Sunday, February 24, 2013

Crockpot Cranberry Applesauce

The cold winter weather often takes a toll on my commitment to fruit-eating. My body screams for warm comfort foods, and I can only force tasteless oranges and mealy apples and pears down my throat for so long. Once I reach my tipping point, I start to make baked apples so I can trick myself into eating fruit and thinking it's dessert, and this past week was one of those times.

This cranberry applesauce came about sort of by chance. I didn't have time to deal with the oven, so wanted to make my "baked apples" in the crockpot so I could just throw everything in and leave it alone.

I originally planned to throw strawberries in the mix, but while roasted strawberries are delish, I feared that crockpot strawberries would turn into mush. So I swapped them for cranberries. CranApple is always a great combo.

This applesauce could not be easier to make - you just dump everything in, cook it til the apples are soft, then puree everything with an immersion blender. I actually kept out half of the apples before blending so I could eat them with yogurt (the way I eat my baked apples), then turned the other half into sauce to keep in the fridge for snacks.

The great reddish brown color comes from apple skins and the dried cranberries. This stuff is good cold, but even better warm, and to top it off, it's sugar-free but tastes all sweet and cinnamon-y. Mmm.

Crockpot Cranberry Apple Sauce

Makes about 6 cups

8 apples (Red & Yellow Delicious work best)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened dried cranberries
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 packet Truvia

1/2 cup water (substitute unsweetened cranberry juice if desired)
1 tsp. lemon juice

Washed, core and cut apples into large slices (I keep skins on half the apples). Add them to the crockpot. Add the cranberries, spices and Truvia, and stir to combine. Cover with the water and lemon juice. Turn the crockpot on high and cook for 2-3 hours, until apples are soft. Turn off heat, then puree with immersion blender.

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