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Homemade Crock Pot Applesauce

Posted on 06 November 2011 by noelskitchen

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I am seriously thinking why on earth do I buy applesauce for school lunches when it’s so much easier and healthier to make your own. Whether you need the perfect lunch time snack, after-school snack for your kids, or you’re in need of a wholesome pick-me-up during your day, applesauce is a delicious tasting snack or side dish.  Applesauce is a very affordable snack, packed with vitamins and fiber.

It freezes extremely well, meaning that you can maximize your time by making a gigantic batch in the crock pot and can or freeze it. My kids think it tastes great when it’s still partially frozen.


Homemade Crock Pot Applesauce

Smooth and almost creamy, thick and not-too sweet, scented with cinnamon and tasting fully of apples.


  • 14 apples of your choice, peeled, cored and sliced (cheaper if you purchase the bag apples in the produce department)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (brown sugar would work too)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix together. Add ingredients to crock pot and cook on HIGH 2 -3 hours. Stir frequently and break up apples to desired consistency using a potato masher.
  2. **If you’d like a smoother applesauce, you can use a hand mixer.

Notes:Any type of apples will work for this recipe.

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Healthy Snacks For Kids

Posted on 09 August 2009 by noelskitchen

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Healthy Snacks For Kids

Previously I wrote about school lunch ideas, so it seems fair to complete the lunch box with some simple recipes for easy desserts. Many children’s sweet tooths can be satisfied by a piece of fresh fruit, but many the great finale to lunch is a simple little treat to make their day. Because kids have different palates, I included two different types of treats.

Here are a few of our favorite bar recipes that are not too sweet, quite nourishing and they transport well. For best results, store them in airtight containers in your refrigerator.

Kids In The Kitchen

This recipe is really good for those who keep prepared granola cereal on hand for breakfast. And it is so easy the kids can even throw it together.

Simply Granola Bars


3/4 cup melted butter or margarine

1/3 cup brown sugar (omit if granola is very sweet)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

4 cups granola cereal


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix together melted butter and sugar. Add vanilla, salt and eggs. Beat until smooth. Stir in granola and press into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until well set. Cool and cut into bars.

These are an absolute real treat and especially nice if you have made a strawberry or peach jam during the summer.

In this following recipe, carob powder is used. Carob is often called ‘the chocolate substitute.” It makes baked goods dark and moist. It is made from the pod of the carob tree, also known as St. John’s bread. It is low in fat, high in protein and minerals.

 Carob-Nut Brownies


2/3 cup softened butter or margarine

2/3 cup honey

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup carob powder

1 cup unbleached flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup hot water

1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and honey. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl combine carob powder, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into butter mixture. Add hot water and walnuts. Stir well. Spread into a lightly greased 8 inch square baking pan. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares.



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Raising Healthy Kids~Healthy Options For Lunch

Posted on 17 February 2009 by noelskitchen

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Do you ever send your kids to school and wonder what they actually eat? Kids have access to so many less than nutritious foods during the school day: Whether it’s pizza, French fries, soda or cookies, your children face temptations galore. So how can you ensure they eat well during the day? Here are some strategies I found helpful for encouraging healthy lunch habits.

Pack a lunch your kid will like. Eliminate the guesswork by involving your children in the decision-making process. Ask them what foods they would like to have for lunch, and gently steer them toward healthy options. Include at least one “fun food” in their lunch bags so that other kids don’t harass them. Good fun choices include fresh fruit with natural peanut butter for a dip, low-fat string cheese, 100% juice packs (4-ounce size), and sugar-free gelatin or pudding cups.

 Set a good example. We can’t expect our children to eat well if we don’t do the same. Kids will copy what they see, so proper eating habits begin at home. Again, get them involved in the meal planning to educate them about making healthy choices.  You can find resourceful cookbooks and kitchen tool for children by visiting www.noelskitchen.com.  Kids In The Kitchen Workshops for groups, schools and families are available,  if interested please send me an e-mail. I will be happy to send you a list of ideas on what tkitchen tools for kids to purchase, just send me an email, Noel Chapman.

Check up on the school cafeteria. If you don’t have time to pack a lunch and you send your children to school with lunch money, make it a point to find out what they may be eating. Ask your school what types of food they offer in the cafeteria.  Most schools will send a monthly lunch calendar home with your children at the end of the previous month or first day of that month. Talk to your school administrator about making changes if the majority of the options are less than desirable.

girlslunchHealthy Options for Lunches: (for school and home) 



  • Go for whole-grain breads. Keep your cupboards stocked with a variety of whole-grain breads. Whole-wheat sliced bread, whole-wheat pita, whole-grain pumpernickel, and whole-grain tortillas are some family-friendly varieties to choose from.  
  • Serve salads. Make hearty, family-worthy Cobb or chef-style salads with dark, leafy greens, tomatoes, avocados, turkey bacon, and lean deli meats. 
  • Consider bean-based soups. Lentil, split pea, and black bean are nutrient-dense, fiber-rich choices that will satisfy the entire family.

boyslunch2Enjoy lean deli meats. Choose lean deli meats like turkey breast, chicken breast, and ham. Make sure you select varieties without added sugars (for instance, avoid honey-baked ham) and serve deli meats with condiments like Dijon mustard and mayonnaise.

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