8 Best Substitutes for Applesauce

Apple sauce in a small bowl and in a jar with red apples on side

Undoubtedly, applesauce is a staple in most kitchens as it contains antioxidants.

The good thing is that a wide variety of applesauce is readily available in the market.

Apple sauce in a small bowl and in a jar with red apples on side

However, suppose you cannot get your hands on readymade applesauce. In that case, you can easily substitute it with fresh homemade applesauce or other alternatives.

This post brings you aquick and authentic recipe to make applesauce at home and the 8 best substitutes for applesauce if you can't find apples or are allergic to them.

So, let us get you started.

Applesauce and Its Uses

Widely popular in many parts of America and Europe, applesauce is an apple puree than an actual sauce. Usually, it is used in the kitchen to add natural sweetness to recipes and to bind ingredients in baked goods, such as

  • Bread
  • Cakes
  • Donuts
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
  • Cinnamon Cookies and cinnamon rolls

As a side dish, applesauce goes well with cuisines like pork chops, potato pancakes, and boudin sausage. It can be consumed as a whole meal or with Mac and Cheese as comfort food. Besides these, applesauce is used in baking to cut on fats and sugar.

Making Homemade Applesauce

You can use this Instant Pot Applesauce recipe or the classic recipe bellow:

Apples such as Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Honeycrisp are best for making applesauce. While it's totally up to you to make applesauce the way you like, the most authentic recipe for making applesauce goes like this:

Step#1: Take apples of your choice. For savory applesauce, sour apples will be best. However, ask the vendor for Fuji or Golden Delicious Apples if you want sweet apples.

Step#2: Peel, core, and cut apples into pieces. In case you have a food mill, you can use unpeeled and unseeded apples as they are healthier.

Step#3: Cook the apple pieces in boiling water. Add a few strips of lemon peel, a few tablespoons of lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar to the water to intensify the tartness of the sauce.

Step#4: Add a sweetener. While apples have their own sweetness, honey, white granule sugar, brown sugar, low calories stevia is recommended to enhance the sweetness.

Step#5: Add spices to the mixture. Besides traditional spices like ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, you can add apple pie spice, five spice, or pumpkin spice to balance the sweetness.

Step#6: Let it simmer. Cover the pot and keep it on low heat for at least 25 minutes or until the apples are soft and fully cooked.

Step#7: Puree the mixture. To make a smoother applesauce, pass the cooked apples through a food mill or purée them with a standing blender.

Pro Tip: To make chunky applesauce, mash the cooked apples in the saucepan with a potato masher instead of making a puree.

This is how easy it is to make your batch of homemade applesauce with zero preservatives. This sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1- 2 weeks or frozen for a whole year.

Now you can use it during cooking or baking as an alternative to market-bought applesauce or serve it as a side dish with spicy roast pork or other savory meals.

8 Best Substitutes of Applesauce You Cannot Go Wrong With

Many categories of foods come in handy when you are short on applesauce or allergic to it, such as fruit purees, vegetable purees, and dairy products.

Which ingredient or food qualifies as one of the best substitutes for applesauce in recipes depends on what you intend to use it for. Here are the choices that work the most.

1. Mashed Banana

Another fruit puree is the way to go when looking for a substitute for a fruit puree. Mashed bananas are the most straightforward substitute for applesauce in baking.

Like applesauce, bananas are also high in moisture and fiber, making them the perfect applesauce replacement in pancakes, muffins, banana, or zucchini bread.

Furthermore, banana puree is a convenient applesauce alternative because it is quite simple to purée. However, applesauce takes longer to cook than a mashed banana. As a result, you'll need to alter your baking time.

2. Mashed Avocado 

If you don't want to alter the flavor of your recipe, use mashed avocados as a substitute for applesauce in muffins and other baked items.

Mashed Avocados absorb stronger flavors when combined with other ingredients. Therefore, they help in keeping the flavors of the recipe intact.

