Photo by Marjorie Gabriel

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8 Delicious Ways Nutritionists Use Applesauce
Rachel Begun
By Rachel Begun
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Like flours, salts, and spices, applesauce pouches are becoming a pantry staple in many households. Parents love them for their convenience and portability as a wholesome, on-the-go snack for their kids, and adults are getting in on the snacking trend as well.

We think snacking is just the beginning for our Organic Applesauce Pouches made from just one ingredient—organic apples.  So, we reached out to some of our favorite healthy-cooking nutritionists to see how they use applesauce in their meals and recipes.  

They came back with an impressive collection of ideas and recipes—ranging from sweet to savory and using a multitude of cooking techniques—that take applesauce way beyond snacking.

Pancakes

“I’ll often add applesauce to my pancake batter — not only does it add a touch of sweetness, it really intensifies the moisture of the pancakes. I add cinnamon, too, for a classic taste combo. The flavor and texture is so good you can reduce added sugars by using less syrup. For a 4-serving batch of pancakes, I’ll add 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.”

Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, nutrition and wellness expert

Sweet Potato Bread

“I like to use applesauce as a baking ingredient. It can replace some of the fat, as well as some of the sweetener. Plus, it makes the recipe so moist. For example, I have a baked vegan Sweet Potato Bread recipe using applesauce. It’s also good in muffins, waffles, and pancakes.”

Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian

Slow-Cooker Fruited Carrot Cake

“Carrot cake is one of my mom’s favorite desserts. And I recall her saying years ago that she loved it because — if done right — it never dries out and gets better and better. I’ve found that using applesauce in carrot cake actually helps ensure this holds true. Plus, the natural sweetness of the apples gives carrot cake a home-baked flavor that oil could never replicate. I discovered this Slow Cooker Fruited Carrot Cake method years ago as the perfect way to “set it and forget it” in moist, fruited-cakes. Whether you need to free up oven space for holiday cooking or simply want to leave the oven off for your dessert making, this is the perfect recipe!”

— Regan Jones, RD, Founding Editor, HealthyAperture.com

Potato Pancakes Dipping Sauce

“I love to serve applesauce as a dipping sauce/topping for potato pancakes, particularly this recipe for Sweet Potato Brussels Sprouts Latkes with Harissa Cream. The fresh sweetness balances the savory flavor of the latkes beautifully, and the texture of the sauce is perfect for seeping into all the nooks and crannies.”

Marjorie Gabriel, chef, nutritionist, and co-founder of The Modern Loaf, LLC 

Cinnamon Apple Noodle Kugel

“This Cinnamon Apple Noodle Kugel is a healthier remake of an old family recipe my mother has made for years. The original recipe calls for applesauce, which is the source of the apple flavor in the recipe title, but I use unsweetened applesauce to keep the added sugar content lower, while maintaining the classic flavor and texture of the dish.”

Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, culinary nutrition expert

Dressing and Sauces

I use no-sugar-added applesauce regularly for natural sweetness when making salad dressings and sauces, like white French dressing, homemade barbecue sauce, and Asian sauces. It adds a just-right sweet balance to the stir-fry sauce in my Seasonal Indonesian-Inspired Tempeh & Veggie Stir-Fry. I love that using applesauce can help punch up antioxidants and keep a recipe free from added sugars. That’s a plus since I try to keep many of my recipes diabetes friendly.”

Jackie Newgent, RDN, culinary nutritionist, private cooking coach, and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook 

Marinades

“I like to mix applesauce in marinades for chicken. I use soy sauce, hoisin sauce, minced garlic, sesame oil, ginger and then a few dollops of applesauce. Gives it a sweet, bright flavor. Using applesauce this way is great for both nutrition and texture reasons, plus it changes up the flavor and puts a spin on something you’d normally eat as a dessert into something more creative.”

Robyn Webb, MS, award-winning cookbook author, culinary instructor

Pork and Applesauce

“I serve unsweetened applesauce over pork. The sweetness from the applesauce helps balance the savory flavor of the pork. Besides complementing the savory flavor, it also helps complement the nutrients found in it. Pork provides numerous B vitamins and selenium, while applesauce is an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C.”

— Toby Amidor, MS, RD, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook and The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook 

Give these ideas a whirl and let us know what you think. And if you have a favorite way to use applesauce, please share it below!

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