Spice up fall with this simple, no-added sugar pumpkin spiced-applesauce. Delicious on its own or added to baked goods, get the recipe now!
No-Added-Sugar Pumpkin Spiced Applesauce is a healthy Fall snack for kids and adults!
Apples have always been more like crackers to me. Delicious with cheese or peanut butter, but just okay on their own.
But as I’ve gotten more into cooking and baking, I’ve gotten a stronger respect for apples as an ingredient.
Sure, they’re delicious baked into pies and cobblers, but with their combination of sweet and tart, apples can add so much flavor and moisture to dishes.
While I’ve used a lot of shredded or diced apples in recipes on the blog, I wanted to change things up and start playing around with applesauce.
But before adding it to baked goods and dishes, I wanted to really nail down homemade, no-added sugar applesauce.
This healthy pumpkin-spiced applesauce recipe is super easy to make and doesn’t have any added sugar! Instead, it has just the right balance of sweet, tart, and spice for a truly Fall-inspired treat.
What You’ll Need to Make No-Added Sugar Applesauce
4 Gala apples: in my opinion, Gala apples are one of the best for applesauce as they have a mild, sweet flavor and break down really easily into sauce. Plus, they’re super popular and are easy to find.
2 Granny Smith apples: to balance out the sweetness of the Gala apples, I like adding a few Granny Smiths for that tangy, acidic flavor. They also aren’t as soft, so they’re a good option if you like a little texture to your applesauce.
Pumpkin pie spice: apples and pumpkin pie spices are just meant to be together. I keep a jar of pumpkin pie spice around during the fall, but you can also make your own blend. For 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon ground allspice.
Water: while you don’t need a lot, water will help steam the apples while they simmer, breaking down their cell walls so that they can be pulsed into a sauce. To avoid losing nutrients, make sure to add the water to the food processor as well.
What are the best apples for applesauce?
Generally, soft apples are the best as they break down easily. However, with the help of a food processor, I think it’s more important to focus on flavor than texture.
I like to use a combination of sweet and tart apples. For example Cortland, Fuji, and Gala are all on the sweeter side and can be balance out by Granny Smiths, Braeburn, LIberty, and Rome apples.
Of course, you can also go with apples that are a mix of sweet and tangy, such as honeycrisps or Pink Lady’s.
Traditional apple picking apples, such as McIntosh, Gravenstein, and Jonmac are ideal for applesauce has they’re both soft and a balance of sweet and tart.
How to make homemade applesauce without added sugar
Making homemade applesauce is super easy as long as you have a large soup pot and a food processor. A vegetable peeler is helpful too!
While I peeled my apples for a smoother sauce, you can definitely leave the peels on if you want a chunkier sauce.
Here’s what you’ll do:
Slice and peel your apples.
Place everything in a big soup pot and bring to a boil.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Puree the softened apples in a food processor.
Ways to use homemade no-added sugar applesauce
As good as applesauce is on it’s own, I also love using it in other recipes – especially baking! With the pumpkin spice added to it, this homemade sauce would be especially good in fall-flavored muffins, quick-breads, pancakes, or waffles.
Here are some other ideas for putting leftovers to good use:
I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!
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