If you weed through an array of options and read a lot of labels, you can find prepared applesauce without high fructose corn syrup, artificial colorings or artificial sweeteners at the grocery store. Why bother when making your own is so easy?
All you have to do is peel and slice some apples and throw them into a slow cooker with a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, water and a cinnamon stick. You can even leave out the cinnamon stick if finding the ones that you know are hiding somewhere at the back of your pantry is too much trouble.
Homemade applesauce makes a great topping for pancakes and latkes like these Baked Sweet Potato and Parsnip Latkes. The CompostMaster also loves to eat this applesauce warm topped with a little bit of gluten-free granola or walnuts as dessert.
I used a combination of Gala and Red Delicious apples for my applesauce, but experiment with different varieties to see what you like best.
Cinnamon Applesauce (Slow Cooker)
Adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann
7 large apples (about 4 pounds total), peeled, cored and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 cinnamon stick
Toss apples, lemon juice and water in slow cooker. Bury cinnamon stick in the middle of the apples. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or on LOW for 6 hours until apples are falling apart.
Remove cinnamon stick. If you want your applesauce chunky, leave as is or use a potato masher right in the slow cooker to break up the bigger pieces. If you want a smoother applesauce, purée cooked apples in a food processor or with an immersion blender.
Serve applesauce warm or place it in a jar with a screw-top lid and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Makes 4 cups (12 servings)
Per serving (1/3 cup): 42 calories, 0g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 11g carb, 1g fiber, 9g sugar, 0g protein
Nutritional Analysis: Apples are a good source of Vitamin C and Fiber. (Source: nutritiondata.com)