I absolutely love fall. I love everything about it. Pretty much my entire life has been spent in Southeastern Pennsylvania which is a great part of the country for fall weather and fall foliage. I love the cool temperatures, the smell of leaves, the colors, fall activities, fall fruits and vegetables, watching football…you name it. This year, we actually went up to Vermont for a long weekend in the early fall. It was so beautiful. Coming from such a developed and populated area, it is amazing to me that there are still parts of this country…not so far from me…that are so pristine and unadulterated. One of the activities we did in Vermont was go apple picking! Now, this is something that we do around here too, but it was hard to resist the beautiful Vermont orchards! C loves apples and being crazy outside so apple picking is always a good choice!
We picked about 10 pounds of apples (and had another 5 or so pounds waiting for us at home) and there was not too much debate about what to do with the apples! If you know me, you know I love to make applesauce…and I love to make homemade food for my little one…so mama’s world famous cinnamon applesauce pouches it was! And it is SO EASY!!
1. Pick your apples. By far the cheapest way to get them. And it’s fun!
2. Wash your apples with a veggie wash to remove any dirt, wax or chemicals that might be on them (even though I always try to find organically grown, it doesn’t hurt to wash wash wash). Yup, I use Lemon essential oil in my veggie wash… if you want to learn more about pure essential oils, feel free to email me! email@example.com
3. Peel your apples. Not the most fun part, I admit. And I don’t have an apple peeler/corer so it’s all done by hand… It can be therapeutic though and it’s kind of exciting when you manage to get the peel off an apple in one long piece! I usually get one or two out of the pounds and pounds of apples I peel. Cut out the cores and roughly chop the apples.
4. Fill your crockpot/slow cooker with the apples. My slow cooker is 6 quart which holds about 7-8 pounds of apples. As long as the apples seem juicy, I don’t add any liquid. Sometimes early-season apples are a little dry…in that case, I will add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water to the slow cooker.
5. Now, this is assuming the 6 quart slow cooker filled with about 7-8 pounds of apples…I add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
6. That’s it…just set the slow cooker for 7 hours on low.
7. Every 2-3 hours, remove the lid and give the apple mixture a stir. At the end of the 7 hours, the applesauce will have broken itself down (no need to mash, just give it a strong stir) and be a beautiful caramel color. I really do get lots of compliments on this recipe….no added sugar, yet it is amazingly sweet with warm vanilla spice flavor. It actually TASTES like fall.
8. Now, if you are going to package it up for little ones (or really anyone…even adults slurp applesauce out of packets these days), break out your Infantino Fresh Squeezed Squeeze Station and your Infantino Pouches. Set up a nice assembly line…
9. Since the applesauce is so yummy, I fill the pouches to their maximum (4 ounces). Fill the cups…press…viola!! Applesauce pouches!! I leave a few in the fridge but freeze most of the pouches and take them out the night before I plan to pack them for lunch, take to the park, etc.
So easy and such a fun fall activity, especially if you have children who are a little bit older and can help you out. Don’t forget to serve some of that applesauce warm, right out of the slow cooker…yum…and use some in your baking!! Apple spice muffins…need I say more??