Healthy things my kids love – homemade applesauce and Camelbaks

When there are healthy things that my girls really love, I tend to love them too.  Applesauce is something that my mother always made us growing up and now she makes it for the grandkids.  If you have never had homemade applesauce you are really missing out.  It’s nothing like the stuff you buy in a jar at the store.  Nothing.   It’s also easy peasy to make – which is why I love it even more.  The most tedious part of making it is running it through the food mill (or a strainer if you don’t have a food mill.)  Still, that’s not even very hard.

Here is another great secret about making applesauce.  Does your grocery store have marked down produce sitting off by it’s lonesome in shame in a dark corner?  Do you ever look at it?  Sometimes I’m like – Huh?  It usually looks perfectly good to me – and it usually is still fine.  It might not be at it’s peak, but if you slow cook it, roast it or grill it, very often you will never know the difference – cross my heart. Plus, it’s usually at least half the price of the regular priced fruit and veggies… So, when I want to make applesauce I head straight for this rack and grab several of the packs of fruit.  I will usually get more than just apples, too.  I am pretty sure you can  throw in any fruit that you can get your hands on.   The sauce in the picture actually has bananas (that were a bit overripe), pears and a peach.  The pear might give it a hint of grittiness, but the banana makes it a bit creamy. You could also add strawberries or even some mango – yum.

Another thing that my kids love are their Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E.’s  We like to go on hikes and ride bikes and we find that if we  keep the kids hydrated and fed throughout the trip they can pretty much keep up.  Jim always carries his own Camelbak and they love drinking out of it.  So, as they got a bit older we decided we would get them each their own.   It was actually a great present for Grammy and Grandpa to get them for the holidays.

Now when we go on hikes or bike rides they can get a drink when they would like and it’s easy for them to grab their own little snack.  They feel like explorers with them strapped to their backs and they each have their own cool colors (pink for Taylor and blue for Ella.)  They are a lot smaller than a regular backpack so you can’t store tons of stuff in it, but things like a snack, sunglasses and maybe a hat can all fit in there perfectly fine.  Plus, as most Camelbak products, they are made really well.  Now our hikes and rides last a lot longer and are much happier:-)

This is my oldest daughter, Ella with her Camelback.  We are at Duke Gardens and this is my birthday weekend.  I always choose to go here for my birthday:-)  It’s one of my favorite places.  Oh, by the way, don’t you love Ella’s color blocking??

So, back to this applesauce.  I should also tell you there is no need to add any sugar to it.  I might add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, but other than that, its pure fruit.  If you have never made it at home – I urge you to try it.  Honestly, it just couldn’t be  easier to make and your kids will eat it like ice cream – I promise!

Crock-pot Applesauce

6-8 Apples – any variety you have

Cut and core the apples, leaving the skin on and throw into the Crock-pot

Add any additional fruits you want to try (pears, banana, peaches), but I usually have at least 50 percent apples

Cook on low for 6 hours

Let cool and run through a food mill or a mesh strainer to get rid of the skins.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice to taste.


Note- the opinions on the Camelbak’s are my own.  This is not a sponsored or paid post by the maker’s of Camelbak.




  1. Thanks Becki – I’m so going to try this!!!

  2. We love crockpot applesauce. I leave ours chunky though. 🙂

  3. I 100% agree that there is nothing like homemade applesauce. My great-grandmother had a few apple trees in her back yard, and she would make the best applesauce from them. Oh how I miss those days (and my great -grandmother). Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

  4. Great tip about looking for apples that have been marked down to use in applesauce. I make a similar applesauce, but peel the apples using an apple peeler/corer/slicer before cooking and then use an immersion blender in the crockpot to puree it. So easy.

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