Use up your freshly picked apples in this warm, comforting, crockpot applesauce. This applesauce is the perfect snack for anytime & makes a lovely gift when canned!
It's that time of year again where the air turns crisp, leaves begin to fall, pumpkin spice is EVERYWHERE, and seasonal produce turns its focus to starchier fruits & veggies. Don't get me wrong, I love fall (partly due to being an October baby) but the dropping temps are not my favorite part of the season. Fortunately, our apple friends love the cooler weather and are growing magnificently right now!
This past weekend I visited a local apple orchard and picked a ton! As most of you know, certain varieties are in season at different times throughout the fall months. Right now you can find MacIntosh, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Empire, and Blondee in northeast PA, with more varieties to come in the next few weeks!
Knowing what types of apples to use has always been tricky for me. I always forget whenever I get to the orchard or farmer's market to pick some up. The orchard I picked my apples at (Roba Family Orchard in Scott Twp, PA) provided a handy little pamphlet with all the different kinds of apples and their uses. I included a little chart below to help you out when you take a visit to your local orchard!
Now that you're home with all your apples, what are you going to do with them?! I always have to make one apple pie, a couple batches of applesauce, and reserve some for snacking. Making your own applesauce is one of the easiest things you can do when you have a surplus of freshly picked apples. Once you taste homemade applesauce, you will never want to go back to the store bought kind.
When making your own applesauce you control what goes in it, which is a great way to keep an eye on added sugars. Store bought varieties often have lots of sugar added to them, which definitely appeals to the kiddos, but we can make our own, add less sugar and still get an equally delicious snack.
Keep reading for a quick lesson on added sugars, or scroll to the bottom for my delicious applesauce recipe! Check out my infographic below on America's sugar intake.
The word "added sugar" has been in the media a lot recently, but its a term that often confuses most. Added sugars are often found in sodas, candy, cookies, fruit drinks, and lots more. You can find it on the nutrition label as high fructose corn syrup, sugar, sucrose, brown sugar, raw sugar, dextrose, cane juice and other names. The main thing we need to know when decoding our food labels are that fruits and milk products have natural sugars in them, called fructose and lactose. So when you see the terms listed above in your yogurt, applesauce, fruit cups, and chocolate milk you know there is added sugar in the product. Keep in mind you're never going to buy items with absolutely no sugar listed on the label due to the naturally occurring ones. However, the new nutrition facts label that the FDA will eventually be rolling out will clear up a lot of confusion!
Helen Nichols, of Well-Being Secrets wrote a great article about34 science backed health benefits of apples. She goes through why an apple a day really can keep the doctor away! Check it out for even more reasons to eat your apples! :)
Remember, when buying canned fruits make sure its packed in 100% juice, choose brands of yogurt low in added sugars (Chobani, Fage, Siggi's), and pick unsweetened types of applesauce.
Or make your own with this super simple & customizable recipe below!!
Homemade Crockpot Applesauce
*Applesauce may be canned using traditional canning methods to keep throughout the winter, or kept in the refrigerator for easy snacking!
Hey everyone! I'm Emily - a Registered Dietitian & food lover! I love sharing better-for-you recipes & nutrition tips here on my blog. You can browse my site for other services I offer & learn how to work with me :)
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