This unsweetened strawberry applesauce recipe has only strawberries, apples, and a bit of vanilla to bring out their flavor. It’s the perfect snack for kid and adult alike. And it’s simple to make and keeps well in your refrigerator or freezer.
This homemade applesauce needs no added sugar because the strawberries in the recipe provide natural sweetness and that gorgeous color. If you’re looking for ways to eliminate added sugar, adding a sweet fruit to your applesauce is the way to go.
Is this healthy? Well, it’s hard to argue with fruit. Although if you peel your apples, that reduces the fiber you want for a healthy gut. And, of course, snacks should be just one part of a balanced diet.
Tips and tricks
Best apples for applesauce
The best apples for baking are usually the ones you would want to eat. Although, for this unsweetened applesauce, avoid using tart apples like Granny Smith or Pink Lady. I first made this recipe using HunnyZ apples which are a cross between a Honeycrisp and Crimson Crisp apple.
Disclosure: I received two boxes of HunnyZ (pronounced “hunnies”) apples as a gift from the folks at Gee Whiz. About a month ago, I wrote a post about late season apples and discovered how much I loved this new apple,
Prepping the apples
The easiest way to prepare apples for applesauce starts with coring the apple with a corer (Panels #1 and 2, below.
Peel the apple if you like (Panel #3). Feel free to skip peeling the apples if you don’t mind some texture in your applesauce. Just be sure to wash the apples well to remove the dirt, wax, and anything else that might be lingering. 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.
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 (Panels #2 and #3, below).
It’s then easy to remove the core using a paring knife (Panel #4 and #5, above). Be careful and always cut away from yourself!
Roughly chopping the strawberries (Panel #6) is now simple.
How to serve
- Eat it with a spoon!
- Serve with potato latkes or sweet potato latkes.
- With these caramelized onion and apple waffles
- With yogurt and granola
- Bake it into muffins or cake
Variations and substitutions
- Add cinnamon or lemon juice if your fruit isn’t very flavorful
- Add sugar if your fruit is bitter or just not very sweet
- Use frozen strawberries if strawberries are out of season
This unsweetened strawberry applesauce is made with just fruit and a bit of vanilla extract. As a snack, it’s awesome. But even fruit should be only one part of a balanced diet.
Yes. Applesauce freezes very well in air-tight containers.
- 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
- Add the vanilla and any extras (see the FAQs above) and stir to mix.½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 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 puree in a blender or food processor, if desired.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Applesauce can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or so or frozen for 3 to 6 months.
If you make this homemade strawberry applesauce and love it like we do, please leave a rating and comment to share the love!
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