Food Geek Friday: October #Unprocessed 2012 and Slow Cooker Cinnamon Spice Applesauce
Do you know about the October #Unprocessed food challenge with Eating Rules? Perhaps you remember it from when I participated last year? You can get all the specific details and nuances from Andrew's blog, but here in a nutshell is this: For the month of October, eat nothing processed. And by processed, we mean anything that can't be made by a person of reasonable skill in a reasonable home kitchen. Doesn't mean you have to make everything by scratch...doesn't even mean you need to be able to cook. Just means that someone can. So no chemicals. No fake foods or food-like substances. Nothing with too many consonants and not enough vowels.
Methyl-drexl-whateverthehell, I'm looking at you!
Just real, whole, proper foods for the month of October.
And you don't have to be uber-strict, perfect or super-hardcore about it. Within this you can set your own rules. If you eat a lot of fast and/or packaged foods now, then look at a week or even just one day. If you are fairly close already, set about for the entire month. Since I eat *fairly* unprocessed already, I'm setting about for the entire month and within that I've set a couple of personal rules:
- Eating out it's almost impossible to not get something processed. I know. I've been in PLENTY of restaurant kitchens and I can damn near guarantee you that there will be at least one shortcut somewhere. Even in the best restaurants and kitchens. Mind you, not in every kitchen but in a great many and you don't know unless you go in there. So here I've decided to veer local. When I eat out and am able to make the choice of where, I choose a locally owned business because supporting my fellow local business owners is something I believe in as much as the benefits of eating real food.
- My other exception is when I don't have a choice and don't want to create an uncomfortable situation, i.e. gatherings, parties, meals with clients, friends or family. In this situation I'll just make good choices from what is available and not worry about it.
The point of the challenge isn't to make you or others feel bad. It's about raising awareness into what is in our food and how it makes us feel. My biggest surprise last year was that I could only find one brand of milk that didn't add anything to it. This year, even that brand has added fakery. It is indeed a challenge to find foods that don't have added whatnot. And even when you find foods that don't, you have to regularly check the labels to make sure they haven't changed their product as in the case with my milk. But I have also really enjoyed the challenge of recreating things on my own without needless crap and just cooking good food that I know is junk-free. I personally feel that it feeds my body, soul and person better and I'm much more satisfied in general at the end of each meal.
Sure we're already well into October, but it's never too late! If you decide to join or already have, please let me know!
And now for a recipe. This started when I found this muffin recipe. Since we're into fall now (though it doesn't always feel like it in Texas) I'd already been innundated with applesauce recipes. Then this recipe that I wanted to try also called for applesauce so I thought, Why the hell not? I've never made it before but it was so easy and SO much better than any store bought that I'll never buy it again.
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Spice Applesauce
- Apples - I used a mix of 2 gala, 2 fuji, 1 large honey crisp and 1 pink lady
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- Core and slice apples. This time I peeled them but next time I won't.
- Place in slow cooker with all the spices and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Stir occasionally. *see note
- When apples start to break up when you stir them it's done. Remove cinnamon sticks and then blend with an immersion blender or in food processor. Alternatively, you can just stir them really well or use a potato masher for a chunkier sauce.
*note - Some recipes called for a little water in the bottom of the slow cooker. Others didn't. I did this time but won't next time, or maybe just the teeniest bit. I had juicy apples so it wasn't really necessary.