Sugar-Free Applesauce (Canning Recipe)


 

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

This sugar-free homemade applesauce is great for baking, baby food or eating straight out of the jar. It can be stored in the freezer or canned for long-term storage in the pantry.Applesauce was the very first thing I ever tried canning at home. In other words, it was my gateway into the world of home canning.

Since it’s so easy to make, is safe for water bath canning and requires very few extra ingredients or special processing instructions, applesauce truly is one of the best things a first-time canner can make. And since it’s that time of year again when the apple trees are bursting with fresh fruit and the markets are stocked full, what better time than now to try canning applesauce for yourself?

Of course, if you don’t want to can it, you can always store it in the fridge or freeze it for later. The downside to either of these options though is that if you store in the fridge, you’ll need to use it up within a couple weeks at most. And if you store it in the freezer, you’ll need to wait hours for it to defrost when you want to use it and it takes up lots of space in your freezer.

I opt for canning my applesauce because it’s ready to go at room temperature whenever I’m ready to use it. All I need to do is dump it out of the jar.

 

Related: Water Bath Canning for Beginners

 

What to do with canned applesauce

There are so many things you can do with canned applesauce. It’s great to eat on its own (especially with the addition of a little cinnamon and brown sugar), added to oatmeal or baking recipes, or as a quick-serve baby food.

Last summer I gave birth to our daughter and canned up as many jars of applesauce as I could so that when she started eating solids I would be ready with baby food on hand. Sure enough, a few months laters she began eating puréed solid food and we went through all 20+ jars of apple and pear sauce in no time at all. 

Now, I prefer to make my applesauce without any added sugar precisely because I try to avoid feeding my daughter extra sugar whenever possible. Plus, if you’re using applesauce for baking, it’s best to start with sugar-free sauce and then add sugar to your liking so that your final product isn’t overly sweet.

Same with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. While applesauce taste heavenly mixed with these spices, I can always add them later. I’d rather have a “clean slate” to start with and then decide how I’d like to adjust the flavour.

 

How to process apples for applesauce

Applesauce makes quick use out of apples if you have a couple key tools to work with. If you have a sieve or food mill, this will really speed up the process because you can cook your apples whole and then use the food mill/sieve to separate the peels, cores and seeds from the applesauce.

This sugar-free homemade applesauce is great for baking, baby food or eating straight out of the jar. It can be stored in the freezer or canned for long-term storage in the pantry.

 

Using a sieve or food mill

To process with a sieve or food mill, put washed, whole apples into a large stainless steel pot and add about an inch or two of water (just to have the apples simmer and not burn to the bottom of the pot). Put the lid on and bring water to a simmer so that the steam from the water can recycle through the pot and steam all of the apples to cook them. Cook for about 10 minutes and then check apples and water level. Add more water if necessary. Continue to cook apples until the skins have split open and the flesh is soft all the way through. 

Allow cooked apples to cool for a few minutes before processing. Then run them through your sieve or food mill to remove the flesh from the skins and seeds. Put applesauce back into a stainless steel pot and continue to simmer. You can then add peels and seeds to your compost or use them to make apple cider vinegar at home! 

 

Related: How to Make Dried Cinnamon Apple Slices

 

Processing without a food mill

If you don’t have a sieve or food mill, you’ll want to start off with a good vegetable peeler like this one. I find it much easier to work with a peeler than to use a knife to cut the skin off. 

Also, to make coring your apples quick and painless, invest a few bucks in an apple corer. It will save you sooo much time in the end! 

* Hint: As you peel and core your apples, toss them into a large bowl of cold water mixed with lemon juice. The water and lemon juice will help to preserve the apples and keep them from turning brown.

After you’ve peeled and cored your apples, put the slices into a large, stainless steel pot with an inch or two of water and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Check the apples after 10 minutes and add more water if the water is completely dried up and the apple slices aren’t yet soft enough to mash up. You don’t want your sauce to be too watery though! So only add more water if absolutely necessary and do so sparingly.

Once your apple slices are soft enough to mash (similar to the consistency of potatoes when they are ready to mash… you can check with a fork), use a potato masher or a hand blender to mash them up in the pot.

This sugar-free homemade applesauce is great for baking, baby food or eating straight out of the jar. It can be stored in the freezer or canned for long-term storage in the pantry.

