For kids, applesauce is ubiquitous — packed into school lunches by moms everywhere and offered up at home as a sweet snack alternative to less healthful options. But applesauce often gets left behind as children turn into adults and begin to ditch canned and jarred fruits for fresh produce.
Luckily, eating applesauce doesn’t require purchasing a jar of the premade stuff. Unbeknownst to many cooks, delicious, nutritious applesauce can be made right in your own home in a variety of ways. And because whipping up a batch doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, it’s also extremely cost-effective.
Check out our tips for making your own applesauce:
Apple flavors and textures fall all over the map, and many people swear by using a mix of two or more types of apple when making applesauce. Combining sweet and tart apples adds to the flavor profile of the sauce and makes the dish more interesting overall, according to OregonLive.com. Recommended apples include Granny Smith, Cortland and Jonathans, among others.
The one common ingredient in applesauce recipes is apples. You can choose how to proceed from that base, including whether to add any type of sweetener, such as honey or sugar. But one of the cardinal rules of cooking applesauce is to taste it first, before adding a sweetening agent, says KraftRecipes.com. If you’ve picked good apples, you probably won’t even need it.
As a completely customizable dish, applesauce can be adapted to fit just about any taste or palate. Some recipes call for adding fall spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, to the apples while they cook, while others suggest adding spirits and apple juice or cider for an extra kick of flavor.
Applesauce has a great reputation as a healthy snack — one cup of unsweetened applesauce runs about 100 calories. Loaded with fiber and Vitamin C, applesauce also supports heart health and serves as a good weight management tool, according to FitDay.com. For maximum nutritional impact, drop the peeler and leave the skin on your chosen apples.
Applesauce’s versatility makes it a great friend to the home cook. Because it can be made in a number of ways, you can choose whatever cooking method is right for you at any given time. Want to go low and slow? Pull out the crock pot. Need to cook some quickly? Then try Alton Brown’s recipe for microwaved applesauce. Or stick with a stovetop and saucepan and call it a day.