You must have heard the popular saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. But, does the same apply to applesauce? Rather, is applesauce healthy? Applesauce is simply cooked apples. Therefore, it has the same nutrients as your regular apples.
People have been making applesauce in the form of a soft, cooked puree for ages. Applesauce can be sweet, savory, or spicy depending on the natural taste of the apples and the kind of spices you decide to put in.
The history of applesauce
There are several varieties of applesauce available and they can be consumed in innumerable ways. You can eat applesauce by itself, cook meat in it or use it in smoothies, baked goods like pies, tarts, etc.
The origin of applesauce can be traced back to Medieval Europe. Applesauce was served in sweet and tart versions, and as an accompaniment with dishes of pork, beef, goose, fish, etc. However, the name “applesauce” didn’t appear in print until the mid-1700s.
In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about applesauce. From, “Is applesauce healthy?” to the potential benefits of consuming applesauce, how much applesauce you can consume, and a simple recipe to make your own applesauce at home, we have got your back.
Is applesauce healthy?
Just like whole apples, applesauce is very healthy. Applesauce benefits include:
- Reduces the risk of chronic disease
Applesauce contains antioxidants including phytochemicals which may help in reducing the risk of chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and related heart diseases. Applesauce is also effective in treating obesity.
Besides, most store-bought applesauce has Vitamin C in them. Ascorbic acid is added to act as a preservative but it also has many health benefits. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid helps in boosting your immune system by absorbing iron naturally. It speeds up the body’s healing process and helps in the formation of muscles, cartilage, and blood vessels. It also boosts the production of collagen that gives your skin its strength and elasticity.
The antioxidants found in applesauce fight free radicals and covert the body’s food into energy.
- Contributes to a healthy diet
Studies have found out that consuming whole apples or applesauce contributes to eating a well-rounded healthy diet. Surveys have found out that people who consume applesauce consumed less fat and sodium, replacing them with more fiber, potassium, and magnesium in their diets.
- Helps in soothing an upset stomach
Applesauce benefits include healing an upset stomach. Applesauce is one of the primary foods in the popular BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast). This is a diet rich in bland foods that are easy to digest and low in fiber.
If you experience diarrhea, nausea or vomiting quite often, consuming applesauce might just be the solution to all your stomach needs. People who suffer from gastrointestinal illnesses are advised to consume applesauce on a regular basis.
Are there any downsides to consuming applesauce?
Now that we’ve looked at the applesauce benefits, let’s see if there are any downsides. While eating applesauce in moderation is great for your body and can do wonders, eating too much applesauce can do more harm than good.
- High in sugar content
Most people buy applesauce from the market instead of making their own. And, most applesauce brands are high in sugar. They are often artificially sweetened and this reduces the original nutritional value of applesauce. Besides, they also pile up calories from the added sugar.
The amount of sugar usually varies from brand to brand. Therefore, before buying applesauce from the market, consider making your own. And, if you can’t do that, then make sure the label for added sugar and preservatives. Ideally, you should pick the one that has the least amount of sugar.
- Not as filling as whole apples
Applesauce is great but they are nowhere close to whole apples. Even though applesauce is reduced from whole apples, the nutritional value decreases. Thus, whole apples are a better source of nutrients and antioxidants compared to applesauce. Also, eating whole apples can be more satisfying in terms of an appetite-filler.
- Low in minerals
Applesauce provides a limited amount of vitamins and minerals which doesn’t make it a good and adequate supplement by itself. If you’re making applesauce at home, try adding lemon juice or other fruits that are high in vitamin C.
You can also consume applesauce with a combination of various other healthy fruits and vegetables to increase its nutritional power.
These were all the potential downsides to eating too much applesauce.
How much applesauce should you consume?
This is a very frequently asked question when it comes to applesauce benefits. As we said, you should always consume applesauce in moderation. The governmental health guidelines recommend consuming 2-2.5 cups of fruit every day for those following the 2000 calorie diet.
Applesauce is a versatile food and you can consume it in any way you like, but, it is always best to consume it by itself.
How to make applesauce at home?
Follow this recipe to make delicious homemade applesauce.
- 3 pounds of apples
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- ½ tsp of ground cinnamon (optional)
- 175 ml of water
- Rinse the apple well and remove any stickers.
- Now, peel the apples and quarter them into pieces.
- Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and bring them to boil over medium-high heat.
- Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10-20 minutes.
- Once the apples look soft and cooked through, remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature, then, process the mixture into a smooth puree, using any tool of your choice. You can use anything including an electric blender, potato masher, food processor, fork, or food mill.
However, if you want a chunky applesauce, then it’s best to use a fork or a potato masher for a shorter duration. And, if you want your applesauce to be smooth, use a food processor or immersion blender.
You can add additional ingredients and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cloves, ginger, ec.
The recipe that we’ve suggested is for unsweetened applesauce. If you want your applesauce to be sweet, add powdered sugar as per your preference.