When skimming through recipes ideas, I always give bonus points to the ones you can make in a slow cooker. Especially ones that are made in the fall, with their big flavors and warm, sweet aromas that seem to find their way up my stairs at the perfect time of day. It’s also nice to have work being done somewhere that I’m not a part of. ;)
On the day I made this recipe, an 8 oz bag of organic cranberries were delivered from my CSA (community supported agriculture) and I had this gorgeous bowl of apples on the counter from the orchard we had gone to. That's when the thought came to me….Cranberry Applesauce in the Slow Cooker! But a healthier version. One that doesn’t include white sugar. Adding apple cider (also purchased from the Orchard) helps you eliminate that part completely, which I'm totally thankful for. This means Tommy gets to enjoy some too, and boy did he ever!
Let’s talk about the benefits of cranberries for a moment. No one ever thinks about them until they have a urinary tract infection. So not fair!
Cranberries are total powerhouses. In much the same way that they help to scare away bacteria from the urinary tract, there is new talk of the same benefits pertaining to the stomach lining so they have the potential to prevent ulcers.
They have tremendous anti-cancer properties because of the potent phytonutrients they contain (anti-oxidants only being one). They’re also high in fiber and Vitamin C.
When combined with apples and pears, we now get extra vitamins and minerals! And don’t forget the cinnamon. Cinnamon is known for its ability to balance blood sugar making it the perfect slow cooker marriage.
Use this as a substitute for apple sauce, or even as a “cranberry sauce” for Thanksgiving.
4-5 apples (half tart, half sweet)
1 8-oz bag fresh organic cranberries
1.5 Tbsp cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
Pinch sea salt
Rinse and dry the apples and pears and place onto a clean cutting board. Give them a rough chop, but keep them peeled (about 1 inch cubes) Add to the slow cooker with remaining ingredients. Cook on high setting for 3 hours, then keep warm for 1 hour. Let cool and transfer to mason jars or container.
Transfer to a Vitamix or Food processor and blend until you reach the consistency you like. I blended in the Vitamix for about 10 seconds or so and the texture was similar to applesauce. A few chunks here add some nice character to it.
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