This is my favorite time of year. When the temperature drops and we layer up to play outside. When we take our kids apple picking and pumpkin picking and I start making chili that sits on the stove for hours. Fall. Ahhhtumn.
We took the girls apple picking at two different farms a couple of weeks ago. We gathered way more than we needed, thinking we had to feed 40 instead of 4 but there’s something about picking food right from a tree that is hard to resist. Plus, there’s all the amazing health benefits of apples. A medium apple boasts 4g of soluble fiber, 95 calories and immune-boosting vitamin C.
Being the type of person that eats at least 2 apples a day (overachiever for “really liking to keep the doctor away”) I wasn’t worried when we unloaded two gigantic boxes of apples from our trunk. In fact, I was excited. Then reality sunk in that it would take a small army to help me make it through the first layer of Macouns.
Thanks to some of our amazing Facebook followers, I tackled some much needed new recipes and made the best apple butter I’ve ever had in my life. The recipe and instructions come from Eating Bird Food, an adorable site with great resources that I’m planning to revisit soon. The recipe estimated making (8) 1/2 pint jars which could be easily frozen for later. Although I loved this idea, I did not have that kind of room in my freezer when I made this so I cut the recipe in half. In the end, I made (2) pint jars full. Maybe my apples were small.
Healthy Homemade Apple Butter (adapted from Eating Bird Food)
- 5 medium sized apples (I used 4 different kinds for best taste – as I do in apple pie)
- 1 cup of unsweetened apple juice
- 2 T water
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1 t pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 t ground nutmeg
- pinch of sea salt
1. Place cored and sliced apples (not peeled) into a large crock-pot / slow cooker.
2. Pour juice on top of sliced apples. Add water, apple cider vinegar and spices. Stir all ingredients together, cover pot and let it cook for 15 hours on low.
3. The liquid will reduce and the apples will be very soft, darker in color, and smell lovely. Turn the crock pot off and let the apples cool down a bit (about 30 minutes), then transfer the mixture into a blender (or use emersion blender) and blend until completely smooth.
4. Let the apple butter cool and then transfer into storage containers. It should store well in the fridge for about 3 weeks. If it makes it that long.