Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Last week was a blur as I was consumed with a big work-related catering event. Working in a commercial kitchen is very labor intensive, it's something I have always known of but it hit me hard when I had to experience it myself. It was also the day I wore my super cute (not so comfortable) shoes without thinking that I will be on my feet a lot.. my appreciation for anyone in the commercial kitchen grew so much more. I am not even kidding when I say I felt 1000 times more exhausted than when I run 10 miles. This particular week also involved no exercise whatsoever (besides lots of running errands) and it's safe to say that I ate anything but nutrient-rich foods which is probably another reason why I felt extra tired and sluggish. Usually when I have days like this I tend to feel bad about making unhealthy choices and such but that hasn't been the case lately. I am happy fueling my body with samosa pot pie for every meal and stuffing my face with pumpkin spiced pumpkin bagels with apple butter because this is life...so instead of incessantly stressing about it, I parked myself on the couch and binge watched Grey's Anatomy. The slow cooker apple butter has nothing to with my aforementioned hectic week except that you need apple butter in your life. Apples are not only in season, they also taste superb around this time of the year so naturally I bought way more than I could ever consume. In addition to eating them straight up, they are great with nut butters, with your oatmeal, in salads, or slowly cook apples with apple cider vinegar and warm spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom to make apple butter. Apple butter is basically a highly concentrated apple sauce where the sugar in apple caramelizes giving them a deep, brown color. I used a combination of red delicious and fuji but feel free to use whatever apples you have.
Most apple butter recipes I came across used a boatload of sugar and suggested removing the peel (apple peel has the most fiber and many other nutrients) but I scaled down the sugar and kept the skin on. If you want, you can try the no sugar added recipe too. Instead of adding sugar all at once, I recommend letting apples cook together for few hours and add per your taste. The sweetness in apples may also determine the amount of sugar you need to add. The only 'difficult' part about the recipe is coring and chopping apples but other than that the slow cooker will do most of the work for you.
The spices are optional but since its Fall, I added cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger powder. Apple cider/apple juice is added to the slow cooker in order to help cook apples and it also prevents it from sticking to the bottom. Just be careful not to add too much cider because it could get very overpowering.
This thick, sweet and slightly tangy apple concoction can be eaten by a spoonful, slathered on a toast or even better on pumpkin spiced pumpkin bagels...I made a small batch of apple butter rice crispy treat as well.
- 14-16 apples, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (add per your taste)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
- 2-3 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon ginger powder
- Combine everything in a slow cooker and allow it to cook for 8-10 hours in low heat.
- Once apples are mushy and dark in color, turn off the slow cooker and use an immersion blender to puree everything into a smooth consistency.
Leaving you guys with a quote that resonated with me, “To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” ~William Londen.