Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Best Unsweetened Homemade Apple Sauce

This is my first autumn in Seattle and it's definitely a bit different than what I'm used to from the east coast. For starters, apple picking isn't really a thing here. People look at you funny when you tell them about apple picking. To me, being an upstate New York kinda girl, apple picking equals fall. No questions asked. Everyone piles in the car and you drive out to the apple orchards and pick thirty pounds of apples. Then, you go home and spend the rest of the week whipping up apple pies, apple sauce, apple crisp, apple muffins, apple everything. All the while drinking hot mulled apple cider. It's just what we upstate New Yorkers do.
I searched for you-pick apple orchards near Seattle and the only one I found was about an hour and a half outside of the city. We were willing to take the nice long scenic drive out to this incredible organic apple orchard filled with gorgeous heirloom apple trees. It was nestled at the foot of the northern Cascade mountains and it was breathtaking. The best part (aside from tasting all of the apples), was that we practically had the entire orchard to ourselves. Remember, apple picking really isn't a "thing" here, so yeah.
I returned home with lots of different types of apples; different colors, sizes, textures, and flavors. Aside from just eating them straight up and putting them in my breakfast oatmeal, one of the first things I made was applesauce. To me, there's few things more comforting than a warm bowl of homemade applesauce. And the smell of the apples simmering away on the stove just permeates every corner of my apartment. It's heavenly.
I tend to like my applesauce slightly chunky and I don't mind leaving the apple skins on. This makes the cooking time shorter and really, who enjoys peeling apples? I sure don't. And there are nutrients and fiber in the skins! If you like smooth applesauce, then feel free to peel the skins, cook the apples for longer, or even puree the whole bit with an immersion blender. You can't really go wrong.
In this particular batch, I chose to keep the apples naked, meaning that I didn't add any sweetener to them. I wanted the flavors of the individual varieties (I used six different types) of apples to have a chance to shine and not be overpowered by sweetness. If you're using more tart apples, then perhaps you'd like to add a bit of sweetener. Pure maple syrup would be my preference.
 Homemade Applesauce (makes 4 servings)

7 medium sized organic apples, any variety
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract, or whole one vanilla bean

1. Core and slice apples. Set aside. In a deep skillet or pot, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla (of using a whole vanilla bean, split it open and add it to the pot). Stir to coat the apples.

2. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure the apples cook evenly and so that they don't stick to the pan. Add more water if the sauce becomes too thick.

3. Use a handheld potato masher to break up any larger pieces of apples. Alternatively, you can blend the sauce to make it completely smooth. Taste and add more cinnamon or nutmeg if you'd like. If it needs more sweetness, feel free to add some maple syrup as well. Enjoy!

Happy Autumn, everyone!

Love and Health to You, 

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  1. Yum! I made applesauce in the crockpot this weekend... but I have to say that yours looks even better! ;)

    1. Aww thanks! But I'm sure yours was still amazing!