce. It doesn't matter what size you cut the pieces into, as long as all the pieces are close in size. This will help with uniform cooking.

My pieces were about quarter size
Step four: Place the apple pieces into your crock pot and turn it on low.
Step five: Add about a cup of water or apple juice to the crockpot. This will help the apples retain moisture, so they soften, not dry out.

I used apple juice so I could use less sugar later on as this is for baby food.

Step six: Let it cook for at 6+ hours, or until the apples are brown and mushy. You'll be able to tell the difference between a raw and a cooked apple. There will probably be some water or juice left in the bottom. This is okay and normal.
It's a little hard to see but the apples are brown.
Step seven: Mash the apples up. A potato masher works great. A food processor also works just fine. I lost my masher when we moved, so I used my food processor. You will want to mix the left over water or juice into whatever you're mashing. It'll help give the applesauce a smoother texture.
We like our applesauce a little chunky.
Step eight: Add cinnamon and sugar(or juice) to taste. You will want to do this while it is still warm, as the sugar will absorb better.

Step nine: Chill and enjoy. (Or if you are impatient like me, enjoy now)

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