This unsweetened applesauce recipe is super easy and delicious. You make it with 3 simple ingredients - dessert apples, water and cinnamon. That's it! A no sugar added applesauce, ready in 25 minutes.
I have always wondered why people feel the need to add loads of sugar to their applesauce. As long as you choose naturally sweet apples, you don't need to add any additional sugar. The fructose in apples alone will make your unsweetened applesauce taste deliciously sweet.
When my kids were little, I used to make homemade applesauce for them all the time. When they were babies, I used to freeze it in ice cube trays so I always had a fruity sweet treat ready for them!
Now they are teenagers and they still request it on occasion, especially when the weather is cooler. Every time we're going into autumn and winter, they start asking for it. My daughter loves it on yoghurt topped with this crunchy Low Carb Granola. And my son likes to pair it with whipped cream.
The best apples for sugar free applesauce
As with all recipes that require minimal ingredients, it all depends on choosing the best you can get. In this case, we need to use naturally sweet apple varieties.
Any dessert apples will work well for this no sugar added applesauce. A few of the most widely available sweet apple varieties are Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Fuji or Gala. You can get these in most supermarkets throughout the year.
If in doubt, ask your greengrocer. There are hundreds of local apple types around, and he or she will point you in the direction of the right variety. Or look our for apples with red skin. From my experience, these are sweeter than the green ones. Not a very scientific observation, but it does tend to be true!
Definitely stay away from Bramley apples. They are too sour without the added sugar!
Does unsweetened applesauce have sugar?
There's no added sugar in this recipe. But of course, technically there is no such thing as a true sugar free applesauce.
Golden Delicious apples, for example, contain 11.2g net carbs and 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams. To put this into perspective, one small apple weights around 100 grams.
In this recipe I have calculated ¼ cup / 50g of applesauce per portion - about half an apple. This means there's 5 grams of sugars / net carbs per portion. Yes, homemade applesauce can be a low carb dessert!
How to make no sugar applesauce from scratch:
1.) Don't peel the apples. Simply core and cut them into 8 slices.
2.) Add them to a saucepan with ½ cup / 120 ml of water.
3.) Add 2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Option to add a pinch of nutmeg and / or a squeeze of lemon juice. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract also works well here.
4.) Place a lid on top and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 20 minutes until the apples are soft.
5.) Using an immersion blender or a food processor, blend the apples. You can go thick and chunky here or super-smooth - whichever you prefer! Personally, I like my applesauce with a few bits.
Why we're not peeling the apples
Leaving on the peel when cooking homemade applesauce actually has several benefits:
Firstly, apple skin is loaded with nutrients and vitamins. For instance, the peel has six times the antioxidant power of the meat! All nutrients contained in the peel go straight into your delicious applesauce.
Secondly, your applesauce will have a fruitier, more intense taste and a lovely, rich colour.
And last but not least, you buy yourself at least 15 minutes of valuable spare time! Peeling apples takes ages - we have better things to do, right?
A substitute for oil or eggs
I think we can agree that applesauce makes for a great dessert. But did you know you can use it in baking as a substitute for both oil and eggs? Note - the consistency of your baked goods will be softer (and sweeter).
Generally, you can swap the oil in recipes 1:1 for unsweetened applesauce. If you don't want to change the end result too much, consider swapping out half the amount of oil or butter. This way, you're lowering the calories, fat and cholesterol content considerably. ¼ cup applesauce contains 22 calories, compared to 400 calories for the same amount of butter!
If you are vegan or can't have eggs, simply substitute each egg for ¼ cup applesauce. Note that this will work best in recipes containing no more than 3 eggs.
How to enjoy homemade applesauce
- add a dollop to your Peanut Butter Granola and yoghurt in the morning
- spoon it on top of your pancakes, crepes or waffles
- try it with pork chops. It goes so well together.
- chilled all on its own.
You can store your unsweetened applesauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. Alternatively, freeze for up to 3 months.
Tip: If you know you only use small amounts, consider freezing in an ice cube tray!
And last but not least - if you make this recipe and you think it's JUST NOT SWEET ENOUGH, just add a tablespoon of erythritol. It's a polyol (sugar alcohol) and my go-to natural sugar alternative. The carbohydrates in erythritol are not absorbed by our bodies. This makes erythritol zero carb and a popular low carb sweetener.
