Slow cooker recipes: Fruit Butters

How to make fruit buttersFruit butters may share a name with those yellow sticks you use while baking, but they are much healthier. They are actually made from whole fruits that are cooked down until they resemble jam. But unlike most jams that use pectin for thickening, fruit butters rely on a long, low cooking time for evaporation and thickening. The result is a spread with a smooth, spreadable texture and an intense fruit flavor.

A fool-proof, easy method for making fruit butters yourself is using your Crockpot. After you whip up a batch, use it on top of oatmeal, swirled into yogurt, as a substitute for jam or jelly on toast, or as a dip for other fruits.  And because the fruit butter recipes we’ve included here don’t use sugar, they pair well with savory dishes like pork chops, beef ribs and leg of lamb.

Apple Banana Butter

5 pounds apples, peeled and cored

3 overly ripe bananas, peeled

1 can pear halves, packed in pear juice

2 tablespoons agave sweetener

3 whole cinnamon sticks

Put apples, bananas, pears and juice, agave and cinnamon sticks in the Crockpot and cook on high for 5 hours.  Switch heat to low and cook for an additional 3 hours or until thickened. During final hour of cooking, prop lid open with a wooden spoon to let moisture escape. Remove cinnamon sticks and carefully blend apple butter with immersion blender until smooth.

Nutritional Information (Makes 20 servings)

Per serving: 63 calories; 0 total fat; 2 mg sodium; 16g carbohydrates;2g fiber; 1g protein

 

Pumpkin Butter

1 medium pumpkin, peeled, seeded and chopped into 3-inch pieces

2 apples, peeled and cored

2 cups apple cider

1 cup pineapple juice

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground coriander

Place pumpkin, apples, juices, maple syrup, cinnamon and coriander in Crockpot.  Cook on high for 4 hours, then mash mixture with a potato masher. Continue to cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until most of the moisture has evaporated. Carefully blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

Nutritional Information (Makes 20 servings)

Per serving:  51 calories; 0 total fat; 2 mg sodium; 13g carbohydrates; 2g fiber;1g protein

We previously shared some tips on cooking with a Crockpot and some Crockpot breakfast recipes, so check those out if this is new to you.

 

 

Photo credit: Back to the Cutting Board

 
 

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