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Mostly starting this year, I’ve been trying to stay away from store-bought products that contain lots of preservatives, additives, and unknown and usually unnatural ingredients. Also, I’ve been trying to stay away from lots of added sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, sugar, sucrose, dextrose, artificial sweeteners, etc.

This mission has led me to making such products at home. 100% homemade! It’s been fun and slightly challenging sometimes, especially since most homemade products do not last as long with nothing to preserve them.

In our household, we LOVE applesauce. I rarely buy it because most brands have added sugar, but when I do buy it, I buy Treetop No Sugar Added Applesauce. In the spirit of homemaking and a craving for my Grandma’s homemade applesauce, I saw a recipe in my Against All Grain cookbook and decided to give it a try. Plus, all the cooking takes place in a crock pot, which means I don’t have to watch it. Perfection!

NOTE: You can find the recipe at the Against All Grain website if you do not own the book.

Crock Pot Apple Sauce (Refined Sugar Free)

I used about 4 pounds of organic Cameo apples (they were cheaper than the Fuji), a little fresh lemon juice (from the lemons off our tree), a splash of vanilla, a hint of cinnamon (Jason HATES cinnamon, which goes against every fiber of my being), and a little salt.

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As the recipe says, you peel and core the apples, slice them, put everything in the crock pot, and let this wonderful invention do its job! When it’s all done, you get a pot of mushy apples that smells delicious!

The recipe says to blend the apple sauce in a blender, which I almost did, but then I remembered that I have a hand blender (by Cuisinart) that would be so much easier. I love the hand blender because you don’t have to transfer product from dish to dish to dish, making a million dirty dishes in the process that you WILL have to clean later, unless you have a maid or a husband that LIKES to do the dishes, or a little dish elf that comes out nightly to wash the pile in the sink. I have none of the above, so I like to make it easy on myself.

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My apple sauce came out very smooth and very delicious. I think I might have preferred it slightly chunky, as that’s the way my Grandma’s was, but then again, she did not have a hand blender or a crock pot. It was all done by hand on the stove.

Regardless, this is a wonderful recipe that you can put to cook and forget about. All the ingredients are things most people will have and there isn’t any sugar aside from the natural sugar of the apples. This recipe is a keeper!