7/13/15

Homemade Applesauce in a Slowcooker, Crock Pot OR in your SOLAR OVEN! Yep - So easy!


When I started making this last year, I created a monster!  This is a 'must have' on hand at all times for my husband.  I started to can all of my homemade applesauce in pint sized jars as he takes one to work with him almost every day but the funniest thing is that almost every morning I get up to make my coffee and find an empty container and a spoon next to the sink.  Yep!  This is his 'go to' snack at night while he watches TV after I go to bed!

Lucky for me this is so incredibly easy to make and takes almost no work.  Lucky for him it's healthy.

Depending on the apples I use, I usually don't add any sweetener at all, so it's all natural.  When I do decide to mix it up a little and add a cinnamon stick and a bit of sweetener, I use natural, healthy sweeteners - (not sugar) so it's still sugar free and so healthy for him.  I personally use Just Like Sugar or Ideal Sweetener (Ideal is what is in the photo above).

I've also found my husband eats these so quickly I don't can and process them unless I'm doing a large batch, as he'll eat 1-2 pints a day between work and late night snacks!

Homemade Applesauce

About 10 medium apples of any variety reds you have on hand
About 1/3 - 1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp lemon juice (this is needed if you are canning them, but I add a splash of it anyway even if I'm not)

optional:  sweetener and/or cinnamon to your taste

Combine the apples with just enough water to coat the bottom of your crockpot or slowcooker so they don't stick.
Cover and heat on high for about 2-4 hours depending on your brand, size and style slow cooker.  Do not let them burn, but turn it off when the apples are completely soft.  You can also cook them on the stove if you wish.  On the stove, add enough water so the bottom of the pan is covered and the apples won't stick or burn.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately educe heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 20 minutes, until apples are tender. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes.

You can add sweetener and/or a cinnamon stick either when you start to cook them or add a bit of ground cinnamon when you process them.  It's up to you.  Process in a food processor or blender in batches until as smooth as you wish.  You can eat immediately, place in a container in the refrigerator to eat that week or can them in a water bath for longer storage. 


http://www.housewifebarbie.com/2015/06/solar-ovens-all-american-previously.html



Solar Oven:  With temperatures hovering at 100 degrees, I've been using my solar oven as it's just so quick and easy.  This batch of applesauce is made just like the instructions above for a slow cooker or crockpot.   Place your apple slices into a pan that fits in your solar oven.  Add just enough water to coat the bottom of the pan (your apples won't burn in a solar oven like they might in a crock pot or slow cooker, but the tiny bit of liquid just adds a bit of juice to the processing later).

If you are choosing to add sugar, cinnamon or a natural healthy alternative like Ideal Sweetener, you can do that now or when you process them.

Place the lid on the pan, place in the solar oven and forget about it for at least 2 hours, or until the apples are soft and you are ready to process them.  Unlike stove top cooking or slow cookers, your apples won't scorch or burn.  They will just cook nice and soft and wait for you, on your schedule.

Process in a food processor or blender until as smooth as you wish.  You can eat immediately, place in a container in the refrigerator to eat that week or can them in a water bath for longer storage.






IF YOU WANT TO CAN THEM:

Get your canning supplies ready while the apples are almost done cooking and ready to process.  The jars should be clean and hot; kept in simmering water until you need them.  The rings and lids clean and hot. Have a pot on the stove with water ready to process them in boiling water.

Working in batches depending on the size of your food processor, process them on pulse with the S-blade until just smooth.  Don't over process.
 
Place apple mixture in a saucepan. Add lemon juice. Bring to a simmer slash boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. 

Ladle the applesauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by sliding a butter knife or skinny spatula around the jar and jiggling it a little to settle the sauce. Wipe the rim with a clean, damp rag or paper towel. Center lid on jar. Screw on the band just to hold the lid in place, not too tight.

Water bath process the jars in a boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove jars and let set on the counter to cool slowly. The lids should all be sealed down tight and not 'give' when pressed in the center with your finger or thumb.  That's it!  You're done.



If you are canning your applesauce, you might be interested in;

The solar oven I own and use is Sun Oven
















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