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Applesauce: The Sweet Taste of Nutrition

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Applesauce has similar essential nutrients and other trace compounds that fresh whole apples possess. Read the article below to know more about this.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Balreen Kaur Bali

Published At March 14, 2023
Reviewed AtApril 25, 2023

One may have heard the popular saying that has been all over the world, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Applesauce is a simple yet nutritious recipe that one can try anytime in the comfort of their home and is in fact the simplest form of cooked apples that not only gives a tasty flavor to the palate but is incredibly healthy. As such, there are many varieties of apple sauces that are commercially available as well. Most of them contain apples and water in combination with ascorbic acid or vitamin C. Some other commercial brands usually add sugar, other fruits, or a combination of both.

Apple-based sauce consumption dates back to the times of medieval Europe when they were popularized. Essentially a part of European cuisine, people used to serve both the sweet and tart versions that are even now famous throughout the world as apple tarts or other sweet recipes. These sauces or varieties of sweets were not called applesauce however, it was only after 17th century they gained global popularity.

What Are the Nutritional Content of Applesauce?

In 100 grams of unsweetened applesauce, one can find the following nutrients:

  • Protein: 0.3-0.4 grams.

  • Fat: 0.16 grams.

  • Carbohydrates: 12.3 grams.

  • Sugar: 9.66 grams.

  • Calories: 52 kcal.

  • Iron: Less than 0.248 milligrams.

  • Vitamin C: 43.7 milligrams.

What Are the Systemic Health Benefits of AppleSauce?

Applesauce is a source of numerous antioxidants or phytochemicals. These phytochemicals possess essential antioxidants that definitely aim to exert an anti-cancer, anti-diabetic effect apart from being cardioprotective (protection of the heart from ailments).

  1. Aids in Immunity - Vitamin C is a precursor for several essential metabolic activities including boosting immune health, aiding in iron absorption, and better skin or oral wound healing. Vitamin C is also further used in the production of collagen which is the fundamental protein that enhances skin strength and is responsible for its elasticity. Vitamin C also further protects from the formation of harmful free radicals that build up in the body and aids in cellular protection.

  2. Cancer Prevention - The phytochemicals present in apples as mentioned earlier are specifically deemed used for reducing the risk of cancers. Most of these essential antioxidants are definitely in the apple skin.

  3. Anti-inflammatory - The quercetin compound is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that is found equally in raw apples, cooked apples, and applesauce. It can boost the immune system and aim to reduce inflammation.

  4. Aids in Digestive Health - The soluble fiber that is present in homemade applesauce is in the form of pectin. Pectin is particularly useful for treating digestive issues, in preventing diarrhea and constipation as well. Pectin further tends to neutralize the detrimental effects faced by patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome because of its probiotic nature that feeds healthy gut bacteria and improves digestion.

What Are the Differences between Homemade and Commercial Apple Sauces?

The main differences between homemade and commercial apple sauces are listed below:

  • Though most of the store-bought applesauce brands may have vitamin C incorporated in them, they may contain high quantities of added sugars and preservatives. Homemade applesauce has only one disadvantage; it cannot typically have the same amounts of vitamin C as the commercial brands, though one can still certainly avail the health benefits of apples. The shelf life of homemade apple sauces is comparatively lesser without the preservative.

  • It is an important nutrition fact to note that apples themselves in general are high in natural sugars and so is the applesauce. Hence it would not be recommended either for diabetics or pre-diabetics especially when it comes to the consumption of commercial apple sauces that have further added sugars or sweeteners loaded in them. It is important to check the label of the commercial applesauce product for added sugars (usually present as a high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup base).

  • Commercial apple sauces may not be typically made or obtained using apple skins which contain the majority of the soluble fiber and antioxidants. Removal of the apple skin leads to the loss of the nutritive potential of the apple sauce.

Who Can Be Allergic to Applesauce?

Individuals who are allergic to certain fruits like peaches, plums, and strawberries. Some people with an allergy to almonds or other nuts may also be allergic to apples as well. The typical signs one needs to watch out for an apple allergy are :

  • Itching of lips, tongue, or throat.

  • Swelling or inflammation of lips post-consumption.

  • Rashes on the skin.

  • Stomach pain or digestive troubles.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Swelling of the face.

  • Wheezing or sudden shortness of breath.

If a person notices any of these symptoms, the person should immediately report to a healthcare provider or an allergist.

How to Prepare Homemade Applesauce?

The best way to cook applesauce is by slicing the apples first and removing their cores. One can peel the apples if one wants to, but one would lose out on the essential antioxidants and fiber contained within the peel by doing so. It is important to note while preparing the cooked apples or during the preparation of the fresh applesauce, the skin of the apple is also used to avail the health benefit of the phytochemicals.

The method of making the applesauce is listed below:

  • Bring the mixture of sliced apples along with water in a large saucepan or pot to a boil.

  • Try simmering the apples for at least 20 to 30 minutes until they are soft with a smooth texture.

  • For making this smoother in texture, one can use a blender or food processor.

  • This delicious apple sauce can be consumed between meals and one can easily include it in their diet.

  • Try topping this sauce with sliced almonds or nuts.

  • Serve it even as a side dish to the main course meals or it can be paired with cheddar cheese.

  • It can even taste good as a dessert.


Applesauce is considered by nutrition experts as being a very low-fat source and loaded with vitamins. Hence it can easily be served as both a sweet and nutritious snack in between meals. Ideally, it is best to consume only the unsweetened versions of apple sauce or to prepare apple sauce at home using apple skins as well. This definitely gives the body an immunity boost. Applesauce is an extremely nutritious recipe to incorporate into the diet instead of an unhealthy dessert.

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Dr. Balreen Kaur Bali
Dr. Balreen Kaur Bali


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