Apple Sauce: More Than Just a Condiment? Discover Its Surprising Uses
Apple sauce is a sauce made from apples. It’s a popular side dish for pork and chicken. It’s also used in desserts and baking.
It’s a great way to use up leftover apples, and it’s easy to make at home. In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about apple sauce.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Apple Sauce: The Smooth and Chunky Mixture
- 2 The Sweet and Tangy Origins of Applesauce
- 3 How to Make Your Own Delicious Applesauce
- 4 Apple Sauce: More Than Just a Condiment
- 5 Is Applesauce Really a Healthy Snack Option?
- 6 Conclusion
Apple Sauce: The Smooth and Chunky Mixture
Apple sauce is a mixture of cooked and puréed apples. The apples can be peeled or unpeeled, spiced or plain, and chunky or smooth. Here’s how you can create your own apple sauce:
- Peel and core the apples
- Cut the apples into small pieces
- Boil the apples in water until they are soft and tender
- Purée the cooked apples until they are smooth or chunky, depending on your preference
- Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves for extra flavor
Benefits of Apple Sauce
Apple sauce is a healthy snack option as it contains fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is also a good source of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps regulate digestion and lower cholesterol levels.
Did you know that apple sauce was once used as a substitute for oil in World War II due to rationing? It was also a popular baby food item in the 19th century.
The Sweet and Tangy Origins of Applesauce
Applesauce, a sauce prepared from apples, is commonly found in many households across the United States. But where did this delicious sauce come from? The origin of applesauce dates back to the middle ages, where it was commonly made by cooking apples with sugar and spices. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that the first recorded recipe for applesauce was found in an English cookbook called “The Compleat Housewife” by Eliza Smith.
The German and Moravian Influence
Applesauce was brought to the United States by German immigrants, particularly the Moravians who settled in Pennsylvania. They traditionally made applesauce by cooking apples with sugar and cinnamon. This recipe was then passed down to the Appalachian region, where it became a staple in many households.
The Spread of Applesauce Across the States
As the popularity of applesauce grew, it spread across the southern states, where it became a traditional side dish served with pork chops or roasted chicken. Today, applesauce is enjoyed not only as a side dish but also as a healthy snack or dessert.
How to Make Your Own Delicious Applesauce
- Start by selecting the type of apples you want to use. Any variety of apple can be used to make applesauce, but some are better than others. For a sweeter applesauce, choose Red Delicious or Gala apples. For a more tart version, go for Granny Smith or McIntosh apples.
- Wash the apples thoroughly and peel them. You can use a peeler or a paring knife to do this.
- Cut the apples into thin slices. A slicer can come in handy for this process.
- Place the sliced apples in a large pot and add water until it covers the apples. Add a little lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Cook the apples on low heat for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and slightly mushy.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Making the Sauce
- Once the apples have cooled, use a food processor or blender to puree them until they reach the desired consistency. For a smoother sauce, blend for a longer time. For a chunkier version, blend for a shorter time.
- Return the pureed apples to the pot and add sugar to taste. Typically, 1/4 cup of sugar per pound of apples is a good starting point. You can also add cinnamon for extra flavor.
- Cook the mixture on low heat for another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened.
- If the sauce is too thick, add a little water. If it’s too thin, cook it for a little longer.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool completely.
- Store the applesauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze it for longer storage.
Apple Sauce: More Than Just a Condiment
Apple sauce is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes, from sweet to savory. Here are some ideas:
- Use it as a substitute for oil or butter in baking recipes to reduce the fat content and add moisture.
- Add it to pancake or waffle batter for a sweet and fruity twist on a classic breakfast dish.
- Mix it with farro or other grains for a tasty and nutritious side dish.
- Use it as a base for marinades or sauces for meats or vegetables.
- Add it to appetizers like chickpea or mushroom crockpot dishes for a sweet and savory flavor.
- Use it as a topping for grilled steak or as a condiment for burgers and sandwiches.
- Mix it with cheese for a mouthwatering dip or spread.
Uses for Vegan and Vegetarian Dishes
Apple sauce is a great option for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Here are some ideas:
- Use it as a sweetener in vegan baking recipes.
- Mix it with nut butter for a tasty and protein-packed snack.
- Use it as a topping for vegan yogurt or oatmeal for a delicious and filling morning meal.
- Add it to smoothies for a sweet and fruity twist.
- Use it as a base for vegan salad dressings or dips.
Apple sauce is not just a classic American food, it can also be used in international dishes. Here are some ideas:
- Use it in Vietnamese cuisine as a condiment for grilled meats or as a topping for banh mi sandwiches.
- Mix it with water and spices for a refreshing drink in Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Use it as a topping for German pancakes or as a side dish for schnitzel.
- Add it to Indian chutneys or curries for a sweet and tangy flavor.
Buying and Nutrition Facts
When buying apple sauce, look for options with no added sugar or preservatives. Check the label for the ratio of apples to water to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product. Here are some nutrition facts about apple sauce:
- One cup of unsweetened apple sauce contains around 100 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates.
- It is a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
- It is low in fat and sodium.
Is Applesauce Really a Healthy Snack Option?
There are different types of applesauce available in the market, and they all have different nutritional values. Here are some of the different types of applesauce:
- Freshly made applesauce is the best option as it contains all the nutrients and fiber needed.
- Store-bought applesauce can be a great option if you don’t have the time to make it yourself.
- Some companies market fully sweetened applesauce, which can contain added sugars, artificial colors, and flavors.
- Some versions of applesauce contain corn syrup, which is not recommended for a healthy diet.
The Importance of Reading Labels
When buying applesauce, it is important to read the labels to ensure that you are getting the best option for your health. Here are some things to look for:
- Make sure that the applesauce is made from real fruit and not just apple flavoring.
- Look for applesauce that is naturally sweetened with fruit syrup or honey.
- Avoid applesauce that contains high fructose corn syrup or added sugars.
- Check for any additives or preservatives that may affect your health.
Making Your Own Applesauce
Making your own applesauce is easy and can be a great way to ensure that you are getting the best option for your health. Here is a simple recipe for making applesauce:
- Peel and core 6-8 apples and cut them into small pieces.
- Add the apples to a pot with 1-2 cups of water and some spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves).
- Cook the apples on medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until they are soft.
- Mash the apples with a fork or blend them in a food processor until they reach the desired consistency.
So there you have it- everything you need to know about apple sauce. It’s a delicious and healthy way to enjoy apples, and you can use it in many recipes. Plus, it’s a great way to get your kids to eat fruit!
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.