Crockpot Applesauce

My friend has an apple tree and she asked me to come over and pick some apples.  I was thinking there might be a couple on there, but the tree was seriously drooping and there were hundreds of apples on the ground.  “I’ve given up,” she said.   “Please just take as much as you can.”  So I went a little overboard and now we are all pretty sick of apples! 🙂  But I made lots of yummy things – apple crisp, apple pancakes, and tried some applesauce!  I am not a huge applesauce fan, but my kids are, and really the crockpot does all the work.

Crockpot Applesauce (original recipe from skinnytaste.com)

  • 8 medium apples (Use a combination of Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, etc.)
  • 1 strips of lemon peel – use a vegetable peeler
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 inch cinnamon stick
  • 5 tsp light brown sugar (unpacked) – or agave

Peel, core, and slice the apples.

Place them in the slow cooker. Add the cinnamon stick, lemon peel and brown sugar.

Set crock pot to low and cook for 6 hours. Stir apples occasionally, apples will slowly become a delicious applesauce.

Remove cinnamon stick and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.


Makes 3 cups.

 

What’s For Snack Time Wednesday: Plum Jam (3 ingredients and sugar free!)

So…turns out jam making is a chore!  Woah Nellie, I am wiped out!  But, it was a great experience and I’m glad I did it.  I just made one batch in case it turned out awful.  But it didn’t!  It was just time consuming.  3+ hours of cooking on the stove, and my friend said to me, “I bet you could make it in the crockpot.”  Genius.  Has anyone ever tried that?  My biggest surprise about the whole thing was how much it cooked down.  I used 24 plums, and it filled a big pot.  By the time it was done, it probably made about 1 cup of jam (see that jar back there?).  I’m learning all kinds of lessons here.

Anyway, here is the recipe.

Plum Jam (original recipe found here)

  • 3-4 lb. ripe, Italian plums
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Wash the plums and cut them into small pieces (1/2 inch or so), removing the stone as you do it. Place them in a heavy pan and pour a little water in the bottom, no more that a half a cup.

Bring the plums to a boil, stirring often so that they don’t burn on the bottom. Add the cinnamon stick and the cloves.

Boil gently for 3 or more hours, stirring often.

Place the cooked plums in a ricer or sieve and stir to remove the skins and spices. Bring the jam/butter back to a boil until it has reduced as far as you want it and is very thick. Ladle the butter into clean, boiled, preserving jars or into freezer bags. Freeze or can, as you wish.

I just put mine in a jar and plan on eating it throughout the week.

Consensus:

Me:  It’s bitter since it doesn’t have any sugar, but it’s pretty good!

The Mr.:  Says it is TART, not bitter (excuse me).

The Uncle:  Says it reminds him of Christmas

The kiddos:  Ate it like it was normal jam.

What’s For Snacktime Wednesday: Whole Wheat Banana Bread – No Sugar!

Hello folks,

We are back from New York City!  It was a very long day of frantic cleaning/packing and then a long red-eye flight across the country, but the kids were champs and were so excited to see their toys that we had a big party at 2 am.  It’s been a whirlwind couple of days, and it’s about to get crazier!  We are heading to a wedding tomorrow, so more time on the road!  In the meantime, here’s a delicious snack I’ve been making with all my quickly ripening bananas.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread (Original Recipe from 100 days of Real Food)

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil (or applesauce)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.
  3. In a separate bowl mix mashed bananas with yogurt, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until blended. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake large loaf for 40 – 50 minutes or until it comes clean with a toothpick.

Happy Snacking!  Back from sunny San Diego next week!

Homemade Ice Cream…Hold the Ice and the Cream

I love me some ice cream on a hot summers day (and on a cold winter’s day…okay, basically any day).  It’s been so hot and humid here that my bananas get ripe in 24 hours.  Then we have to hurry and eat the whole bunch before they go bad.  Earlier this week I had to put 4 in the freezer, and tonight decided to try something I have heard a lot about…homemade ice cream from frozen bananas.  I found several recipes from thekitchn.com and decided to try Dark Chocolate Banana Ice Cream.  I was surprised it turned out so sweet when it has no sweetener in it.  It wasn’t as good as the real thing, but curbed my craving a bit.

Here it is:

Dark Chocolate Banana Ice Cream (originally from thekitchn.com)

  • 1 1/2 peeled medium bananas, sliced into coins and frozen until solid
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend bananas in food processor until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Blend in cocoa powder, cream, and vanilla. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid.

I didn’t have a food processor, so I used a blender.  It had a few banana chunks, but it did the job pretty well.  I also used whole milk since I didn’t have any cream, so it was really more of a milkshake than ice cream.

Consensus:

Me: I give it a 6.5 out of 10

The Mr.:  “Not bad”

The Wild One and Tornado:  Gobbled it up and asked for more.  They couldn’t even tell a difference!

Tomorrow I am trying another flavor.  Stay tuned!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies – Low Sugar!

Hi, my name is Austyn and I have a baking addiction.  No big deal.  I love all things pumpkin, and it just so happened that I had some leftover in the fridge that was about to go bad, so I HAD to use it to make cookies, right?  No choice.  Anywho, I found a pretty healthy recipe that only had 1/2 cup of sugar, so I whipped up a quick batch.  They may or may not have ALL gotten eaten within 5 hours.  Okay, there are 5 left.  But still…they are pretty delish (I heard if you shorten words like that it is cool.  That’s what a teenager told me).

So here is the recipe, straight from Super Healthy Kids (love that blog!)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 2 TBL canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Chocolate chips optional (umm…yes please)

Combined all ingredients. Drop by Tablespoonfull onto sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Makes 24 cookies, or 2 dozen.  But if you are like me, then you never ever get the right amount of cookies out of the recipe.  I think I got 18.  I guess I make ’em too big.  Enjoy enjoy!