Here is some applesauce that recently made and canned at home, yielding 4 pints from about 15 Fuji apples. It was so easy, using a crockpot and very little hands-on time. In the past, I have been unsure if it was worth the effort to can my own applesauce because you can easily buy applesauce with no added sugar from the store. Usually I will only go to the pains to can something if I feel like it is better quality, healthier, or tastes better compared to what I can buy. I found that my applesauce came out with a lot more flavor compared to the store-bought applesauce I had in my fridge, so I give a few reasons below why it is totally worth it to can your own applesauce, if you have some time to make it happen!
REASONS TO CAN YOUR OWN APPLESAUCE FROM HOME
1. More fiber and nutrients (if you leave the peel on): Most of the fiber and nutrients in apples are found in the peel. Unfortunately, a lot of applesauce recipes suggest removing the peel before processing the apples – this is done mostly for aesthetic and texture reasons. Know that you don’t HAVE to remove the peels before turning your apples into applesauce – it is totally optional. Yes, the color of your applesauce will be slightly darker from blending the peels into it, compared to leaving the peels out, but you and your family will be glad that you are getting the extra fiber and nutrients later!
2. Better flavor: Canning applesauce at home gives you the leverage to choose your own, favorite apples with the flavors that you prefer. I personally prefer gala, honey crisp, and fuji apples for a lot of my recipes where I am going for a sweet flavor. But you can also use tart apples if you prefer, or a mix of both tart and sweet. Trust me, like about anything else homemade, your applesauce will taste much better than what you can buy from the store.
3. No added sweeteners: There is plenty of applesauce out there to buy that does not contain any added sweeteners, but there is also plenty of commercially canned applesauce that has had extra sweeteners added to it. If you want to buy applesauce from the store for convenience, just check the ingredient list to make sure it doesn’t contain added sweeteners. Otherwise you will be increasing your caloric intake with empty, sugary calories.
EASY STEPS TO MAKE YOUR OWN APPLESAUCE
1. Wash, core, and cut your apples into slices. You can peel the apples if desired, but I prefer to leave mine on for the extra nutrients and fiber.
2. Fill your crockpot with the apple slices, all the way to the top. Pour 1/2 cup water over the apples and cover with crockpot lid.
3. Turn the crockpot on high, and allow the apples to cook for 2-3 hours, until they completely break down and can be mashed easily. While they are cooking, stir the apples every 30 minutes.
4. Using an immersion blender, blend the apples (peel and all) until they form the puree consistency that you would like for your applesauce.
TIP: Do not blend your applesauce in a high-speed blender if you are planning on canning it. This will add lots of air bubbles into your applesauce.
Your end product will look like this.
5. While it is still hot, pour the applesauce into hot, sterile canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top. Follow proper canning procedures and appropriate boiling times based on the altitude where you live. If you are unfamiliar with canning, you can find instructions on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website HERE. Label and date the jars after they have cooled, and store in a cool, dark place for up to one year to retain maximum quality.
During the following year, pull your canned applesauce out for a quick, healthy snack for you or your family!