Crunchy, sweet n sour and juicy apples are cooked in the instant pot with preferred spices and some citrus goodness (orange and lemon) to make this amazingly easy and delicious Instant pot applesauce.
Applesauce is one of those things that I hate buying from a store. It is so ridiculously easy to make at home, especially in Instant pot that the mere idea of buying a store bought one sends me into a guilt trip of buying unnecessary processed foods.
Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be snobby about buying store bought ready snacks. After all, all of us are saved by those go go squeeze packs, oreos, veggie straws, crackers, un-edible kids fruit punch packs (am very sorry if you like them but I truly hate them, they taste like diluted cough syrup to me 😞) and many more.. countless times for various reasons.
Many of us are not magical moms/dads who can completely avoid buying those and make everything at home from scratch. But again, we try ! Don't we !! We try our best to balance those store bought foods with fresh home made ones whenever humanely possible with our crazy lives !!
Then let's grab that opportunity here and get used to making this delicious home made apple sauce from now on. Because why not !! when it is
- Simply delicious
- extremely easy
- No unknown ingredients and no high fructose corn syrups
- Can be used for multiple purposes like snacking, baking, on yogurt, in oatmeal etc...
Assuming I convinced you to make this right away ( if not drop me a comment below and I will try my best to convince you😊 ) , let's see the ingredients for making this super simple apple sauce.
- Apples : Our goal is to add as less sweetener as possible and to sweeten it naturally. So let's choose gala or fuji or golden delicious or any sweeter variety apple for half quantity and granny smith for other half to maintain that balance of sweet and tart flavors. Honestly those are my preferred apples only when I have time and feasibility. If not, I will happily make this apple sauce recipe with any available apples and adjust the sweetener accordingly.
- Orange juice and zest : Did I not tell you already about this surprising addition. Never mind, this is the delicious twist I was talking about ! Little amount of freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest take this apple sauce to the next level and keep it on a higher ground from all the other apple sauce recipes. Don't trust me, try it for your self and let me know.
- Lemon juice : little bit of lemon juice helps in preserving the color by slowing down the oxidation process and increasing the flavor
- Seasonings: cinnamon, nut meg and pinch of salt( helps break down the apples and intensify sweet flavor)
- water : Just a little because apples have lot of water in them already.
That's it !! Let's see the procedure to cook these apples in the instant pot now.
How to make Instant pot Applesauce from scratch
I am using non organic apples today, so I took the peel off ( we prefer doing this to avoid pesticides ), cored and chopped them into 1 inch pieces approximately. If you want to keep the peel on to get all the nutrients and fiber, you can definitely do so, but I would suggest to wash the apples thoroughly especially when you are using non organic ones.
Now dump all ingredients into the instant pot, seal the vent, close the lid and cook on manual mode for 6 mins on high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 mins and then you can do a quick release if you want, carefully staying away from the vent to avoid steam.
Open the lid and use a whisk to stir everything up. Using a whisk to stir when the applesauce is hot, helps to mash everything super easily and will still have a slight texture to it which we love. But if you want a smoother texture, use an immersion blender to blend it up.
Taste it and add any kind of sweetener you prefer if you like it little more sweet. I added 2 tbsp of brown sugar. Instead you can also add honey, maple syrup, white sugar etc. Now let it come to room temperature and put it in a air tight box and refrigerate it for few hours until all the flavors come together. I really don't like to skip this step as I feel that something magical happens when it goes in the refrigerator :-).
That's it, your delicious applesauce is ready for firsts and seconds !!
How to make this a no sugar added applesauce recipe
Since we are adding little orange juice to this recipe, that helps a little bit in naturally sweetening it. One other thing that you can do is use all sweet apples like fuji, honey crisp, gala, golden delicious etc instead of half sweet and half granny smith apples. That helps in naturally sweetening it so you can avoid adding extra sugar and make this an unsweetened applesauce.
What can I serve applesauce with
Applesauce can be served in many ways. Let me list some of those ways for you
- Eat it away as a healthy snack anytime in the day, works for grown ups, kids, babies, pets, anyone and everyone.
- Put it on your oatmeal for a delicious breakfast.
- Mix it with plain yogurt with some granola and make a yogurt parfait.
- Use it in baking in place of oil or butter or just as a fruit puree.( for exact measurements, check relevant recipes)
- Use it as a syrup with pancakes or waffles for a healthy twist.
How do you use applesauce in your home? Comment below to let me know of any other interesting ways to use up applesauce.
How do you store homemade applesauce
Homemade applesauce can be refrigerated for up to 7 days in an air tight container or it can also be frozen while still fresh in small zip locks for convenience. Frozen applesauce can last up to 2 to 3 months. Defrost it by leaving it at room temperature for around 30 mins to one hour or if you thaw it in the refrigerator, then it might last for another 3 to 4 days.
Instant Pot Applesauce
- 4 gala or fuji or golden delicious apples or any sweeter variety
- 4 granny smith apples
- ¼ tsp orange zest no white part
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice I just hand squeezed from a navel orange
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp brown sugar or any sweetener like honey maple syrup, white sugar (optional)
- Peel(if you prefer), core and chop apples into 1 inch pieces.
- Place all ingredients in the instant pot inner pot, seal the vent, close the lid and cook on manual mode for 6 mins on high pressure.
- Let the steam release naturally for 10 mins at least and then do a quick release by turning the knob to vent while staying away from the steam.
- Open the lid and use a whisk to stir everything really well to mash it up. If you want a smoother texture, use an immersion blender to blend it up.
- Now check the taste and add 2 tbsp brown sugar or any preferred sweetener and mix well.
- Let it come to room temperature and refrigerate it in a air tight container for few hours before serving. Now your applesauce is ready to serve.
- You can use all sweeter variety apples to avoid adding extra sugars at the end and make an unsweetened applesauce.
- After opening the lid, use a whisk to stir everything up carefully when it is still hot. It helps in mashing the applesauce super easily.
- If you want a much smoother texture, use an immersion blender to blend it up in the pot itself.
- Add sweetener after cooking , so you will know how much to add as per your taste.
- Cool the applesauce to room temperature before refrigerating it. Chilling it for few hours before eating really gets the flavors together. But if you like it warm, then wait for little time after making, to serve it.
Don't forget to pin the recipe to your favorite board on Pinterest so you will always have the recipe readily available. Drop me a comment below to let me know if you have any questions or feedback.