Wholesome R.D. Mom

Making Nutrition a Way of Life


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Crock Pot Cider Applesauce (unsweetened)

I don’t use my crock pot very often as my family is not fond of the resulting texture of numerous foods (namely meat) and the fact that my husband, daughter and sometimes son, claim they have compartmentalized stomaches disallowing any mixed dishes in the house.  However, there are a few recipes that have forced me to hang onto this kitchen appliance…….and this Cider Applesauce Recipe is one of them. Not only is this Cider applesauce delectably healthy, but the cooking process creates a warm nostalgic Fall aroma that is so comforting. This recipe contains no added sugar as the apples and spices create a perfect blend of sweetness and a healthy comfort food that the whole family with love. So what are you waiting for? It’s apple season right now and Fall can never come too soon!

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Crock Pot Cider Applesauce (No Sugar Added)

Ingredients:

  • 10 large organic apples (if using smaller apples, like I have seen at Trader Joes, I would recommend doubling the amount to 20 apples)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground gloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

  • Cut the apples into 4 slices (in half, then in half again).
  • Peel and thinly slice the apples, then place them into your crock pot (my 4 quart crock pot is almost full with this amount of apples).
  • Sprinkle all of the spices evenly over the apples.
  • Cover and cook on high until apples are soft (about 4 hours).
  • About half way through the cooking open the lid and stir the spices into the apples then cover again for the remaining time.
  • For a chunky applesauce you can whisk the apples or use a potato masher to break up the larger pieces when done. If you prefer a smoother applesauce feel free to use an immersion blender or puree it in a blender in small batches after it cools a bit.
  • Transfer it to recycled mason jars and keep refrigerated.

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A few ways we love to enjoy this Cider Applesauce are (oh, and we like it chunky):

  • On top of pancakes or waffles
  • Stuffed into crepes
  • Warmed in a bowl with a large dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of granola (this is when my kids think they are eating dessert for breakfast…..but how could I say “No?”)
  • As a side to accompany a delicious pork dinner.
  • As a late night snack and dessert
  • Mixed into muffins (or any recipe that might call for applesauce)
  • Anytime we darn well feel like it because it’s just that good!!!

 

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Apple Almond Butter Muffins

We like to have healthy, nutritionally balanced snacks around the house just in case we get a hungry and there is still quite a bit of time before mealtime. So yesterday I was going to make one of our go-to recipes. Unfortunately, I found out that I only had 1/3 cup almond butter when I needed 1 cup. I wasn’t about to let that stop me, so I experimented in the kitchen and came out with some yummy and healthy Apple Almond Butter Muffins that had the kids grabbing for more. These muffins are gluten free and dairy free and I love the nutritional value of the ingredients……….with these muffins you’ve got healthy fats (from the almond butter), very little added sugars and a good amount of protein (from the eggs) and fiber (from the coconut flour)……a perfect balance!

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Apple Almond Butter Muffins (gluten free, dairy free)

these make about 30 mini muffins or ~12 regular-sized muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce – I like to use homemade Crock Pot Cider Applesauce: http://tinyurl.com/qz6um9b
  • 1/3 cup almond butter (I used salted)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted (I love this for the fiber content and the fact that a little goes a long way)
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or local honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon (I usually use 2 tsp in addition to unsweetened cinnamon/cider applesauce)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine the almond butter, applesauce, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup together in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt to the almond butter mixture and stir until blended (wait for a minute or two and then stir again as the coconut flour will absorb the liquid).
  • Use a spoon to scoop the batter into a mini muffin tin lined with unbleached parchment muffin liners (The If You Care baking cups are my favorite as they take a lot of work out of the clean up process and you won’t have to worry about eating your muffin off the wrapper). If making regular-size muffins I typically use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop the batter in the liners.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes for mini muffins or about 22 minutes for regular size muffins or until the muffin rims turn a golden color. You can also utilize the toothpick method (put a toothpick in the middle of a muffin and pull it out. If it’s clean then the muffin is done. If the toothpick comes out dirty, with batter on it, the muffins need to cook longer).
  • Allow the muffins to cool and then dig in.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge to snack on when needed.

Try these Apple Almond Butter Muffins with a slather of cream cheese or little chocolate hazelnut butter on the top. Yum!

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