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Slow Cooker Applesauce: Baby Friendly Food for the Whole Family to Enjoy
Our family life tends to be pretty busy, but one thing that we hold onto is our family dinnertime. At our house, everyone sits down together for dinner, every single night. Even when Elvie was refusing to eat solid food, we’d still have her with us at the table. Now that she’s eating with gusto, I’ve been trying to introduce her to new flavors. Because she rejected all purees, I want to offer her foods that are different, but the fact of the matter is that some things we eat even as grown-ups are the same texture as a pureed baby food. So I’ve been on a mission to make foods that are like purees, but that taste amazing, so that she’ll be willing to try more foods that require utensils to eat. One of my favorites is slow cooker applesauce. It’s super easy to make, and while it’s cooking, the house smells divine. There’s no need for added sweeteners, and it’s so smooth and flavorful that every member of our family loves it. It’s a good thing it’s easy to make, because I don’t think they’ll accept store bought applesauce ever again. Here are nine steps to applesauce for your baby and your whole family to enjoy.
Just 9 Steps to Deliciousness!
Step One: Peel, Core, and Slice Your Apples
You can use as many or as few apples as you want, as long as they cover the bottom of the slow cooker. I like to use half sweet, red apples, like Jonathan, and half tart, green apples, like Granny Smith. Using a corer/slicer tool makes the process even simpler and quicker.
Step Two: Put the Apples in the Slow Cooker
Spread out your slices so they are nice and even across the top. If you are using more than one kind of apple, mix them all up together.
Step Three: Sprinkle on Cinnamon, If Desired
This step is optional, but I always do it. I just sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the top of the apples. There’s no need to stir, just let it sit on top. If your apples go a little deeper in your slow cooker, add a little extra to make sure you’ve got enough for that delicious cinnamon flavor to come through.
Step Four: Put the Lid on the Slow Cooker, and Turn It On
I use the high setting so it will cook more quickly, but if I’m going to be out of the house for longer, I’ll put it on low. Either setting will cook your apples beautifully.
Step Five: Go Do Something Else!
When I’m making applesauce, I use the cooking time as my opportunity to do other things since the slow cooker doesn’t need my help to do its thing. Sometimes I’ll run an errand or even just take the kids out for a walk and a special treat. Being away from the house means being able to come back into a house that smells simply amazing.
Step Six: Check to See If Your Apples are Done
If I’m cooking on high, I check after two hours. For low, I wait three hours. The apples are done and ready to be made into applesauce when a fork slides in smoothly, and you can mash them up a bit with the fork. More apples will take more time to cook, so plan accordingly. This batch, with 13 small apples, took exactly two hours on high.
Step Seven: Make Your Apples Into Applesauce
If you like your applesauce chunky, you can simply use the fork you used to test for doneness to mash up the apples. I like mine a bit smoother, so I use an immersion blender, though a regular blender or food processor would work just as well. If you’re blending or processing outside the slow cooker, make sure to transfer the cooking liquid along with the applesauce so it all gets blended together. Keep in mind your baby’s stage of eating, and separate some out to be blended perfectly smooth if they’re not yet ready for chunks.
Step Eight: Put It in a Container
You can use whatever kind of container you like to store your applesauce. I like to put mine in big jars, and these freeze really well, too. You can also use plastic tubs if that’s what you have on hand, and for ready-to-serve single servings, use little jars. The applesauce will still be quite warm after you blend or process it, so allow it to cool in your containers before putting it in the fridge or freezer.
Step Nine: Serve It to Your Family, and Watch Them Enjoy
This applesauce is a hit with kids and grown-ups alike. Don’t forget to save some for yourself!