Homemade Applesauce: Easy Sugar-Free Recipe

Photo: Anika Martin/Utopia

Homemade applesauce simply tastes better than the store-bought sauces packed full with sugar. Here we’ll show you how to whip up a tasty unsweetened applesauce using a recipe with only two ingredients.

Store-bought applesauce is without a doubt pretty darn delicious. However, more often than not these contain a considerable amount of sugar. You can go without it? Try your hand at a homemade recipe: Unsweetened applesauce is incredibly easy to make from scratch. The apple takes care of the sweetness factor all on its own.

Tip: If you like to bake vegan, you should keep a stockpile of homemade applesauce at the ready. It’s great for use as a binding agent as well as an egg alternative in various dough recipes.

Homemade Applesauce: The (unsweetened) Ingredients

Homemade applesauce ingredients
The ingredients for your homemade applesauce. (Photo: CCo Public Domain / Pxabay - Andy Chilton)
  • 3 ½ lbs. organic apples
  • ¾ cup of water
  • juice from ½ lemon for taste as preferred
  • cloves, cinnamon stick, vanilla or other spices for taste as preferred

For this homemade sugar-free applesauce recipe, you’ll also need a medium sized pot, either a masher or a sauce mixer and a number of (sterilized) air-tight containers. No need for a measuring cup or scale for sugar in this unsweetened recipe. All ingredient measures can be adjusted according to taste and desired consistency: Make yourself a traditional unsweetened applesauce, apple puree or even an apple compote.

Which types of apples to use is completely up to you. Mixing apple varieties in your applesauce recipe is bound to lend your sauce a distinct flavor. If you prefer more of a tart taste, go for the russet. Especially sweet tasting are Golden Delicious apples. The Elstar or Jonagold varieties strike a proper balance between bitter and sweet. Ask around at your local farmers market for suggestions on which are the best to use for your homemade applesauce and be sure to inquire about local availability. Find a farmers market near you using the National Farmers Market Directory. Maybe you’ll even find about apple orchards in your area where you can pick your batch yourself.

Homemade Applesauce Recipe

  1. Peel and core the apples. If preferred, you can also process the apples unpeeled. Here you’re not only avoiding waste but also making your sauce a bit healthier. Most of the vitamins and minerals are located directely under the peel.
  2. Cut the apple into smaller pieces.
  3. Add the apples to the pot filled with the ¾ cups of water. Adding the juice from one half lemon will prevent the applesauce from turning brown.
  4. Bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat and let the apples simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Now you have two options: Coarsely mash the apples to make an apple compote or puree them into an applesauce. If you prefer it a bit creamier, be sure to add some water before mixing/pounding.
  6. Fill the applesauce into sterilized (!!) resealable containers or jars, close them tightly and set them aside to cool upside-down.

Applesauce Variations

Homemade apple sauce variations
Prepare your unsweetened applesauce in a number of different ways. (Photo: CCo Public Domain / Pixabay - Taken)

To add a bit of spice to your homemade applesauce, place some cloves and half a stick of cinnamon in a teabag and let it boil along with the applesauce (see step 4). You can do the same with the pulp of a vanilla pod by adding it directly into the apple mixture while cooking. Ginger can also add a bit of spice. Add this in a tea bag or puree it right along with the apples.

In addition to spices, you can also try experimenting with various other types of fruit. Mix things up by replacing a portion of the apples in your recipe with fruits such as plumbs, pears or other seasonal offerings.

Tip: Another great fall snack option are pumpkin smoothies: These make for great low-calorie substitutes for pumpkin flavored coffee drinks. Check out our recipe here.

Homemade Applesauce: How to make it last

If stored cool and in a dark place, your finished homemade applesauce will remain edible for up to a couple months. By employing a simple but effective trick, you can extend this period up to a year by storing the sauce in preserving jars. To do this, take the filled preserving jars, make sure these are air-tight and leave these in a pot of water heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Homemade applesauce gift ideas
Nothing beats homemade gifts to the people you care about the most. (Homemade applesauce gift ideas)

Homemade applesauce is genuinely tasty and healthy snack. It also makes for a great dessert and goes well with yoghurt, curd and ice cream or other hearty dishes such as mashed potatoes. This fine homemade treat makes for a great light gift for your host or friends. Just stick a nice gift tag on it (maybe even with your own homemade applesauce recipe attached) and pass it on. Either way – it’s sure to hit the spot!

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This text was translated from German into English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here.

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