This is a public service announcement. It is OH-FISH-UHLEE after Halloween now. No more skeletons or ghosts or really freaky dolls and blood. From here on out it is 100% warm snuggly happy feelings of autumn minus anything creepy crawly. I think the day of the year I am most filled with potential is November 1st.
November 1st means 3 things.
- I can unabashedly start planning my Thanksgiving menu with zero restraint. (YYYEEEHAAAA!)
- My birthday is in two days.
- I don’t have to cringe anymore when I venture down my very favorite aisle in any store: the seasonal aisle.
My beautiful mom, who knows that I love fall food so much I can hardly contain myself sometimes, sent me a big box of fresh juicy Washington grown apples in the mail. It was the most exciting thing to come home from work to a big box of fall flavor.
Apple, spice, maple, pumpkin: autumn is filled with such warm flavors. If you talk to anyone who knows me well they will tell you that I am such a sissy when it comes to being warm. I always want a blanket and a sweater and the heavy comforter on our bed. It is just. so. good. That’s one reason why I get so excited when the cooler weather arrives. It means more opportunity to break out the comfy and get snuggling!
There is no better way to snuggle than to scoop up some bowls of this still-warm-from-hours-of-bubbling applesauce and eat it by the steamy spoonful. It’s delicious cold, too. Once you’ve had homemade applesauce there is no going back, especially when it is as easy as can be. Applesauce is extremely versatile, you can switch up the ingredients in so many ways. You can use any kind of apple you find. Even bruised and bumped apples taste great, and this can be a wonderful way to get rid of them. Any spices you think would be tasty, sprinkle ’em in! Even the fruit juice called for in the recipe is up to you. I used orange juice in mine because that’s what I had in my fridge, but you can substitute apple, grape, or cranberry. If you are used to the sweet store bought applesauce you might want to add a touch of sugar, but I don’t think it is truly necessary. The fruit juice and the apples themselves lend all of the sweetness you need.
This recipe is full of spices, pure apple goodness, and it makes your house smell UHmazing. The best news is that it takes so little effort and almost no babysitting because it simmers away in a crock pot. I’m not a super huge fan of slow cookers, I never caught onto the fad. But there are a few recipes that are completely stellar when aided by the crock pot and this applesauce is one of them. You’ll be excited to see how simple and yummy homemade applesauce it. It’s okay. I know it’s tough to accept something that seems too good to be true, but trust me. 😉 An added benefit? Apples are incredibly healthy for you! Check out this article by Helen Nichols over on Well-being Secrets about the health benefits of apples. I know I can rest easy scooping up another bowl of this applesauce when I remember it’s helping me out in 34 ways, you get my drift? (Yeah! Apples have over 30 nown health benefits!) So get on that yummy healthy apple express!
- 8 small apples
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp apple pie spice
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ c. fruit juice
- ¼ cup brown sugar (optional)
- Peel and chop the apples into small 1 inch pieces.
- Combine the apples with the remaining ingredients in the bowl of your small cooker.
- Cook on High for 4 hours, stirring once or twice if desired.
- After 4 hours mash the fruit with a potato masher until it reaches the consistency you would like. If you really love smooth applesauce, you can pulse the cooled sauce in a blender.
- Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, cold as a snack, or any way you would like!