Fall is here, thank God! If I had to take the sweltering heat one more minute I was going to have to check myself into the mental hospital. There is something about the dog days of a Texas summer that can turn a native into a blubbering idiot. It is this reason I have stayed away from the computer the last couple of weeks. My brain had melted, I could no longer coherently put a sentence together, and I knew if I were to continue posting that I would certainly loose all of you dear readers. Oh how I wish that were actually true. In all honesty I just have had a lot on my plate lately and my family needed me first before my computer did. My husband once said, “I’ve never met a family like yours before, someone stumps their toe and everyone comes running with a band-aid.” Thanks for all of the wonderful e-mails about how you can’t live without this blog and how I need to get back to it (ok, you weren’t that enthusiastic but I did enjoy all of your kind words including that one sarcastic threatening e-mail, thanks Katie). Hopefully we are back to normal now and I will try to get back on schedule with posting.
In all seriousness, fall is upon us and that means truckloads of apples, winter squash, and Charlie Brown specials. My favorite time of year! To celebrate, here is an extremely easy homemade applesauce with a little nutritious vegetable kick for the entire family to enjoy. Make it before work or throwing the kids off to school and have a tasty fresh applesauce just in time for dinner’s desert. Not to mention it makes your house smell amazing! A scoop or two is sinfully good in oatmeal as well. Mia didn’t even know she was eating a full serving of vegetables this morning and that makes me one happy mama. Enjoy and happy Great Pumpkin hunting!
Crock-Pot Butternut Squash Applesauce serves 6 to 8
- 2 pound butternut squash
- 3 pounds organic apples (I’m using Gala but Macintosh will do), apples are on the dirty dozen list of produce to by organic if possible
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon* (optional)
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg* (optional)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar* (optional)
- 1/4 cup of water
* Please note that apples and butternut squash are perfect stage 1 baby foods (6 to 8 months) but spices should to be introduced after baby is 8 months old. And some babies (Mia was one of them) have a temporary sensitivity to cinnamon in their first year. Be cautious if you have never given your baby spices before.
With a very very very sharp knife, cut both ends off the butternut squash. Place up right and slice off the outer skin.
With the squash still standing, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Cut the squash in 1 to 2 inch cubes.
Peel and core the apples.
Slice the apples in quarter inch thick slices.
Place the apples and squash in a large bowl and add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Mix to evenly coat everything with the sugar and spices.
Place the apples and squash mixture in your crock-pot, slow cooker whatever you want to call it, and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 8 hours. At least once towards the end of cooking mash the squash and apples with a wooden spoon or potato masher. After it has finished cooking and your house smells like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting, mash the squash and apples until you reach your desired texture.
Serve warm or cold. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. For easy storage, freeze in a ice-cube tray and store in a freezer container or freezer bag. There is nothing like homemade applesauce to bring in the fall!