In a pinch at snacktime? Grab some applesauce. Want to make your baking healthier? Applesauce again. Need a little something sweet to rev up a healthy treat? You guessed it: Applesauce to the rescue. The moral of the story here is that while applesauce may seem like an underdog food, it’s actually incredibly useful to have on hand—and when made right, can be phenomenally delicious as well.
And that’s where a little extra effort at home makes all the difference. While store-bought applesauce can be bland and mealy, freshly-made applesauce is where-have-you-been-all-my-life good. Homestyle versions absolutely burst with juicy flavor, and are a wonderfully comforting way to eat nutritious whole fruits during the colder seasons.
What’s more, you can customize your applesauce batch to no end! Of course there’s the traditional riffs, like adding a little cinnamon or maple. But there’s no need to stop there: we often stir in superfoods to create playful variations that are excitingly rich in healing micronutrients, and unusually flavorful.
So fall in love with this simple snack all over again with our super-simple, all-natural applesauce technique. Then go to town with some of the superfood options below for an even more rewarding—and special—experience you’ll want to keep on hand for all kinds of edible purposes.
WATCH HOW WE MAKE OUR HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE:
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HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE PREP TIPS:
With just 3 main ingredients, applesauce is very simple. Read on for a few tips on mastering this fun and satisfying recipe project.
Pick your favorite apples. You can use absolutely any kind of apples for this sauce, simply keep in mind that the flavor of the apple will come through (aka tart apples like Granny Smith make a tarter sauce, while floral apples like Pink Lady offer sweeter, more delicate notes). You can even use a combination of different types!
Cook through properly. A longer cooking time allows the flavorful juices of the apples to condense. But a little extra juice at the bottom of the pot is needed to blend the applesauce properly … which will thicken slightly as it cools.
Add superfoods once cool. Some nutrients in superfoods are heat sensitive, so it’s usually best to blend or mix them in once the applesauce has cooled to room temperature or has been chilled.
MAKING SUPERFOOD VARIATIONS:
While you can add superfoods like berries while cooking the apples, for maximum nutrient retention we recommend using superfood powders that are mixed in after the applesauce has cooled. Try one of these variations (suggested quantity below is for 1 cup of applesauce), or create several versions out of a single recipe batch!
Spirulina: Mix in ¼ teaspoon of spirulina powder + pinch ground cinnamon (yes, this will make green applesauce!) Yacon: Mix in 2 teaspoon yacon syrup + ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon Schisandra: Mix in ¼ teaspoon schisandra berry powder + pinch ground ginger powder Goji: Add a handful or two of goji berries to apples during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. (Alternatively, mix in 1 tsp goji powder.)
RECIPES TO ADD YOUR HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE TO:
Sorry store-bought varieties: There’s nothing quite like fresh applesauce, which you can make out of any kind of apples, or a combination of several—no added sugar needed!
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 30 mins (plus chilling) Servings: 8 (Makes 1 quart) Author: Julie Morris
3 pounds of apples (your favorite variety)
2 cups water 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Peel, quarter, and core the apples.
2. Add the apples to a large pot along with water and lemon juice. Over high heat, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, covered, or until apples fall apart easily when mashed with a fork. Uncover and cook for 3-5 minutes longer until most of the liquid at the bottom has evaporated. Transfer the apples and any remaining liquid to a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled, about one hour.
3. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator, where applesauce will for about 5 days. Or, divide the applesauce into smaller jars and freeze until ready to use (it will last frozen for several months).