I jazzed up my homemade applesauce a bit with a little more spice and carrots. The kids were totally smitten, as were the grownups. You could make the sauce on the stove top, but there is something magnificent about the smell of apple cinnamon that will fill your kitchen if you do it in the crock pot.
The pork chop recipe is adapted from Cooks Illustrated; the original recipe called for bone-in chops but I went for the more kid-friendly option of boneless (which were also on sale at Whole Foods).
Crock Pot Carrot Applesauce
6 peeled & cored apples, cut into chunks (I used half Granny Smith, half Gala)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup palm sugar (or natural sweetener of choice)
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbs. apple pie spice (can use cinnamon with a bit of nutmeg and allspice as well)
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. Use a potato masher to break up any remaining chunks of carrot and apple, or puree in a blender until smooth. I found my carrots were still a bit too hard to hand mash, so I went the blender route.
The pork recipe comes together easily, but just requires about half an hour cook time on the stove top. While I did include the bacon called for in the original recipe, I honestly think the dish would do fine without as well. The real flavor comes from the gravy and onions.
Smothered Pork Chops
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
3 slices nitrite-free bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tbs. coconut or almond flour
1 3/4 cups organic chicken broth
4 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick pork chops
ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, halved pole-to-pole and sliced thin (about 3 1/2 cups)
salt, to taste
2 tbs. water
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves