A Delicious and Easy Snack for the Whole Family
Learn how to make a delectable batch of unsweetened applesauce with this simple recipe! This homemade applesauce has only two ingredients and doesn’t contain any added sugar. You can use your slow cooker, Crock Pot, or even your Ninja Foodi to whip up this tasty treat. Prepare to be amazed by how effortless and delicious this crockpot applesauce recipe is. It’s a nutritious snack or side dish that you can feel good about serving to your loved ones!
The Perfect Blend of Flavors
This versatile applesauce recipe features just a hint of cinnamon. It’s absolutely delightful whether served warm or chilled. If you’ve never tried making sugar-free applesauce before, now is the time. Trust me, it will soon become a staple on your menu!
(And just to clarify, when we say “sugar-free,” we mean no added sugar, such as honey, maple syrup, or white sugar. Apples naturally contain sugars, so a truly sugar-free applesauce recipe would have to exclude apples altogether! Haha)
Applesauce for the Whole Family
This unsweetened applesauce recipe is suitable for babies who have started eating solids, as well as the rest of the family. From toddlers to older folks, everyone will love this sweet and healthy snack.
Feel free to customize your applesauce by adding nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or any other seasoning that tickles your taste buds. And if you’re not a fan of apples or have an allergy, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a substitute for unsweetened applesauce that might just be the answer you’ve been looking for!
Now, let’s dive into the details of this fantastic homemade applesauce recipe!
⭐ Applesauce Recipe (Unsweetened) Benefits
Why is this the ultimate applesauce recipe with no added sugar? Let’s explore a few reasons:
- Ninja Foodi Applesauce: You can effortlessly make applesauce in your Ninja Foodi for a hands-off cooking experience. No need to tend to a pot of applesauce on the stovetop for hours! (But don’t worry, you can use just about any slow cooker you have on hand.)
- Crock Pot Applesauce (No Sugar): Slow cooking the apples allows their natural sweetness to shine through. You’ll wonder why you hadn’t tried making applesauce without sugar sooner!
- Two Ingredient Applesauce: With only two ingredients (excluding water), this recipe couldn’t be simpler. You won’t find an easier sugar-free slow cooker applesauce recipe!
- All Natural Applesauce: This applesauce contains no additives or preservatives. If you’re a fan of “clean eating,” this whole food recipe is perfect for you.
- Vegan Applesauce: Applesauce makes a fantastic snack or side dish for special diets. It’s suitable for vegetarians, vegans, and those following gluten-free or whole food plant-based diets.
- Healthy Homemade Applesauce: Apples provide essential vitamins and minerals, including fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, making this applesauce a nutritious choice.
- Delicious: In my very humble opinion, this homemade unsweetened applesauce is far superior in taste compared to store-bought alternatives. It’s almost like having a dessert!
🥘 Unsweetened Applesauce Ingredients
To make this heavenly applesauce, all you need are apples, water, and a cinnamon stick. That’s it! You don’t need to add anything else to achieve the perfect unsweetened applesauce. As an added bonus, the aroma of cinnamon will fill your home while it cooks, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere.
Some recipes call for adding fresh lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning, but trust me, it’s unnecessary. We prefer to keep things simple!
If you happen to have a few bruised apples lying around, don’t toss them out! This recipe is perfect for using up those apples that your pickier household members won’t eat. I promise, nobody will even notice. It’s a win-win situation!
You can use one type of apple or a mix of varieties. Some apples are better suited for making applesauce than others. While Cortland apples are my personal favorite, there are many other options available.
🍎 What Types of Apples Are Best for Homemade Applesauce?
Use the following chart to help you choose the perfect apple for your applesauce. I recommend avoiding apples that receive an “F” in the sauce category.
To summarize, here are the top apple choices for applesauce:
- Jersey Mac
- Paula Red
- Ginger Gold
- Jona Mac
- Honey Crisp
- Gold Delicious
- Ida Red
- Granny Smith
On the other hand, here are a few apple varieties that are not ideal for applesauce:
- Red Delicious
Of course, taste preferences can vary, and personal opinions may differ. For instance, some charts might suggest that Red Delicious apples are excellent for eating, but I tend to disagree. Haha
Furthermore, consider the sweetness of the apple when making unsweetened applesauce. Tart apples like Granny Smith will yield a less sweet applesauce, while sweeter varieties will result in a naturally sweeter sauce.
To create this marvelous applesauce, you’ll need an apple peeler or Y-peeler, a good knife, and a slow cooker. I have tested this recipe with the following slow cookers:
- Crock-Pot SVC700-B: This oval-shaped slow cooker has a generous 7-quart capacity.
- Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker (using the slow cooker function): This multi-purpose cooker allows you to do more than just slow cook. It also offers features such as pressure cooking, air frying, steaming, and more.
I’ve noticed that the oval-shaped crock pot doesn’t heat foods as evenly. If you’re using an oval cooker like the one mentioned above, make sure to stir the applesauce every few hours to prevent it from burning along the steeper sides. If you opt for a slow cooker with a circular base, you may not need to stir as frequently.
The Ninja Foodi and similar multi-purpose cookers offer the advantage of versatility. Apart from slow cooking, you can explore other cooking methods. But let’s get back to our amazing applesauce recipe!
This recipe requires no mashing, blending, or food milling. The slow cooking process naturally breaks down the apples, eliminating the need for additional kitchen appliances. Stirring the apples occasionally helps them break down even further.
If you choose an apple variety that doesn’t easily fall apart, you’ll need a mashing tool. An immersion blender, food processor, hand potato masher, or even a fork can be used to mash the apples. However, in the case of slow-cooked Cortland apples, I’ve found that mashing is usually unnecessary.
🔪 How to Make Applesauce without Sugar
Follow these simple steps to create your sugar-free applesauce:
Peel, core, and chop your apples into large pieces. I usually cut medium-sized apples into eighths. If you feel like adding extra apples, go ahead! This recipe is incredibly flexible. I used approximately 8 cups of apples.
Place the prepared apples in your slow cooker and add the cinnamon stick. Pour water over the top, ensuring all the apples are covered.
Cover the slow cooker with the lid. If you’re using a multi-purpose cooker, leave the steam vent open.
⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
Slow cook your unsweetened applesauce for 6-8 hours on the low setting. If using an oval-shaped cooker, stir the apples every 2-3 hours to prevent sticking.
Most apple varieties will naturally break down during cooking, so there’s no need to mash them. However, if you notice that your apples aren’t falling apart as desired, you can turn the slow cooker to high for a couple of hours to speed up the process.
The applesauce shown in the photos was cooked for 6 hours. Longer cooking times result in a thicker, sweeter, and darker-colored applesauce, similar to apple butter.
Once you feel your applesauce is ready, give it a good stir and remove the cinnamon stick. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can mash the apples using any of the tools we mentioned earlier. Serve the applesauce warm or chilled, according to your preference.
🌡️ How Long Does Homemade Applesauce Last in the Fridge?
You can store leftover unsweetened cinnamon applesauce in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freezing unsweetened applesauce is also an option. It can keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. Use partially filled glass jars or food-safe plastic containers to allow room for expansion.
Alternatively, you can freeze portions in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to freezer bags, removing any excess air. These applesauce cubes are perfect for adding to smoothies or using in nice cream recipes.
If you’re interested in canning your applesauce, follow the directions provided by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Proper canning techniques are essential to prevent foodborne illnesses.
📋 Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce Nutrition
You might be wondering about the nutritional content of your homemade unsweetened applesauce. Here’s a breakdown:
- Calories: A half-cup serving of unsweetened applesauce contains approximately 50 calories.
- Carbs: Each serving has around 11 grams of net carbs.
- Protein: Unsweetened applesauce has zero grams of protein.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This recipe falls under level 1 (may aid in fat loss) in terms of its impact on your diet. Unsweetened applesauce provides only 50 calories per ½-cup serving, making it a delicious side dish for various meals. I personally enjoy it with pork entrees, but it’s also great as a standalone snack.
One thing to remember is that the longer you cook the applesauce, the more concentrated the sugars become. This means that the energy density increases gradually. However, the difference in calorie content per volume is relatively small. So don’t fret too much about it!
Now, let’s address a few common questions…
Is Unsweetened Applesauce Fattening? Can It Aid Weight Loss?
Remember, weight loss requires maintaining a calorie deficit. Applesauce itself is not the culprit when it comes to weight gain. It can be incorporated into your diet while aiming to lose weight. However, if you follow a keto diet or restrict carbohydrates, apples are not considered low-carb foods.
Is Unsweetened Applesauce Healthy?
Whether a food is considered “healthy” depends on your individual needs and preferences. Unsweetened applesauce is just as healthy as eating whole apples, with a few minor differences. Heating applesauce can cause a slight decrease in vitamin C, and peeling the apples removes some of the fiber.
Recipes with Unsweetened Applesauce
Wondering how to incorporate unsweetened applesauce into other recipes? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Apple Strawberry Smoothie for Weight Loss
- Air Fryer Granola
- Applesauce Overnight Oats
Unsweetened applesauce also works wonders in desserts and baked goods. Try using it in applesauce cake or indulge in the delightful Cinnamon Applesauce Bread. Another personal favorite of mine is pairing warm applesauce with vanilla ice cream. Trust me, it’s a match made in heaven!
Other Apple Recipes
If you’re craving more apple-based delights, I’ve got you covered! Here are a few more recipe ideas for you to enjoy:
- Sugar-Free Apple Crisp
- Low Calorie Baked Oatmeal
- Kale Apple Slaw
- Chicken Salad with Apples and Pecans
- Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats (Crock Pot)
- Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples
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Please note that all recipes on this website may or may not be suitable for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. If you require assistance in determining the best dietary pattern for your needs, consult with a registered dietitian or your physician.
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and should be used as a courtesy. The actual values may differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients you use. I understand that calorie information on food labels can be inaccurate, so don’t stress too much about the exact numbers.
For more information on how our recipe levels can help you manage your weight, refer to our post on overnight oats without sugar. Now, let’s get cooking!