I find a hand blender the easiest way to go. I recommend the Breville brand immersion hand blender. We use ours for all of our soups and sauces and it works like a charm. 

Once your apples are mashed, blended or have been run through a sieve or food mill, continue to simmer the applesauce in a stainless steel pot until it’s heated all the way through. If you will be canning the applesauce, be sure to sterilize and prepare your jars at this point.

 

Canning your applesauce

Once applesauce is thoroughly heated, add a little lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon for every 3 lbs of apples). The lemon juice helps to preserve the applesauce as different types of apples have different natural acidity levels. It also helps to preserve the colour.

If you want to add any sugar or spices, do so now. If not, you’re ready to can your applesauce!

This sugar-free homemade applesauce is great for baking, baby food or eating straight out of the jar. It can be stored in the freezer or canned for long-term storage in the pantry.

Pour into hot, prepared jars, leaving ½-inch headspace, and process in a water bath canner (15 minutes for pint jars, 20 minutes for quart-sized jars).

After processing, allow jars to cool completely on a towel on your countertop (use a folded towel as hot jars on a cold countertop can break), and once cooled you can store your shelf-stable jars of applesauce in your pantry and use all year long, whenever you’re ready!

 

Canning tools I use and love:

 

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

SaveSave

SaveSave


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

8 Comments

  1. Faith

    Hey! Do you think I could use this same recipe for half-pints? Thanks

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Faith! Yes, the recipe would be the same. Leave the same amount of headspace and process for the same amount of time:)

      Reply
  2. Bob Jones

    I have been making applesauce for several years from MacIntosh apples, which require added sugar ( at least for my taste). What apples do you typically use for your sugar-free applesauce? Do you mix several kinds together?

    Thank you for any suggestions.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Bob! I typically use Gravenstein apples as we get most of our apples from a neighbour’s tree. But I also like to use transparent apples for sugar-free. I guess I should have mentioned that the type of apple you use will determine the flavour in the end. All can be made sugar-free, however depending on your tastes and the variety of apples you’re using, you may choose to add a little sugar to sweeten it up just a bit.

      Reply
  3. Kim

    I forgot to add the lemon juice. Is it not going to keep well?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Kim,

      The role of lemon juice in applesauce is a little unclear, to be honest. This is an adapted recipe from the Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving (2006) and it calls for lemon juice for safety reasons. However the most updated recipe from the National Centre For Home Food Preservation (2015) does not call for any lemon juice in their recipe. Considering apples are a high-acid fruit and as the NCHFP is a trusted and reputable source, I would feel comfortable omitting the lemon juice in this recipe as long as you followed correct processing times and procedures. Here is a link to the NCHFP’s recipe for applesauce without lemon juice: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/applesauce.html

      Reply
      • Angharad

        Hey Kim,
        I have a cooking apple tree in my garden & every year I make apple sauce with no lemon juice! I don’t even bother with lemon juice any more because brown so much even when using it, so I have just accepted that my apple sauce is browner than most. I always add cinnamon and like to “think” it’s just that haha.
        Angharad,
        New Zealand

        Reply
  4. christine Long

    I made the applesauce w/out sugar and spice so I can use in cookies thanks for the hint on lemon juice it sure looks better than brown.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
How to Shop From Your Pantry Like A Pro

How to Shop From Your Pantry Like A Pro

Every year around this time I go into total organization, budgeting, planning and goal-setting mode. After the frenzy of the holidays, I’m more than ready to settle into a routine and get back on track with my spending, simplifying and health goals. I know I’m not...

read more

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

Save money, reduce food waste and and improve everything from your soil to your gut health with this list of 11 frugal ways to use kitchen scraps in your home and garden. *** We’re such a wasteful society, especially here in the west. The mounds of waste we...

read more

***GIVEAWAY TIME!!!***

We’re officially halfway through the pantry challenge and we’re into the “messy middle.” This is the point in the challenge when it can start to feel like a bit of a slog, and even if you’re not doing the pantry challenge, you may still be feeling the slog as we hit the mid-January mark, so to spice things up, I’m offering a pretty massive giveaway...

A chance to win FREE ENROLLMENT into not one, but BOTH of my online courses!

