This Unsweetened Strawberry Applesauce recipe is made in less than hour with only three ingredients: strawberries, apples, and a bit of vanilla. You may think that no added sugar means that it’s going to be tasteless and hard to swallow.. You’d be wrong.
This homemade strawberry applesauce is unsweetened because strawberries provide that gorgeous color and all the sweetness you need. You’ll love it because it’s easy to make. Kid and adult alike will love it because it’s truly the perfect snack.
What are the best apples for unsweetened applesauce?
In general, the best apples for baking are usually the ones you would want to eat, although there are a few guidelines. If you want the apples to remain chunky, like in this sourdough apple cake or apple pie baked beans, pick a firm apple.
On the other hand, if you want your apples to break down easily for this applesauce or for apple curd, pick a sweet and juicy apple. Because this applesauce is sweetened only with strawberries, please avoid using tart apples like Granny Smith or Pink Lady unless you add sugar to the recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations and substitutions
- Add cinnamon or lemon juice to your applesauce if your fruit isn’t very flavorful.
- Add sugar if your fruit is bitter or just not very sweet.
- Sub in frozen strawberries if strawberries are out of season.
- Don’t peel your apples. This give yous the fiber you want for a healthy gut. Just be sure to wash the apples well to remove the dirt, wax, and anything else that be lingering.
Recipe tips and tricks
Step by step
Step 1: Prepare the apples by coring the apple with a corer (Panels #1 and 2, below.)
Then peel the apple (Panel #3). Feel free to skip peeling the apples if you don’t mind some texture in your applesauce. You can always pass the applesauce through a food mill after cooking to remove the skins.
To chop the apple, cut it in half from top to bottom and then cut large chunks (Panel #4, above). There’s no right or wrong way here. Know that smaller apple chunks will cook in a shorter amount of time, of course.
Step 2: Prepare the strawberries. The panels below show the easiest way to core and chop a strawberry with a knife. Hold the leaves and stem in one hand and pull them from the berry.
It’s then easy to remove the core using a paring knife. Be careful and always cut away from yourself!
Step 3: Combine the apples and strawberries in a pot and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot.
Step 4: Cover and cook the applesauce on low so it is barely bubbling, stirring and mashing occasionally with a spoon or potato masher. Cook until the apples have softened so much they are falling apart and mash easily, about 45 minutes depending on your apples.
Step 5: Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. You can puree the strawberry applesauce in a blender or food processor, if desired. Serve the unsweetened applesauce warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
What to serve with strawberry applesauce
As a snack, this unsweetened applesauce is made with just fruit and a bit of vanilla extract. As a snack, it’s awesome. But of course even snacks should be one part of a balanced diet.
Yes. Applesauce freezes very well in air-tight containers and can be stored for three to six months.
Applesauce was used as an answer to sugar rationing during the second world war.
Yes, though you’ll definitely want to peel the apples and purée the final applesauce. And, if you sweeten it, please never ever give honey in any form to children who are under 12 months old!
Have too many strawberries? Check out this collection of summer berries and cherry recipes.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.
- 5 medium sized apples
- 5 large strawberries
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Core, peel, and coarsely chop the apples. Put them in a medium sized pot (larger if you are scaling up the recipe), and add enough water to cover the bottom. You can turn the heat on at this point if you want.5 medium sized apples
- Wash, core, and coarsely chop the strawberries and add them to the pot.5 large strawberries
- Cover and cook the applesauce on low (it should be bubbling but not vigorously), stirring and mashing occasionally with a spoon or potato masher, until the apples have softened so much they are falling apart and mash easily, about 45 minutes depending on your apples.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Puree the applesauce in a blender or food processor, if desired.½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Serve the strawberry applesauce warm or at room temperature.
Looking for dinner inspiration, classic recipes and new seasonal favorites?