Here is my recipe for unsweetened applesauce. With no added sugar, it’s a really simple recipe that you can make in your kitchen in no time.
Why homemade applesauce
You can buy applesauce at the nearest grocery store at a relatively low price. However, pre-made applesauce often lacks freshness and tartness from its delicious homemade counterpart.
Plus, you can add spices while cooking to create a truly tasty and unique applesauce that you won’t find anywhere else.
This homemade applesauce is naturally low in phosphorus and potassium. With 2g of fiber per serving, it is also a source of fiber.
As the name suggests, unsweetened applesauce does not require any additional source of sugar. Apples are already sweet and I think that applesauce taste better unsweetened!
How to make unsweetened applesauce
To make unsweetened applesauce, simply dice your apples and cook them in water and lemon juice.
Peel or no peel?
You don’t necessarily need to peel your apples. Personally, if I pick them myself in an orchard, I usually keep the peel. But if I bought them at the grocery store and they’re waxed, I peel them.
If you keep the peel, you will need to puree the applesauce with an immersion blender or counter mixer. Otherwise, you will have an applesauce full of pieces of peel.
Once mixed, applesauce will be pink if you have used red apples. The advantage of preserving the peel is that it contains a lot of soluble fiber, excellent for health.
If you want to make a chunky or old style applesauce instead of pureeing it, you have to remove the peel. This way, you will be able to use a fork, a potato masher or a wooden spoon to give to it the desired consistency once cooked.
Unsweetened applesauce variations
If you want to use this unsweetened applesauce as an ingredient in other recipes, you may prefer to use a plain version without spices.
However, if it’s for direct consumption, leave your inner gourmet free!
As mentioned earlier, you can make pink applesauce. You just need to use unpeeled apples and puree the compote once cooked.
Lemon juice is used in this applesauce to help with preservation and prevent apples from turning brown.
It also enhances the taste, which is very handy if your apples are not tart enough.
But if you prefer, you can simply omit this ingredient or replace it with orange or apple juice!
In this recipe I suggest adding cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. As mentioned earlier, if you want to use this compote as an ingredient in other recipes, it may be better to make a plain version.
Otherwise, a very interesting alternative is to try my apple pie spice blend!
You can also make your own spice blend. Here are the best spices to use to customize your unsweetened applesauce:
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground allspice
- Ground cardamom
- Ground clove
Apples are already sweet and adding a sweetener is not necessary or healthy. But if you really want to add some, I suggest using 1 or 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
This will add a good taste that goes really well with apples. If you don’t have maple syrup, honey or brown sugar are also good choices.
Apples are not the only fruits that can be used to make compote. With the same proportions of ingredients, you can use pears for example.
You can also use several fruits at the same time like apple and berries!
Unsweetened applesauce conservation
This homemade unsweetened applesauce should last about 1 week in the refrigerator and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
If you like this recipe, you will also like these:
- 9 cups apples peeled (or not) and diced
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Spice blend (Note 1)
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- Combine water, lemon juice, diced apple and spices in a saucepan. Spices are optional, see note 1.
- Bring to a simmer over high heat and simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the apple dice fall apart.
- For a chunky applesauce, mash with a fork, a potato masher or a wooden spoon. For a smooth applesauce, blend it.
For informational purposes only. Nutrition data is primarily calculated from the USDA National Database. Values may vary from accuracy of measurements, brands, nutritional data and more. All measurements are metric (1 cup = 250ml). Readers are encouraged to make their own calculations.