With just four simple ingredients, no added sugar and no need to peel, you can make your own healthy unsweetened applesauce in under an hour. You'll love this delicious way to use up your extra apples.
Oh autumn. The smell of fallen leaves, cozy sweaters, pumpkin everything and an over abundance of apples.
I'll never complain about having pounds upon pounds of apples gifted to me from my neighbour's tree. From Apple Crisp to Apple Pancakes to Apple Grilled Cheese, it's a "problem" I look forward to eagerly.
But a person can only consume so many apples in a day...
And it would be such a shame for any of them to go to waste...
Enter this homemade unsweetened applesauce! Requiring so very little prep (you don't even need to peel the apples) and less than an hour of your time, it is a great way to preserve your extra apple crop.
And as a bonus, your house will smell like the epitome of fall while this homemade applesauce cooks.
But I'll warn you, once you taste your own applesauce, your days of eating the stuff from the grocery store will be ruined (sorry, not sorry).
- Apples- 1 pound (450 g) of apples yields about 2 and ½ cups when cut up.
What Type of Apple to Use
Since they are the main ingredient, the kind of apples that you use matters. When choosing what apple to use for applesauce, here are a few tips:
- Use good apples that you like the taste of
- Try out a variety of sweet and tart apples
- Sweet Apples- Honey Crisp, Gala, Ambrosia, Pink Lady
- Tart Apples- Granny Smith
- Use organic apples (I'm jealous if they are from your own tree!)
- Peel the apples if they are coated in edible wax
- Water- Keep an eye on the apple sauce as it is cooking and add a few more splashes of water if it seems dry.
1. Prepare apples. Because we are using the apple peels, it is important to wash the fruit well before you start. Core and cut them into large chunks that are all around the same size (I usually quarter and then halve the quarters). Add to a large pot with the spices and water.
2. Simmer. Cook over medium-low heat for 25-40 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes until softened.
3. Blend. I prefer to use an immersion blender and puree the cooked apples all in the pot. If you don't have one, allow it to cool a bit and then transfer to a blender or food processor.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Store leftover applesauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To Freeze: Leave 1 inch (2 cm) room at the top of your container as the applesauce will expand as it freezes. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Make it Your Own
Use this unsweetened applesauce recipe as a starting point but feel free to add your own spin depending on your personal preference!
- Brighten it up- Add some fresh lemon juice and lemon zest- about 1 teaspoon juice and a pinch of zest per pound (450 g) of apples.
- Sweeten it- Taste and add 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup, brown sugar or honey per pound of apples.
- Make Chunky Applesauce- Peel the apples (since they won't be getting pureed) and cook as directed. Once cooked, use a potato masher to achieve your desired consistency.
- Turn it into Apple Butter- Puree the applesauce and then return it to the pot. Cook over medium low for 30-60 additional minutes, stirring often until thickened.
Ways to Use Homemade Applesauce
I'm personally a huge fan of this applesauce all on its own for breakfast or a healthy snack, but there are a lot of other ways to enjoy it!
- Use it in baking such as in Honey Spice Zucchini Muffins or Applesauce Oat Flour Muffins
- Mix it with Honey Cinnamon Granola or Maple Walnut Granola (Kind of like Apple Crisp for Breakfast!)
- Spread it on a grilled cheese sandwich
- Make Apple Cinnamon Oats or simply stir it into oatmeal
- Add it to a smoothie
- Serve it over vanilla ice cream
- Use it in Carrot Apple Soup
- Make some Turnip Casserole
- Serve it alongside Pork Chops
Use organic apples that you enjoy the taste of! Since we aren't adding sweetener, the apples will provide all of the sweetness. If you use very tart apples, you will have a very tart applesauce. I personally love applesauce made with honey crisp, pink lady or ambrosia apples.
No, not if you use organic apples. However, it is important to ensure that the apples that you are using are not coated in edible wax. Most non-organic apples at the store are- that's why they are so shiny. If you are using these, you will need to peel the apples before making them into sauce.
LET ME PLAN YOUR DINNERS! Get My FREE Meal Plan (Including Grocery List!)>>>
And if you liked this recipe...
...you might also like these other apple recipes!
- 1 lb apples 2-3 cups chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 tablespoon water
- Add all of the ingredients to a pot, cover and heat over medium low.
- Allow mixture to simmer for 25-40 minutes until apples are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed.
- Using an immersion blender, puree to preferred consistency.
- Taste and add sweetener if desired.
- Enjoy on its own or use in any recipes that call for applesauce.