Also, mashed avocados are a better choice for people looking for a low-sugar option in baking recipes. A fork and masher can be used to mash avocados and use them in place of applesauce quickly.

The primary distinction between applesauce and avocado is their fat content. Avocados' nutritious fats will give a rich touch of moisture to your baked products if you don't mind adding fat to your recipe.

3. Pear, Peaches, and Avocado Purees 

Pears, peaches, and apricot purees can also be used in place of applesauce during baking. However, you should keep in mind that these purees will work best as substitutes for applesauce only if you're adding applesauce as a flavoring and moisture source in your recipes.

Keeping an eye on the moisture levels and flavor profiles of your fruits is also necessary to avoid spoiling the taste and texture of your final product.

Using peach puree as a substitute for applesauce in carrot cake will give you the exact flavor and texture as it has the same water content and flavor profile as applesauce.

4. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes topped with ground pepper and leaves in a brown bowl with wooden spoons on side

Whereas most pureed veggies lack the required sweetness and therefore cannot be substituted for applesauce, mashed sweet potatoes are another case.

Mashed sweet potato is considered the best applesauce substitute because itgives a similar sweet flavor when added to baked goods.

It is best used as an applesauce substitute in dense baked products, including muffins, cakes, and gingerbread.

Moreover, mashed potatoes are rich in fiber. Therefore, they are a perfect and healthier applesauce alternative.

5. Pureed Pumpkin 

When finding the best substitutes for applesauce, the consistency of the replacement should also be kept in mind. Therefore, pureed pumpkin is also considered a better applesauce alternative in cooking as it has the same thickness.

Pumpkin puree also tastes good and is a perfect applesauce substitute for oil and butter in cooking. It also contains the same sweet potato starchiness, which is fantastic for binding components.

However, pumpkin has a more robust flavor than applesauce and is less sweet. As a result, be aware that substituting this will change the taste. Still, if you enjoy pumpkins, this can be a terrific option!

6. Silken Tofu

Silken tofu is an excellent option for individuals looking for a vegetarian or vegan replacement for applesauce.

Most of all, tofu has less sugar than fruits, which makes it a better choice for diabetic patients. Tofu is wet, but it is also denser than other replacements. As a result, it's an ideal substitute for applesauce in zucchini bread.

To avoid extra water content, press the tofu with a cloth to remove most of the water before adding it to your recipe. However, keep the tofu wet enough; otherwise, your dough or batter will dry excessively.

7. Yogurt

homemade yogurt in a blue cup topped with 2 blueberries

Surprising! right? But believe us, yogurt can work as an applesauce replacement in baking because it is an excellent ingredient for binding and moistening baked goods.

It lacks the sweetness of applesauce, but its neutral flavor makes it highly flexible. Yogurt is also a healthier alternative to applesauce as it has a lot of nutrients, minerals, and protein.

While this is a versatile option, you will want to make minor tweaks to your recipe to account for the subtle variances between yogurt and applesauce.

Add flour and extra sweetener in recipes to balance the excess moisture and less sugar content that yogurt contains.

You can use store-bought or make your it yourself using this Instant Pot Yogurt recipe.

8. Buttermilk

Buttermilk can also work as it is a thicker, fermented dairy product than ordinary milk. When used in baking, it has a delicious tangy taste similar to yogurt. However, if you don't like tanginess, avoid this substitute.

Buttermilk, like yogurt, adds a lot of moisture to your recipe. This is ideal for making a moist and delicious cake or cupcakes.

When using it in place of applesauce, we must keep the extra moisture in mind. Therefore, when substituting buttermilk for applesauce, leave out some other wet components (milk or water).

Conclusion

We hope now you will find it pretty easy to create baked goods even when you fall short on applesauce.

Mashed or pureed fruits are the best substitutes for applesauce as they are almost equally sweetened and have the same consistency.

Still, don't be scared to experiment with other options. Regarding the ratio, go for a 1:1 replacement, as it is the safest option in most cases.

Remember, baking is all about experimenting with different recipes and twitching them a little to create new ones.

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