I’ve always wanted to make apple butter and found out by looking at several recipes online that it is not as healthy as I thought it was. Some recipes called for 2 cups of sugar – yes, 2 CUPS OF SUGAR! Apples are naturally sweet, so why do you even need all this sugar? So, what I did was pull a few recipes online for the basic measurements like how many apples do I need and cooking times. I thought making an Apple Date Butter would be a good idea because I love dates – as you all know – as a healthy alternative to sugar because of its taste and nutritional benefits. I am glad I did this because I’m really happy with the resulting flavors. This Apple Date Butter is naturally sweet with hints of cinnamon, cloves and vanilla.
Slow Cooker Apple Date Butter [Vegan]
- 5 ½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 cup chopped dates, pitted
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice, fresh is best
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- Fill slow cooker with peeled, cored and sliced apples. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
- Cover and cook on low setting for 9-11 hours or until the butter is a thick, dark brown, spreadable consistency. Stir occasionally.
- If there is too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened. Keep an eye on it and stir it occasionally to prevent burning (this all depends on your slow cooker). You can also transfer to a pot and heat on the stove until it reduces if the slow cooker isn’t doing its job.
- Transfer to canning jars and store in the refrigerator or freeze.
Some changes I would make to this recipe would be to reduce the amount of dates by half or increase the amount of apples. If you don’t want to add the dates at all, just use 2 cups of unsweetened apple juice – preferably fresh – instead. However, I thought I would end up with at least 4 pints, but only ended up with 2 1/2 pints.