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Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce (No sugar added)from Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 2 kg / 4.4 pounds apples
- ½ cup / 120ml of water
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg or vanilla or mixed spice (all optional, all lovely)
- Choose your apples. I normally use what's in my fruit bowl, so a mix of Braeburn and dessert apples with colourful skins.
- Core and slice your apples into 8 slices.
- Add cinnamon and other spices, if using. This is the stuff that puts the wow in it!
- Cook the apples with 120 ml water on medium heat for 20 minutes (lid on!) until soft and mushy.
- Puree with a stick blender or in your food processor to your favourite consistency.
I made this with granny smith, jazz and gala apples this is so delicious and put some cinnamon sticks in when cooking. my husband and i cannot have too much sugar and these apples gave it the sweetness it needed i will never buy store applesauce again
Can you can this recipe, I've canned Applesauce in the past but I used added sugar which I'm trying to avoid.
The answer is - I have not tried it. Sugar preserves, and we're not adding additional sugar here. I've made it and kept it in the fridge for several weeks without it going off. But I would not keep it at room temperature, even if you've canned the applesauce properly.
Looks easy to make.. i have a question: can i make it with granny smith apples or mix of granny smith and pink lady apples..
Hi Rasha, you can use any apples for this!
Oh my! This a wonderful recipe. I used a mixture of gala, and red delicious. I can't wait to bake with my apple sauce
Turned out great. Added a little brandy flavoring with the vanilla. Will definitely make again. I only had red delicious apples so I'm wanting to try other apple and flavoring combinations.
This is one of the best things I have ever tried! So yummy I nearly ate half straight after making the applesauce! Thanks so much for the recipe. I have been looking for some healthy alternatives to chocolate and other sugary desserts and this is the best! I have a very sweet tooth but my personal trainer said no sugar so this is just perfect, I would give more stars if I could
Hay I was just wondering how you calculated the calories??
I used an online calculator - this recipe was calculated on sparkrecipes.com.
Hello! I'm looking to make this applesauce to to help me get through a large amount of apples, ideally I'd like to make something that keeps at least a month. Will this really only keep for a week? Is there something I could do to make it keep longer?
I'd add a bit of lemon, the acid in it will preserve the applesauce for longer. Though you may need to add a little sweetener to counterbalance
Just a comment that the product is still very high in sugar and the words "sugar free" should not really be used in conjunction with a recipe that is really "no added sugar". Especially now days with those trying to reduce sugar intake and those who need to avoid simple sugars like those who are diabetic, it would be wise to carefully make the distinction because they are certainly not the same thing.
Hi Bradley, you are absolutely right, apples have a high carb and sugar count. I wanted to show that there is no need to add any additional sugar to the recipe, thereby making it a better option. If you're looking for desserts that are very low in carbs, you've come to the right place though. Most of the desserts on Sugar Free Londoner use natural sugar alternatives such as erythritol or stevia.
I like your recipe and agree that the peels left on is much healthier and makes eating it more interesting. My food processor works great for this. If the apples are too tart I add some Truvia or plain Stevia with no added calories.
I made this with pink ladies brilliant thanks
Pink Lady is a great choice - it has a lot of natural sweetness
I just finished making this and used Red Delicious. I added very little cinnamon since I'm not really fan of it and also 2 tsp of pure vanilla. My Mr. likes cinnamon so he can add more when he gets his individual side. Anywho, it came out beautiful and so yummy! I did it on the stovetop for 30 minutes and put it in my Ninja blender for texture that is similar to Motts original. This was the first time I ever made homemade applesauce and I didn't want to add sugar. Even the Mr. complimented it. So it's a keeper! Thank you for sharing your recipe!
That's so good to hear! Glad you like the recipe. Red Delicious is a great choice too as it's naturally quite sweet.
Can it be frozen for later?
Absolutely! Maybe even in an ice cube tray so you don't have to defrost the whole thing at once.
This looks great, thanks for sharing! How much nutmeg or vanilla would you use?
Vanilla essence I'd say 1/2 - 1 tsp. Nutmeg has quite a strong taste, so probably no more than 1/4 tsp. Add more if you feel it'd not enough!
Thank you so much - made it for Easter, and it was delicious!
What kind of apples do you use? I want to try this out.
Any kind of dessert apples are fine. I wouldn't use Bramley apples as they're quite sour.
I often use applesauce in baking instead of sugar. It tastes so much better.