This easy unsweetened applesauce recipe is loaded with veggies and gets it vibrant color from beets and carrots! Veggie applesauce is a delicious treat for babies, toddler, and adults, and contains no added sugar. Isn’t that “sweet”?!
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I’ve been all about dem apples lately! They’re just so satisfying and delicious in the fall. So when I was planning my blog content for October, I was dreaming of ways to pair apples and veggies together!
I imagine the way I came up with this recipe went a little something like this. “Apple pie, apple crisp, baked apples, apples in a salad…oh wait, what about applesauce?! Isn’t it, like, super easy to make that? I bet I could even add veggies, since this is a blog about vegetables after all!”
And so, this homemade Unsweetened Applesauce with Veggies was born! This recipe has the most gorgeous color (from the beets of course). Plus, it’s full of fiber and antioxidants with no added sugar.
In fact, I chose beets and carrots to add to this applesauce since they tend to be fairly sweet when cooked. Besides these veggies, apples, cinnamon, and water are the only other ingredients in unsweetened applesauce!
Still, you’re probably wondering just how good a no sugar added applesauce (with vegetables) could possibly taste. The answer? SO good. It truly tastes like a beet-flavored applesauce – slightly earthy but still sweet.
I used 2 beets, but if you’re not much of a beet person, you can just use 1 for a subtler taste and still get that gorgeous color. The carrot flavor is less strong. But just because you can’t taste them as much as the beets and apples doesn’t mean you’re not getting all of the added benefits of sneaking in a second vegetable!
Craving more veggie-loaded sweets? Check out the Fudgy Beet Brownies, Carrot and White Bean Vegan Blondies, Blueberry Sweet Corn Frozen Yogurt Bark, and Vegan Peanut Butter Cups with Pumpkin while you’re here!
How to Make Unsweetened Applesauce – Stovetop and Slow Cooker
As you might be able to tell from the photos, you only need one pot to make this simple applesauce! Here’s how you do it:
- Chop up your veggies and fruit, pop them all in a large pot, and add some water and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over the stovetop, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Check on them 30 minutes later, and use an immersion blender to finish it all off! Or transfer in batches to a regular blender.
To make this in the slow cooker, add all of the ingredients and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. This will keep your house smelling like freshly baked apple pie for a little longer ;-).
FAQ and Expert Tips
- To increase the sweetness, use fewer beets and more apples. Using Fuji, Gala, or Honeycrisp apples will also make unsweetened applesauce more sweet.
- Possible additions to this recipe include parsnips in place of carrots, freshly grated ginger, orange zest, or a squeeze of orange juice.
- Can unsweetened applesauce be frozen? Absolutely. Once it’s finished cooking, let it cool before transferring to a freezer-friendly container. Store in the freezer for 2-3 months. In the fridge, it lasts for 5-7 days.
- If you prefer to eat applesauce warm, reheat in the microwave or in a small saucepan over a simmer until it’s heated through.
- Use caution when using a stand-up, regular blender to blend the applesauce. I recommend only filling the blender halfway with ingredients (you will probably have to blend in batches). This will help you avoid any hot splattering.
Ways to Eat Veggie Applesauce
I experimented with this unsweetened applesauce recipe on a Sunday when my husband was home and our good friend was visiting. The three of us came up with some great ways to use it, including:
- As a treat for kids or adults, warm or cold
- Mixed into oatmeal
- On top of waffles or pancakes
- Mixed into smoothies
- Stirred into yogurt
- As a base for granola
Of course, we haven’t been able to try all of those, but they sure sound good! Be sure to let me know how you use it in the comments below. And don’t forget to rate the recipe if you make it.
Unsweetened Applesauce with Veggies
- cutting board and knife
- soup pot or slow cooker
- immersion or regular blender
- 6 to 8 apples - I used a local variety, but Pink Lady or Honeycrisp would work well
- 2 large carrots - peeled and chopped
- 2 medium beets - peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- Prepare the apples by coring and roughly chopping them into quarters. I kept the skin on for some extra fiber, but you can choose to peel them if you want. Prepare the carrots by washing and peeling them, then slicing into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Wash and peel the beets, and chop them into rough quarters. For a sweeter taste, use 8 instead of 6 apples and 1 fewer beet.
- Place a large pot on the stovetop over high heat and add the apples, carrots, and beets, along with the cinnamon and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes (turn the heat to low). You want the fruit and veggies to be tender when touched with a fork before blending.
- Remove from heat, and use an immersion blender to blend the contents of the pot until smooth. You can also transfer the ingredients in batches to a regular blender and blend each batch for approximately ~1 minute until smooth.
- Enjoy warm or cold with more cinnamon as desired!
- For a sweeter applesauce, use Fuij, Gala, or Honeycrisp apples.
- To make in a slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 6-8 hours. Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a regular blender in batches to finish the recipe.
- If you use a regular blender, be very careful when blending the hot applesauce. I recommend only filling it halfway with ingredients, to avoid any hot splattering. You may also want to remove the lid and cover with a dish towel instead, to let steam escape.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. You can also freeze this for 2-3 months.
Enjoy these colors!
Made this this weekend and am so happy a great way to get more veggies even as a grown adult!
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Kary, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for your 5-star review!
Hello! I’m super excited that I found this recipe. I’m trying to find new ways to use up vegetables in my house and my daughter loves apple sauce. The pouches at target or anywhere else (really) are expensive and non-reuseable. I was actually looking for someone to discribe which apples were the best in this to make it sweet and delicious. Thank you!
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Nathalie, I’m so glad to hear that you are excited to try this recipe and found the info about the apple varieties helpful!! It’s a great way to add more veggies, especially for kids. Hope you enjoy it!
Do you think this could be canned like regular applesauce?
Hi there! I’ve never tried to can applesauce myself before, but I imagine if you followed the same food safety practices (boiling the jars, using a boiling water canner method), it would probably work. I don’t know for sure about that, but I do know that this recipe freezes well! So that’s another option for storage.