Did you know that making your own applesauce is one of the easiest things in the world? Well, it is. And it's also one of the simplest and tastiest ways to use up a large batch of apples. We have a ton of wild apple trees growing around the farm and in the forest, and every year I end up with bushels of lovely apples. They're not always the prettiest, but they are usually quite tasty. I end up with a ton of them though and make a lot of apple bakes, apple crumble, apple pie, smoothies, use these apples for breakfast with peanut butter, and even share bags of them with friends and family, and I still have a huge overload. This is just from the first batch of trees that happen to be an early variety -- then there's more that ripen in October! My solution to using them up without them spoiling is to make tons of applesauce and apple butter instead. I use quite a bit of it in my breakfasts and then a ton in baking this time of year.
Applesauce is a great baking ingredient -- it's perfect for cutting down on oil, a good egg substitute, and can add freshness and lightness to many recipes. It therefore particularly really comes in handy in gluten-free, vegan, and paleo baking. Apple butter is wonderful for that purpose too (will share my recipe for that shortly). Since I use it so much, and since I prefer the taste and freshness of it to the store-bought stuff so much more, I decided to share this simple DIY GF, vegan, and paleo applesauce recipe with you in case you wanted to give it a try sometime too.
This DIY applesauce preserves quite nicely and can last you a long time if you make several batches. I usually make several batches at a time myself, and first enjoy some warm applesauce (it tastes better than most desserts!) as a treat. I then jar the rest into small glass jars (1-2 cup capacity), leave one or two in the fridge, and freeze the rest. I can then defrost them as needed for baking and breakfasts throughout the year.
Making your own applesauce is one of the easiest and most satisfying things ever. Gluten-free, vegan, paleo recipe, use it in sauces, breafast, baking etc.
- Enough apples to fill a 4-5 quart pot (I use an enameled dutch oven pot), washed, cored, and sliced into large chunks (I don’t peel mine)
- enough water to fill 1″ on the bottom of the pot (usually 1-2 cups)
- Optional: Cinnamon, sweetener of your choice, and a tiny bit of lemon juice
- Place the apples in a pot. Add in enough water to cover 1″ from the bottom of the pot (this is just to help the apples start cooking, the rest of the liquid will come from the apple juice from the apples themselves as they cook). Bring water to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for approximately 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent apples from sticking to the bottom. Enjoy the beautiful aroma!
- Once cooked, mash the apples in the pot using a wooden spoon. Use an immersion blender to blend the applesauce down a little more to your desired consistency. Taste and add in optional add-ins, like spices and sweetener as needed (see notes in ingredients above).
- Pour into jars (only filling each one ¾ of the way if you’re going to be freezing them), allow jars to cool, and then store in the fridge or freezer for use as needed. Don’t forget to enjoy some warm while it’s fresh too! It’s quite a treat :)
I usually leave my applesauce plain (a blank canvas) and add the cinnamon and sweeteners later as needed in baking, etc. My apples have a good balance between sweetness and tartness, so I never add any sweetener personally. If you find your apples are on the sour side, then add in a bit of sweetener to your liking. Only use lemon juice if your sauce is too sweet for your liking, otherwise it’s not necessary. I do love eating my applesauce warm with a dash of cinnamon :) .