That’s right! If you win, you get full access to my entire Seed to Soil organic gardening course AND my Yes, You CAN! home canning course, so you can (re) fill your pantry with healthy, delicious, homegrown and homemade food!

Plus, you’ll also get a one-year, membership-level subscription to Modern Homesteading Magazine with unlimited access to all current and past issues to help keep you motivated and inspired on your homesteading journey.

——

So, how to enter??

1. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram.

2. Like and save this post.

3. Tag a friend who you think would also like to enter or who would like to take their gardening/homesteading to the next level this year! (Every person you tag = another entry to win!)

4. *5 BONUS ENTRIES: Share this post to your IG Stories for an additional 5 bonus entries!

——

The contest is open to anybody anywhere and will run from now until Midnight PST on Monday night and the winner will be announced this Tuesday at 9am PST.

Let’s make the absolute best of 2021 in our gardens and homes, no matter what else this year brings ❤️
...

Well, it was no small task, but I FINALLY got everything in my pantry inventoried, organized and put away.

I wanted to share my process with you too, so if you’re interested in getting a full tour of our pantry and seeing how I organize things, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and check it out on YouTube!

P.S. I know you’re not supposed to stack canning jars as having multiple heavy rows stacked on top of each other can compromise the seal of the jars on the bottom. I avoid stacking when possible, but due to the style of our pantry I have made the conscious choice to stack one row (max) on top of the bottom and always make sure to stack jars of equal or lesser weight on top. And yes, we do have plans to add more shelves soon. Just a disclaimer since I’m sure I’ll get more comments about it;)

Also, be sure to leave a comment and let me know about any pantry organization hacks you use! I’m always looking to improve our system:)
.
.
.
#homesteadpantrychallenge #homesteadpantry #homesteadkitchen #foodstorage #foodsecurity #pantrychallenge #pantrygoals
...

Finally got around to taking EVERYTHING out of the pantry today and now getting ready to take inventory.

When everything is buried in the pantry, it can be so easy to forget what you have. That’s why I always recommend taking everything out when starting a pantry challenge so you know exactly what you’ve got. I was feeling like we hadn’t preserved enough food this year to get us through the month, but now that I see everything, I’ve got all sorts of creative ideas for how to use up the abundance of food that we have.

I’m also finding things I didn’t know I had, seeing what I have more than enough of and finding gaps in my food storage. This is one of my favourite reasons for doing a pantry challenge: it’s an excuse to pull everything out and actually see what we’ve got so we know what we’re working with.

In order to keep everything organized, I also created printable pantry, fridge and freezer inventory sheets where I can record everything I’ve got (so it doesn’t get lost at the back of our very deep pantry again). If you wanna grab these printables, along with my weekly meal planning sheet, homestead pantry checklist, pantry substitutions chart and 31 Days of Dinner Ideas cheat sheet, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and sign up for the Homestead Pantry Challenge and I’ll send everything to your inbox:)

Alright, back at it. Wish me luck!

Have you started organizing your pantry yet??
.
.
.
#homesteadpantrychallenge #pantrygoals #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #homesteadkitchen #foodstorage #foodsecurity
...

🌱 One of the things I get asked the most during the #homesteadpantrychallenge is what we do for fresh veggies. Now, I much prefer to eat seasonally, which means eating the veggies that we preserved over the summer and fall during the winter. But I do start to miss my fresh greens by the time January rolls around.

Sure, I could grow some salad greens over the winter months, but that would require a level of organization that I frankly haven’t reached yet. And quite honestly, I don’t love going out to the garden in the middle of winter due to the torrential rain, swampy mud and frigid temps we get here in the PNW. No no, I’m a little too lazy and disorganized for all that! I’d much rather plant seeds a few days before I want to harvest them and do it all from the comfort of my kitchen during the nasty weather season.

And so, I turn to microgreens to provide me and my fam with fresh greens this time of year. They’re not only packed with nutrients (said to be higher in nutrients than their full grown counterparts!), they can be grown on your countertop and are ready to harvest in just a few days!

