It’s crockpot recipe month with RecipeRedux – and the only guideline was “anything BUT casseroles,” so check the frog link below for more creative ideas.
Slow cookers are great for so many things beyond the tuna noodle, and the closest thing you’ll get to the food actually cooking itself. They don’t require as much energy as the whole oven, and can be filled in the kitchen and plugged in anywhere to free up counter space (a prime commodity in many DC area homes!). They’re cheap – I’ve even seen them sold in CVS for less than $20 – and easy to clean. Bottom line: if you don’t already own one, this fall is the time!
Onto the virtues of gummy candies…I love bears, worms, and fruit shapes alike. They’re my go-to movie theater treat, and have no redeemable nutritional qualities whatsoever. Of course, they’re fat-free – because they are 100% sugar (and syrups, dextrose, maltodextrin…) with artificial color, flavor, and some gelatin to hold it all together. I have them about 4 times a year (special treat!) but you can also use a slow cooker as a dehydrator to make a similar snack with nothing but fruit! This was my first experiment with pumpkin (I’ve also tried a banana-strawberry fruit by the foot!), and it worked well but was definitely better cut into small squares than strips.
This does take a long time to cook, but if you can make a smoothie and dump it into a crockpot, you can make these gummies!
Apple-Pumpkin Gummy Squares
- 2 medium apples, cored or with seeds removed
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tsp almond extract (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Lightly oil a crockpot (mine is a 6-qt), pour in the mixture, and set on low for 12 hours (or until they are dried and slightly sticky to touch). Slice into squares with a pizza cutter. (You can toss them in cornstarch so they’re not as sticky, too!)