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How to Make Healthy Homemade Applesauce

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

If you are like me and prefer to cut down on packaged food, you’re going to love this healthy homemade applesauce made with no added sugar. I use my homemade applesauce variations (will talk about that in a few scrolls) in different recipes in the kitchen from pancakes to cookies and even sauces.

Making applesauce from scratch is easy and quick.  With the method you will learn in a bit, you are going to add it to your regular cooking rotation to always have some in the fridge.  The other important point about this homemade applesauce recipe is that I don’t use any kind of sweeteners to make it. So if you are someone who is concerned about their sugar consumption this applesauce may become your go to flavor-enhancer.

chunky homemade applesauce

Homemade Applesauce Variations

You can make applesauce on the stove in a slow cooker or an instant pot. I usually use my instant pot which takes about 30 minutes. Also you can use any kind of apple that you like or have on hand. In my opinion all apples taste great and it’s up to you to decide about the flavor or sweetness.

Since you’ll be cooking the apples down, it does not matter whether the apples have spots on them or are a little soft. What truly matters to me personally is the fact that they are locally grown by Canadian farmers without pesticides sprayed all over them. If you like to learn why I care about eating locally and seasonally, read my article here.

nutmeg and cardamom for applesauce

What do you need to make homemade applesauce without sugar?

Obviously you’ll need apples 🙂

So much of the taste of this amazing condiment comes from the aromatic spice profile I use to give flavor to it. I gather a number of spices and add them to apples for their fragrance and bold, warm flavors.

The other ingredients that I use for the best flavor and to spice up the applesauce are:

Ground Cardamom

Because I’m obsessed with this aromatic spice I tend to add it to many recipes and applesauce is definitely one of them. If you don’t like cardamom or can’t find it you can skip using it. For my applesauce recipe I put two pods of green cardamom in a pestle & mortar and grind them into powder.

Ground Nutmeg

Nutmeg has become one of my favorite spices to use since about 8 years ago. I was introduced to it by my a friend who taught me how to make pumpkin pie. The beauty about nutmeg is that it can be used whole and grated. To use whole nutmeg, you will need a microplane or nutmeg grater to shave off a small portion of the seed. Remember nutmeg has an overpowering flavor so it’s best to use just a little in your applesauce.

Cinnamon Sticks or Powder

I usually put 1-3 cinnamon sticks in the pot with the apples depending on the size of the sticks and the batch I’m making. you can also eyeball some cinnamon powder if that’s easier for you to find. Cinnamon is another blood sugar balancing spice that gives your applesauce a wonderful sweet fragrance and flavor. Using cinnamon is my trick to make the homemade applesauce without any added sugars.


If you have cloves at home pop 3-4 in the pot as well. Cloves are high in antioxidants and just like cinnamon keep your blood sugar levels in check. The other fantastic benefit of adding cloves to condiments and desserts is that it’s known to help regulate your appetite.

and lastly water.

I usually eyeball the amount of water I add to the pot as well and I never go above 1/3 cup of water. If you prefer your applesauce to be more thick or even chunkier reduce the amount of added water accordingly.

homemade applesauce in a clear jar

What is Applesauce Used for ?

Applesauce has many uses. For example it is a healthy way to make naturally sweet treats such as cakes and cookies. It can also be used in dressing and sauce recipes instead of oil for added flavor. You can simply pile it on parfaits, oatmeal or granolas as a delicious topping.

To lighten things up, I’ve also come across food bloggers who recommend using applesauce as 1-to-1 replacement for oil or melted butter in baked goods which I think is a great idea specially when you are looking to cut down on fats in your diet too.

Just to recap, begin with preparing the apples. To be honest, if the apples I have are organic I don’t peel them, but if peeling works better for you, go for it. Then remove the seeds and core. At the next step put all the ingredients in your pot, and cook them. After about 30 minutes mash the cooked apples while enjoying the sweet smell around your entire home.

That’s all I had to say about this condiment. It’s super easy and quick to make so give it a try.


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