Chai-Spiced No-Sugar-Added Applesauce

Nothing marks the beginning of fall like a good ole apple-picking trip. This year, my family and a couple of friends were fortunate enough to get a private tour of a gorgeous orchard and the processing facility where the apples are sorted and boxed for distribution to supermarkets everywhere. Whenever you get an opportunity to learn exactly where your food comes from, take it! I guarantee you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the work and care that goes into growing the produce that makes it to your local grocery store…and eventually to your kitchen table.

Since we made off with a hefty loot of apples from our orchard tour (and because Dean Burrito can’t chew a raw apple just yet), I decided to make applesauce for the first time ever…and it was a huge success! I used a mix of Macoun, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp apples. Since all of these varieties are packed with natural sweetness, there was no need to add any sugar (seriously, why would you?!). As for how to flavor it up…I took a gander at the spices in my cabinet and decided to go for something a little more exotic than just cinnamon. Luckily, the last time my mom visited, she had stocked my cabinets with Indian spices, including all the delectable flavors that intermingle to make “chai” seasoning. I popped everything in the slow cooker and let it do it’s thing. Does it get any easier? I don’t think so! Once the apples were softened and infused with yumminess, it was time to puree and let the applesauce cool. The end result: a sweet and flavorful treat for adults and kids alike.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 5 large apples, cored and sliced (skin-on)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup waterSlow cooker for 4 hours.

DIRECTIONS:

Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker. Stir to distribute spices. Cook on high heat for 4 hours.

Turn off slow cooker and allow the apples to cool slightly (at least 10 minutes) before pureeing with an immersion blender (or tossing into a blender or food processor). Alternatively, mash with the back of a large spoon for a chunkier texture.

Makes about 4 cups. 

Serving suggestion: Add a dollop of ricotta just before serving – it tastes like cheesecake! OH yeah!

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Category: Food, Recipes

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