October Unprocessed: Unsweetened Crock Pot Applesauce

crock pot applesauce

When I first learned about October Unprocessed, the question that immediately came to mind is: what defines processed food? This crock pot applesauce recipe contains no refined or added sugars and should work for your month of unprocessed eating, no matter how strict you decide to be.

There’s a great discussion about what is an isn’t processed over at Eating Rules, and I think I like their definition: if a reasonable cook can make it in a kitchen with whole food ingredients, it’s unprocessed. I also like that it doesn’t mean you have to make everything from scratch. If the ingredients are all real food, that counts, although this did lead to an interesting discussion between me and my husband, Dave.

His question was whether potato chips counted, if the ingredients were just potatoes, oil, and salt. My gut reaction was “no way!” but he pointed out that technically chips adhere to the rules. So! I think I’m going to use the reasonable cook rule as a rule of thumb but also go with the plain ol’ gut check for some of the iffier foods, like chips.

When Dave and I were talking about what is an isn’t processed before we’d found the Eating Rules page, the first thing that came to mind for me was applesauce for some reason. Applesauce is technically “processed,” and it’s something that is so easy to make at home. I think I had applesauce on the brain because I’d just made a batch of brown sugar applesauce with some apples we’d picked on our anniversary getaway to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. I had a ton of apples left from that trip still, so I decided to try making another batch of applesauce, one without any added refined sugars. That’s got to be unprocessed, right?

Here’s my super simple crock pot applesauce recipe!

crock pot applesauce recipe

Sugar Free Crock Pot Applesauce


  • 10 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups water

Cooking Directions

  1. Toss the apples and water into your crock pot, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, until it reaches your desired consistency.
  2. While the sauce cooks, you’ll want to check on it once an hour. If things are looking dry, add the extra water. It’s also a good idea to stir the sauce when you check it, This prevents the sugars from the apples from sticking to the sides and bottom of the crock pot. You’ll be glad you did this when it’s time to clean up, I promise!

When the applesauce is done, you can either spoon it hot into Mason jars or let it cool and store it in repurposed glass jars. Do not spoon the hot applesauce into reclaimed jars! It could all work out fine, but your jars could also shatter, and you’d lose the applesauce and the jar.

More October Unprocessed Goodness:

  • October Unprocessed, Day One – Heather Carr’s first day doing the 2012 challenge.
  • October Unprocessed: Dining Out – This is from last year, and since it’s something I imagine anyone who’s participating in the challenge is going to deal with, I wanted to share it here.
  • Welcome to October Unprocessed – Andrea from our sister site, Vibrant Wellness Journal is also participating. I’m looking forward to her primer coming out later on today about what she considers processed foods!

Written by Becky Striepe


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    • So not weird! I was nervous, too. My husband and I talked about it for a long time – what was and wasn’t allowed etc. In the end, I decided to go for it. If I slip up, I slip up. It’s about the challenge, not perfection, right?

  1. I was wondering about how much applesauce you yielded from this recipe so I can be sure to have enough jar capacity to store it. πŸ™‚

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