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Healthy Eats and Repeat

Applesauce: Make it, Bake it, Eat it

I remember applesauce and cinnamon as an end to many childhood meals and in my lunchbox for school. As an adult, I find it a quick-to-eat fruit and tend to cook more with applesauce. (Enjoy the brownie recipe with applesauce at the end of this post.)


A half cup of unsweetened applesauce contains around 50 calories, 15g carbohydrates, and 1g fiber, and contains vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium. Applesauce contain very little fat, sodium, and protein.

  • Buy: Look for unsweetened applesauce, which has no added sweeteners.

If buying one of the many flavored applesauces – strawberry, mango, etc. – look for those with fruit puree in them. Some brands use sweeteners and colors to mimic flavors without using fruit.

If buying cinnamon-added applesauce, consider buying unsweetened applesauce and adding your own cinnamon. Many brands have added sugar or syrups in addition to the cinnamon, which add calories without nutrients like vitamins or minerals.

  • Price: Applesauce is an inexpensive fruit. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plain applesauce averages $0.58 per cup of fruit. Flavored and sweetened applesauces tend to cost more.
  • Store: Store unopened applesauce at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Once opened, refrigerate and use within a week or two. Also consider freezing leftover applesauce for use later on.
    • Prepare: Use applesauce directly from the can or jar.
      • Homemade: If you want to make your own applesauce – stovetop, slow cooker, and microwave variations – find different recipes through Cooperative Extensions around the country. And see References below for links to slow cooker and microwave applesauce recipes.
      • Canning: Follow directions for making and canning applesauce at home from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
      • Baking: To bake with applesauce, substitute half of the fat in your recipe for applesauce. For example, if you have 1 cup of butter or oil, use 1/2 cup of the fat and 1/2 cup applesauce.
      • Eat: Have applesauce as a fruit side dish, added in baking, and to savory dishes like pork.


      Brownies (Serves 12)

      Just a spoon and a pot is all that is needed to make this stovetop brownie recipe.

      1/4 cup unsalted butter
      1 (4-oz) single-serve cup or 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
      1/2 cup cocoa powder
      3/4 cup sugar
      2 eggs
      1/3 cup all-purpose flour
      1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
      1/4 tsp baking soda

      1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
      2. In a medium pot over low heat, melt butter, applesauce, and cocoa. Stir until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
      3. Add sugar and eggs. Mix well with a spoon.
      4. Stir in flours and baking soda until just moistened.
      5. Pour into a greased 8 x 8-inch pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center is clean.

      Nutritional analysis per serving: 130 calories, 5g fat, 40mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g protein