Simple Slow Cooker No-Sugar Apple Butter

Looking for a sweet treat to spread on your piece of toast? Consider homemade apple butter instead of jam or jelly. I love it combined with almond or peanut butter on fresh-from-the-oven bread… or topped on vanilla coconut milk ice cream.

apple butter

Simple No-Sugar Apple Butter

11 to 12 sweet-tart apples, such as Mutsu (my favourite!), cut into small chunks
2 cups apple cider
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Put all the ingredients in the slow cooker. Mix to combine. Cook on high for 4 hours. Reduce the temperature to low for 2 hours. Remove the lid and use an immersion blender to purée until smooth. Continue cooking, uncovered, stirring infrequently, for an additional 5 to 8 hours until very thick.


Slow Cooker Creamy Scalloped Potatoes and Parsnips

An easy side dish featuring ingredients you probably have on hand, this lighter version adds extra fibre from the potato skins and a hint of sweetness from the parsnips. Using heart-healthy olive oil and nondairy milk keeps the excessive richness of most scalloped potato dishes to a minimum.


Creamy Scalloped Potatoes and Parsnips

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
Paprika and freshly ground pepper6 medium red-skinned potatoes, cleaned and cut in 1/4-inch thin slices
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch thin slices

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, flour, thyme, salt, and mustard. Cook for an additional minute. Add the nondairy milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly until smooth. Reduce to low heat and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, layer half of the potatoes in the crock. Top with half of the parsnips. Once the sauce has thickened, pour about a third of the sauce over the potatoes and parsnips. Layer the remaining potatoes and parsnips. Top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with paprika and pepper.

Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, until potatoes and parsnips are tender. Let cool 15 to 20 minutes without the lid on before serving to thicken up the sauce.