Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sweet Sunday: Healthy Apple Butter

Ahh the Crockpot; aka - the Slow Cooker. In 2012, my goal is to utilize my crockpot more. Maybe a dinner once/week? No set goal, just making a more conscience effort to use it. Why? There are some serious benefits to crockpottery;

1. You can set it and forget it. Nuff said.
2. It’s almost impossible to put something in the crockpot that won’t come out yummy.
3. Your whole house will smell deeeeelicious as your meal crocks it up in there.

I thought since it's still January - you know the month 90% of you have set a resolution to eat healthy - that something light and fruity with no added sugar would be a perfect Sweet Sunday post.

So without further ado, here’s the deets on apple butter in the crockpot. And yes, you can make more than soups and casseroles in your crockpot.

~Slow Cooker Apple Butter~
7 cups applesauce, natural/no sugar added
2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves, optional
1/2 tsp Allspice

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients.
Cover and cook on LOW for 14 to 15 hours or until mixture is a deep brown.
Spoon hot apple butter into hot sterilized jars and seal, then process half-pints or pints 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Makes 4 pints or 8 half-pint jars

Wondering what to do with Apple Butter? It makes for a nutrious snack for you and the kids. Here are some ideas;

~Mix it in cottage cheese or plain or vanilla yogurt to sweeten up your breakfast
~Make a vinaigrette with apple butter, walnut oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Use to dress a salad of endive, radicchio or similar. Top with candied walnuts or pecans and small pieces of brie.
~Mix with white wine and dijon mustard for a delicious glaze for pork or chicken.
~Put it on a turkey or roast chicken sandwich or wrap.
~Spoon it over vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.
~Pair it with brie on crackers, toasts, or maybe even just spread on baked brie fresh from the oven. Its sweetness works really well with salty stuff.
~Use as a dip for graham crackers or pretzels.
~Spread on pancakes, crepes, etc.

I hope this ends your weekend on a sweet note! Cheers to a productive week ahead! xo

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