The Best Homemade Applesauce (Paleo, Whole30)
Homemade chunky applesauce bursting with sweet cinnamon is absolute perfection with grilled pork chops or as a sweet snack with a dollop of coconut whipped cream. This recipe is a variation of a family recipe from my husband’s sweet grandmother, our Gaga. I know you will love this easy and scrumptious fall dish as much as we do!
Why I Add Grass-Fed Ghee to Homemade Applesauce
Did you know that fat-soluble vitamins and many phytonutrients like quercetin need fat to be absorbed into the body? Yep, adding a little fat to your applesauce actually increases the bioavailability of the fat-soluble nutrients in it! Not to mention, it tastes so good. Think about it, buttery cinnamon applesauce, uh…yum!
Why Apples are So Good For You!
Who doesn’t love a crisp, sweet apple? Aside from how tasty and delicious they are, they are super nutritious and should be part of a whole food diet. Apples originated from Kazakhstan in central Asia and finally made their way to America in the late 1600’s by French Jesuits .
Thank goodness we have apple for our applesauce, apple pies, apple crisp, apple cider, apple muffins, and so much more! Apples are full of nutrients that keep you healthy and nourished, let’s take a look!
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): A water soluble vitamin that is essential in glucose metabolism and supports health heart and nervous system function.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): There are many benefits from a diet rich in vitamin B6. It plays a role in our immune health, metabolism, and brain health. Vitamin B6 is essential in creating neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which play a role in emotional health and sleep .
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid/antioxidant): A powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress, improves the absorption of non-heme iron, supports the immune system, and healthy bones .
- Vitamin E: (antioxidant): Supports immune function and works to regulate free radicals that cause cellular damage and supports the immune system, vision and healthy skin.
- Vitamin K: Fat soluble vitamin that supports the body’s ability to form blood clots and is converted to vitamin K2 in the gut and supports healthy bones .
- Copper: Essential mineral in the formation of red blood cells and in supporting cardiovascular health and immune function .
- Potassium: An essential electrolyte necessary in nervous system function, metabolism, hydration, and in regulating your heartbeat .
Apples are full or insoluble and soluble fiber that supports the digestive system as well as overall health.
- Insoluble fiber: bulking fiber that keeps things moving along through the digestive system promoting healthy detoxification and waste removal.
- Soluble fiber: absorbs water and gels in the digestive tract slowing the absorption of carbohydrates therefor supporting blood sugar regulation and feeds the beneficial bacteria in the microbiome.
Phytochemicals (Antioxidants): Apples are loaded with phytochemicals, which are organic compounds found in produce and are beneficial for health. The richer the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more phytonutrients it contains. Here are a few of the ones found in apples:
- Quercetin: A flavonoid that neutralizes free radicals, reduces inflammation, fights cancer, and supports vessel and heart health.
- Catechin: Also abundant in green tea, catechins reduce oxidative stress and prevent cellular damage and have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
- Gallic acid: Powerful antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial properties .
- Coumaric acid: Powerful phytonutient that has antimicrobial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties to support health.
So grab some lovely, crisp and tangy apples and let’s get cooking!
The Best Homemade Applesauce Ingredients
2 lbs Organic Tart Apples like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp
1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup*
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt or Pink Salt
1 Tbsp Grass-Fed Ghee**
*Omit for Whole30
**Substitute Unrefined Raw Coconut Oil for Vegan
How to Make The Best Homemade Applesauce
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and dry all the apples.
3. Peel, core, and cut the apples into quarters or eighths depending on the size of the apple, you want about 1″-1.5″ wedges.
4. Transfer the apples to a covered baking dish and add the cinnamon, lemon juice, salt, and maple syrup (omit for unsweetened), stir to evenly coat the apples.
5. Top with the ghee, cover and bake for 45-50 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes to keep apples rotating. Remove from oven and mash with a potato masher to the consistency you like. If you like a smoother applesauce, process in a food processor once the applesauce has cooled.
Cool and Enjoy!
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Q: What other fats would you recommend besides ghee?
A: You could try any fat that you like such as grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, or even EVOO. Just try to avoid vegetable oil, canola oil, or seed oils as these are extremely inflammatory to the body.
Q: How long does homemade applesauce last?
A: Store homemade applesauce in an airtight contain in the refrigerator and enjoy within a week.
Q: Is there a difference between cassia cinnamon and ceylon cinnamon?
A: Ceylon and cassia (also Saigon and Korintje) cinnamon are different varieties of cinnamon based on the trees they come from. I personally love the lighter, sweeter and citrusy notes in ceylon and find cassia to be a little too hot and spicy for some recipes. Additionally, cassia cinnamon contains higher concentrations of coumarin, which may not be the best for some people.
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I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.
Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.