Not to mention, they taste delicious and look beautiful! I made this cheesy pasta dish topped with broccoli microgreens for dinner and the microgreens (which are just the seedling version of the full grown plant) tasted just like broccoli. Plus, the purple and green colours take an otherwise kinda boring dish and make it pop💥

I get all of my microgreens from @trueleafmarket, one of the sponsors of this month’s pantry challenge, as well as the current issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

To enter to win your own self-watering microgreens growing kit from True Leaf Market, be sure to join in the Homestead Pantry Challenge on Instagram, and to learn more about microgreens AND score yourself a sweet 10% discount off all True Leaf products, make sure you’re subscribed to Modern Homesteading Magazine (discount code is in the magazine and in the delivery email).

If you’re not yet subscribed, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and subscribe for free!

What’s your go-to source for fresh greens in the winter??
...

Well, we made it. It’s hard to believe that 2020 is finally behind us, but here we are, at the dawn of a new year; A fresh page and a new chapter.

This past year has been one for the history books for sure, and it most definitely has not all been good. But it hasn’t been all bad either. Us humans have a tendency to focus on the bad. It’s a survival tool that’s hard-wired into our brains to be on the lookout for danger. So we have to make a conscious choice to see the good in bad situations; To find what we can control and cling to it in a sea of things that we cannot control and, therefore, must let go of.

But with a new year comes a symbolic chance to let those things go and to move forward with hope and determination. No matter what’s scrolled on the pages of the past, the future has yet to be written.

As we enter 2021, I encourage you to remember that those things that were out of our control last year are still out of our control this year. They always have been, and always will be. But what is in our control are our thoughts and actions; How we choose to see and react to the world and to each other.

My hope is that we can begin to leave the past behind us and choose to see the world in a new light. In the Universe there is no good and bad. Everything just is. We assign the value.

I also hope that we begin to see each other as fellow travellers on the same journey, and to treat each other with equal respect, no matter our skin colour, gender, political or religious beliefs.
 
Finally I hope that the trend of people taking an interest in modern homesteading and taking action toward living a more sustainable, self-sufficient life continues long after COVID is behind us. As a whole, I think this was one of the best things to come out of this past year; A bright silver lining on a dark cloud.
 
There’s no way to know for sure what 2021 has in store for us, but I know that if we enter into this next chapter with open minds and hearts, along with a willingness to step up and take charge of the things in life that we can control while committing to let go of the rest, well then 2021 will be a good year no matter what.
 
To a new year and a fresh start 🥂
...

It’s the most wonderful time of the year...

Time for the 2021 Homestead Pantry Challenge to begin!!!

Every year in January, I like to challenge myself to eat only what I've managed to store away throughout the year and avoid the grocery store at all costs. And after the year we’ve just had, many of us are doing our best to avoid the grocery store already. Plus, with the financial impacts of lockdowns and the fragility of our global supply chain, saving a few bucks and taking steps to become more self-sufficient are top of mind for a lot of people right now.

Needless to say, a pantry challenge might be just what you need right about now to reign in your spending, put your resourcefulness, kitchen skills and creativity to the test, increase your self-sufficiency and decrease your dependence on the grocery store and on people and systems that are outside of your control.

Kicking things off with a fun pantry challenge can help you to start the new year off on the right foot and gain momentum and motivation that will help get you moving in the right direction and take control over your food supply right off the bat so that you set yourself up for success in 2021, regardless of what unexpected surprises it may bring.

This year's Homestead Pantry Challenge is even bigger and better than before too, with some exciting prizes up for grabs, including a @lodgecastiron skillet, a self-watering micro greens growing kit from @trueleafmarket and an 8-quart Duo Nova Instant Pot!!!

🥫To join in and enter to win, post photos or videos of your pantry, your meal planning, your meals, etc. during the pantry challenge and use the hashtag #homesteadpantrychallenge in the caption. Every post equals one entry:)

🎞 You can also post in your stories using the hashtag #homesteadpantrychallenge and tagging me @thehouseandhomestead for additional entries!

I'm SO pumped about this year's challenge and I really REALLY hope you'll join me!

The challenge officially begins on January 1st and runs until January 31st, but you can sign up via my link in bio @thehouseandhomestead and get all the details before we begin!
...

Merry Christmas friends!

While this year, and subsequently this Christmas has been anything but normal, and while we weren’t able to be with our extended families this year , I hope you’ve been able to find peace and joy this season, and to enjoy slower, more intimate moments at home with your immediate family.

