We love fall because it's the perfect time to take advantage of delicious, organic apples. My little chefs couldn't wait to try out this activity after our trip to the apple orchard. They had so much fun seeing exactly what steps go into making one of their favorite snack!
We all washed our hands and washed the apples. Then I used my Pampered Chef slicer to slice and core the apples. (An apple slicer's not necessary, but it definitely makes the job easier!) I also peeled off the skins. This took some extra time, but it was worth it to prep the apples for the younger kids.
Once the sliced apples were in a bowl, we got to work cutting the slices into chunks. We found that putting one hand over the plastic knife and pushing down was the easiest way to make sure that the little ones didn't hurt their fingers. My 19-month-old wanted in on the fun as well, so we got some apple slices and a spreader to "cut" with.
Then, we added all the apples to the Crock-Pot. The kids had fun pouring in the water, cinnamon, and sugar. In our house, it's important that each child get to pour something into a recipe. Sometimes this means that we add ingredients 1/4 cup at a time, but it's worth it to keep the peace!
Before plugging in the Crock-Pot, the kids took turns stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon to make sure that the apples were all covered.
We cooked the apples on "high" for 3 hours.We checked in on the apples twice and mashed the mixture down with a potato masher. (My older kids did this because the mixture was very hot and I didn't want to take chances with little ones getting burned.)
After 3 hours, we turned the crock-pot to "low" and continued cooking for another 2 hours. We periodically returned to mash the apples some more. The kids liked watching the apples change from their chunky form to the smooth applesauce texture. We loved how it made the whole house smell like apples and cinnamon!
That night, we had warm applesauce for dessert and the kids proudly packed it in their lunchboxes the next day! I call that a successful project!