I admit I like applesauce just the way it is. You can eat the almost-bland sweet-tartness plain by squeezing a spoonful into your mouth.
Hold on. What did I just say gross you out? You don’t have to give up on plain applesauce if you don’t like it as a topping for latkes, a partner for seared pork chops, or even layered with Greek yogurt for a breakfast parfait.
Change that innocent apple flavor into something more deliciously adult with one of these simple tweaks. These strategies will upgrade one cup of unsweetened “natural” applesauce:
Stir an uncooked teaspoon of unsalted butter into applesauce occasionally while it heats, until it becomes golden brown and smells toasty. Once the butter has browned, whisk it into the apple sauce with a generous pinch of sea salt. This stuff might even make its way onto your pancakes in the morning.
Sure, you can simply purchase cinnamon-flavored applesauce. But unless the applesauce-makers toast their own spices before mixing them into each batch, the flavor won’t compare to the spice-infused applesauce you make yourself at home. Toast a half-teaspoon of your favorite baking spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice) in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until fragrant. Put the applesauce in a small bowl to stop the cooking, then stir in a pinch or two of the spice.
If you want to add an extra touch of fall sweetness, drizzle some pure maple syrup over your pancakes. Adding a couple teaspoons of pure maple syrup and a splash of apple cider vinegar can even go sweet-and-tangy. You should serve this concoction with freshly-seared pork chops or a nice slab of ham.
Health Benefits of Applesauce
Despite the fact that eating an apple a day can’t keep the doctor away, fruits and vegetables still provide essential nutrition for good health. Fiber and vitamin C can be found in apples, whether they are whole or in applesauce. If you choose unsweetened varieties or make your own, applesauce contains no fat and few calories per serving. You can eat it alone or substitute it for fat in baked goods to keep them tender. When using applesauce in your recipes, use a calorie counter app to track how many calories you’re saving.
Applesauce Calories and Fat
Even though unsweetened applesauce contains about 100 calories, it is substantial enough to act as a filling snack on its own. A handful of almonds or a dollop of peanut butter paired with applesauce provides a balanced miniature meal rich in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat. Applesauce contains no fat, just like the apples from which it comes. The majority of applesauce’s calories come from sugar, but the sugar is naturally occurring fructose. Sweetened applesauces can contain large amounts of high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose.
Fiber in Applesauce
Both applesauce and apple juice possess similar calorie counts. However, because the applesauce also contains fiber in the form of pectin, it’s the healthier option. Dietary fiber keeps your digestive system functioning regularly and supplies a more substantial snack for the same calorie cost. Fiber takes longer to digest and leaves your stomach more slowly; you not only feel fuller when you eat applesauce instead of drinking apple juice, you literally remain fuller. Incorporate a cup of applesauce with your lunches or add a spoonful of it to yogurt for dessert to boost the fiber content of your meals.
Vitamin C in Applesauce
Applesauce can provide up to 80 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, despite its reputation as a vitamin C-rich fruit. Applesauce with added vitamin C is best. It might be listed on the label as ascorbic acid, but the terms describe the same thing. Manufacturers frequently add ascorbic acid to applesauce as a preservative and vitamin. Applesauce made at home still contains vitamin C, but in smaller amounts.
As an Ingredient
By itself, applesauce is a delicious and wholesome sweet treat. Additionally, it lightens the caloric density of baked goods and creates a delicious glaze for roasted meats. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests substituting applesauce for half of the margarine, butter, shortening or oil in a recipe. Your baked item will have a tender, crumbly texture and a slightly sweeter taste, but you will reduce calories and add fiber at the same time. Pour applesauce over a roast pork or use it as a glaze for grilled foods.
We also have compiled a guide that will help you choose apples for applesauce, if your are looking for the best one.