And, if you use red apples, the applesauce will be pink - your kids will love it!
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have learned that I joke about being a 'wannabe homesteader,' lol. Making applesauce is the perfect example. When I'm cooking the apples, I feel pretty self-sufficient.
I mean, it's not hard, but it sounds pretty impressive if you ask me;) What I'm trying to say is, if I can make this, so can you!
I started making my own applesauce in college. At the time, I preferred chunky applesauce, so I peeled the apples, cooked it on the stovetop and mashed it with a fork. Doing this took much more work.
Now I prefer smooth applesauce. The smooth consistency of this applesauce allows it to be much more versatile than chunky applesauce, especially when it comes to baking.
Speaking of baking, have you made my Apple Oatmeal Bake yet? It calls for both applesauce and chopped apple. It's so good!!
Why You'll Love Making Homemade Applesauce
- Easy Recipe
- No added sugar Use apples that are naturally sweet
- Kid-favorite side or snack
- Two ingredients
- Perfect for meal prep This recipe makes about 8 cups of applesauce, so you will have enough to serve for days. Once cooled, store the rest in freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to a few months.
Apples That's it! Homemade applesauce tastes the best when it's just made with apples and water! Apples are high in fiber, vitamin C, and they contain phytochemicals. They also contain pectin, which is a soluble fiber.
Any apple can be used to make applesauce. Still, it's important to keep in mind that apples vary in color, texture, level of sweetness, and cost.
And, because there is no sugar added, this applesauce will only be as sweet as the apples you are using. Oh, and feel free to use a variety of apples. These apples work especially well for making applesauce: Cortland, Gala, Jonagold, Fui, Golden Delicious.
One more tip: don't be fooled by applesauce recipes labeled as "sugar free applesauce". Apples right from a tree naturally contain sugar (fructose). So, while 'no added sugar' is possible, to call an applesauce recipe made with real apples "sugar-free" is misleading.
How to Make Unsweetened Applesauce
Here's a quick overview of the steps to make homemade applesauce. For the full list of ingredients and specific instructions, scroll down to the recipe.
- Wash and core apples.
- Place water and apple slices in a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Boil for about 10 minutes, until the apples are mushy.
- Either use an emersion blender to smooth out the apple mixture OR carefully pour apples and water into a high-powered blender that can handle hot liquid. I use my Vitamix for this step.
- Let cool. Serve and enjoy OR store for later use.
Photo Credit: amazon.com
How to Serve Applesauce
Here in Pennsylvania, many families serve applesauce with just about every meal. I thought it was strange at first, but now I get it! Little did I know that applesauce goes with so much more than just pork chops 😉
Applesauce can be eaten alone or used in a variety of recipes. In fact, even my apple oatmeal bake recipe calls for applesauce as an ingredient. Here are a few specific ways applesauce can be served.
- Topped with granola I know it sounds strange, but some people love it this way! There are so many ways to eat granola, try it with applesauce!
- Packed in school lunches I often pack applesauce in school lunches for my kids. The key is to pack it in leak-proof lunch containers.
- As a side with dinner Applesauce goes well with almost any meal. My family especially loves it served with pork chops and lasagna.
- Topped with dash of cinnamon Served as dessert or light snack.
- Mixed in with plain yogurt.
- As a dip for corn chips My husband especially likes to eat corn chips with applesauce.
- Scrub the apples as you wash them. Use a fruit and veggie scrub cloth if you have one.
- Use an apple slicer to save time coring the apples.
- For chunky applesauce, peel the apples first. Then, when the apples start to get mushy, use a potato masher to achieve your desired consistency.
- Softer apples will cook quicker than hard apples.
- Use red apples to make pink applesauce.
- Because there is no sugar added, the applesauce will only be as sweet as the apples you are using.
- Let the apple and water mixture cool completely first if you are using a blender that is not made to blend hot liquids.
- Be very careful when transferring and blending the hot apple and water mixture. I use a two-cup liquid measuring cup for this step.
- Adjust the amount of water to achieve your desired level of thickness. My family prefers applesauce thinner than a few other families that we know who make their own applesauce. If you'd like it even thinner, add a little more water.
- Cool the applesauce completely before storing it.
Let the applesauce cool completely. Pour the applesauce into airtight containers and place them in the refrigerator or freezer. I wash the jars my honey comes in and reuse them to refrigerate applesauce. For freezing, use freezer-safe food storage containers. If using freezer-safe resealable bags, squeeze as much air out as possible before placing the bag of applesauce into the freezer.
Applesauce can be served as a snack or alongside any meal. My kids especially like applesauce served with lasagna, turkey burgers, pork tenderloin, and even packed in school lunches. Kids also love this applesauce mixed in with plain yogurt - so good!
Yes! My mother-in-law introduced me to this method of storing applesauce. The applesauce needs to be completely cooled. Then, pour it into freezer-safe containers with an airtight lid and store in the freezer.
More Side Dish Recipes
Did you make this homemade applesauce recipe and love it? Please let me know by giving this recipe a 5-star rating and by leaving a comment below!
Simple Unsweetened Applesauce
- 5.5 pounds apples washed well
- ¾ cup water
- Core and slice apples.
- Place apple slices and water in a Dutch oven.
- Cook on medium-high heat on the stove.
- Stir the apples as the cook.
- Cook until the apples are mushy, and skins separate from the apple. Remove from heat.
- Carefully place apple and water mixture into a blender that is made for blending hot food. Blend in batches if needed.
- Gradually work up the speed of the blender and blend on high for thirty seconds to one minute, or until the desired consistency is reached.
- Pour into storage containers and let cool.
- Place lids on storage containers and place in the refrigerator.
- Serve or bake and enjoy!