Do you ever put off doing certain projects because of all the time and effort they’ll take? Making apple sauce was something I’ve wanted to do for awhile but procrastinated because I just didn’t feel like standing peeling and chopping apples for hours. My practical side took over and I plunged in this weekend. Guess what? It was embarrassingly easy and took 1/2 an hour!
I opted for this slow cooker method:
- Peel and chop 8-10 apples. I used a variety including Gala, Sparton and Ambrosia apples and my handy dandy corer/slicer to do most of the work. Put them all into a crock pot to pretty much fill it.
- Add: 1/2 – 1 cup water. I went with a full cup but will cut this down next time.
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Stir just to combine then turn the crock pot to its low setting and leave for 8-10 hours, or overnight. Don’t be surprised when you see the apples have cooked down to half fill the crockpot! Stir and/or mash with a potato masher until you get a consistency you like. This took less than 2 minutes in the morning. I’m storing some in the fridge and transferred the rest to small containers for the freezer.
I use apple sauce in place of oil in most muffin and loaf recipes and since they also call for sugar, I haven’t sweetened mine. You could add 1/2 cup or so of brown sugar for more of a sweet treat. Most of my batch will be served with yogurt or on my morning oatmeal. So worth the effort! Mmmmm!
Remember when I made my own Pumpkin Spice coffee syrup? Well every time I open my freezer now I see the frozen pumpkin ice cubes. It just seems wrong. I associate pumpkin with warmth like pie, muffins or a spiced latte. Plus I’m not a girl that wastes food – it’s the Scottish in me. So obviously I had to make something yummy with it. I combined a few recipes and came up with this easy, low fat pumpkin loaf.
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (approximately)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- dash salt
- 2 tbsp applesauce (or vegetable oil)
- 2 egg whites
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (optional for topping)
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray or line a loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, spices and salt. In a large bowl, mix applesauce, eggs, purée, sugar and vanilla and beat.
Add the dry flour mixture to the wet and blend just until combined.
Pour batter into pan, it’ll be about half full but rises when baking.
Top with seeds and bake in the centre rack for 50-55 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes then slice when loaf is at room temperature.
Enjoy this not-too-guilty pleasure with a great cup of coffee and reflect on what a beautiful time of year this is! Happy Friday!
Happy Friday and happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. Although I’m actually American of Scottish descent but we’ll leave that story for another time. This long weekend has me thinking about upcoming holidays, treats and gifts. I love making and giving consumable gifts, ‘cos really, who needs more stuff? And isn’t it always nice to try something new? Here’s a super simple recipe for a delicious spread:
Cinnamon Honey Butter
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup icing sugar (or less)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Place all ingredients in a bowl and whip it. Whip it good (sorry, I couldn’t resist)! Spoon into containers – this filled 2 tiny canning jars with a bit left over. So good on toasted English muffins and pancakes…you might want to consider making a double batch! Like butter, this spreads much easier if it’s at room temperature but should be refrigerated for longer storage.
Label it and you’ve got yourself a lovely little hostess gift…maybe add a couple of fresh croissants or muffins? How’s that for a quick and easy sweet treat?