Now that the big day has come and (almost) gone, it’s time to slow down, to rest deeply and recharge for the year to come. Nobody knows what 2021 will bring, but after the year that was 2020, we’ve proven to ourselves just how resilient we can be. And that is one of the greatest gifts of all. (Well, that and this accidentally inappropriate ornament we got to commemorate a year that will forever live in infamy;)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night ❤️
...

Cranberry sauce is a holiday tradition, but if you’ve ever had store-bought cranberry sauce out of a tin, then you probably know how unappetizing it can be.

From the “glurp” sound that it makes as it slides out of the tin and into the bowl, to the way the jelly stays formed in the shape of the tin even after it’s out, to the bland boringness of the flavour.

No offence to anyone who loves commercially canned cranberry sauce, but even if you love the store-bought stuff, then you’re definitely gonna love homemade cranberry sauce!

I know a lot of people put orange juice or orange zest in their cranberry sauce, and you can totally do that too! But I’m actually not a fan of the orange-cranberry mix, so my recipe calls for a little cinnamon and vanilla, as well as some sugar to give it a sweet spiciness that goes oh so well with Christmas dinner.

But perhaps the best part is that you’re able to can this cranberry sauce too, which means you can make a big batch this year and have enough homemade cranberry sauce on your shelves to last you multiple holiday seasons! Or you could even give some away to loved ones with whom you’re not able to spend Christmas with this year.

Whether you want to can it for later or eat it fresh or just refrigerate it until Christmas, this recipe is a must-try this holiday season.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to get my full recipe plus canning instructions:)
.
.
.
#homemade #fromscratch #christmasrecipes #cranberrysauce #delicious
...

Look at that JIGGLE!!!

If you don’t make your own bone broth, this might look really weird (and kinda gross tbh), but this is actually EXACTLY what you wanna see in a homemade bone broth. This jiggly gel means this broth is super high in collagen, which comes from the bones, skin and ligaments of animals (in this case grass-fed beef cattle). It’s also the most abundant protein in the human body, and many studies have show that increasing our collagen intake can help up the collagen in our own bodies.

Collagen has so many health and beauty benefits, including healthy skin (and reduced wrinkles), shiny, healthy hair and strong bones, cartilage, joints and muscles.

I love making my own broth at home because I can pretty much guarantee a good gel and lots of collagen in each batch. Plus I make mine super frugally, with bones and veggie scraps that I save in the freezer.

I’ll be posting my recipe (and canning instructions) soon. Start saving those scraps!
.
.
.
#bonebroth #collagen #nourish #wholefoodnutrition #homesteadkitchen
...

After 9 long months of extreme hand washing and sanitizing, the last thing our skin needs right now is the harshness of winter. But winter is here my friends, and that means it’s time to give your skin a little extra TLC.

I make my own body butter every year around this time, and it’s become my favourite way to moisturize my skin during the winter months. Much like a deep conditioner works on your hair, body butter absorbs deeply into your skin to help moisturize, repair and protect it.

While lotions contain water (aqua), they also requires additional preservatives to keep them from going moldy due to the water content. But this homemade whipped body butter doesn’t have this problem because it’s made of nourishing oils and fats like shea butter, sweet almond oil and coconut oil (plus beneficial essential oils for all-natural fragrance). These oils are not only all-natural and highly beneficial for your skin, they’re also easily absorbed, giving your skin a “deep conditioning” rather than just a surface moisturizing.

But the best part of all is how quick and easy this body butter is to make up in your kitchen, and what a nice gift it makes this time of year too! So you can make a jar for yourself and a few jars for the people you love:)

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-body-butter/ to get the full recipe and “whip up” a batch today;)
.
.
.
#bodybutter #naturalbeauty #naturalliving #skindeep #homemade #handmade #naturalskincare
...

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means it’s time for my FAVOURITE THINGS!!! 🎉🎁🎄(aka. The modern homesteader’s Christmas wish list;)

I’ve rounded up all of my fave kitchen tools, books and home and body products that I use all the time and could not live without (ok, I could live without them, but I wouldn’t want to!) and I’m sharing them all with you in this week’s YouTube video!

Grab a mug of something warm (or a glass of something chilled) and come on in for a tour of all the goods!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to YouTube.com/thehouseandhomestead for all the latest videos:)
...

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

Crafted with ♥ by Inscape Designs