Applesauce and vanilla with blueberries

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Various glass canning jars filled with applesauce and homemade blueberries.

Rich, decadent, velvety smooth… no, I'm not talking about a fancy dessert, I'm talking about this blueberry vanilla applesauce. It is so good that it almost feels dirty. But surprise! It is super clean and 100% sugar free. With intense flavor and color, and tons of antioxidants, this cranberry sauce is a healthy, guilt-free snack that you can feel great about serving your baby, toddler, and especially yourself.

Various glass canning jars filled with applesauce and homemade blueberries.

We really need to talk about … applesauce. YES. Yes.

I'm a huge fan of homemade applesauce, and before you mark this as BOOOOOOORING, listen to me. Because this is not your standard rate. It is fruit crack. Made with wild blueberries and sweetened with vanilla and coconut sugar, this cranberry applesauce tastes more like cranberry pie filling than, say, baby food. It's so good that it feels a little dirty, or at least a little bit like cheating.

Greek yogurt topped with applesauce and homemade blueberries.

But cheating on him certainly isn't. Refined without sugar and full of antioxidants, it is as healthy and tasty as a snack.

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How to make applesauce with blueberries

This recipe for applesauce and blueberries is adapted from this version by Simply Recipes. It's been my preferred method for basic applesauce for years (except I use little or no sugar, it just seems too sweet to me).

Homemade applesauce is easy to make, but it's a bit of a process, especially all that peeling. I'm generally not a fan of such tedious chores, but it's worth the effort here to achieve a luxurious, velvety texture. Use a variety of apples for the right balance between sweet and sour, wild blueberries for a rich flavor and color, and just a hint of vanilla and sweetener for a flavor that really stands out.

Puree the finished cranberry applesauce for the desired texture, from super thick to ultra smooth. Enjoy it the way it is for a healthy snack for all ages, mix it with Greek yogurt for a breakfast full of antioxidants or serve over ice cream, warmed up and diluted a bit, it's an amazing substitute for sugar-free coulis.

A large glass bowl filled with a variety of apples, and sliced ​​and cored apples on a cutting board.

You will need four pounds of apples for this recipe. Use a variety of apples for complexity in the finished sauce. I used Golden Delicious, Roma and Fugi apples. Each of these are sweet, crisp apples with varying degrees of acidity, making them perfect for applesauce.

Crush, core, and peel each apple. If you have a food mill, you can skip the peeling and run the finished applesauce to filter the skins. However, I prefer applesauce with a super smooth finish, so I hair them and use an immersion blender.

Peeled and diced apples in a colander to make homemade applesauce with blueberries.

Dice the apples, place them in a strainer and rinse well to remove any remaining dirt or sand. This step is especially important if you are using freshly cut apples.

Ingredients of cranberry applesauce in a Dutch oven, and cooked cranberry applesauce before mixing.

Place the apples in a Dutch oven or similar 6-quart saucepan, along with three cups of blueberries. I use frozen wild blueberries (the Wyman brand is my choice) to make applesauce with blueberries. They are sweeter, have a more intense flavor and their skins easily turn into a silky smooth sauce.

Add the juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons) and the zest. Lemon juice gives the finished applesauce that pleasant acidity that we all love. The peel contains pectin, which gives the chilled and finished applesauce a thicker, slightly gelatinous texture. It is wonderful.

Then add a teaspoon of vanilla and a quarter cup of coconut sugar. I have made this applesauce with and without the sweetener. The difference is subtle, and you don't really need the added sweetness, but the coconut sugar gives the applesauce a bit of caramel. However, do not skip the vanilla: it is what gives this sauce a true decadence.

Simmer apples and cranberries until the fruit is very tender. It doesn't take too long, about 25 minutes.

Applesauce

Once the fruit has cooked, purée with the applesauce until the desired consistency is obtained. I use an immersion blender to puree, and it's a great tool for checking finished texture.

To make thick applesauce, mix until the larger pieces are broken, but just barely. Do not run the blender continuously, serve and move it. This is how my children prefer their applesauce.

Coarse cranberry applesauce in a Dutch oven.

Several small jars of applesauce with blueberries on a marble table.

Homemade vanilla infused cranberry applesauce in a small glass jar.

Mild applesauce

I keep mashing past the previous stage to get a super smooth applesauce. It doesn't take much longer and you shouldn't need more fluid. If you find it too difficult to get a velvety smooth texture, add a little water, one teaspoon at a time. Be careful not to add too much or you will get a soup consistency instead.

Super soft cranberry applesauce in a Dutch oven.

Mild apple-blueberry sauce infused with vanilla in small glass jars.

How to store homemade applesauce

I store homemade applesauce in two different ways, dividing it into individual-sized 4-ounce canning jars, and larger beer jars as well. From there, I wash the smallest jars with water and freeze the largest. Applesauce will be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months, or kept for at least a year, probably several. Don't worry, it won't last as long because you will dive into it whenever you can.

Dietary adaptations

  • This recipe is completely refined without sugar, and can be made completely sweetener-free if you use very sweet apple varieties, or simply prefer a more sour apple sauce.
  • Naturally paleo and vegan
  • Gluten free, dairy free, soy free

More recipes for using apples

If you have a ton of apples, consider these other recipes to use!

A bowl of Greek yogurt topped with a blueberry granola apple sauce.

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Applesauce and vanilla with blueberries

Homemade applesauce is easy to make, but it's a bit of a process, especially all that peeling. I'm generally not a fan of such tedious chores, but it's worth the effort here to achieve a luxurious, velvety texture. Use a variety of apples to strike the right balance between sweet and sour wild blueberries for a rich flavor and color, and just a hint of vanilla and sweetener for a flavor that really stands out. ultra soft. Enjoy it the way it is for a healthy snack for all ages, mix it with Greek yogurt for a breakfast full of antioxidants or serve it over an ice cream, warmed up and diluted a little, it is an incredible substitute for coulis without sugar.

Course: Snack

American kitchen

Preparation time: 30 minutes.

Cook time: 30 minutes.

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 16

Calories: 72kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds apples, peeled, quartered and diced
  • 3 c frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c of water
  • 1 grated lemon and juice, about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt

Instructions

  • Prepare the apples. Peel each apple, then cut into quarters, remove the core and chop into pieces.

  • Place the apples in a strainer and rinse with cold water.

  • Place the apples in a 6-quart Dutch oven or saucepan. Add the blueberries, coconut sugar, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Stir.
  • Place over medium-high heat and heat until liquid begins to bubble. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very soft and can easily crush with the tines of a fork, 20-25 minutes.

  • Fish the lemon peels, then use an immersion blender to puree the applesauce to the desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, add water one teaspoon at a time. If the sauce is too thin, simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until firm.
  • Divide the applesauce into glass jars. Chill in the refrigerator, then transfer to the freezer, or you can use the water bath method. Blueberry applesauce is kept in the freezer for 3 months, in the fridge for 2 weeks and canned for at least a year.

Nutritional information

Calories: 72kcal (4%), Carbohydrates: 26g (9%), Proteins: 0g, Fats: 0g, Saturated fats: 0g, Polyunsaturated fats: 0g, Monounsaturated fats: 0g, Trans fats: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 26 mg (1%), potassium: 148 mg (4%), fiber: 6 g (24%), sugar: 18 g (20%), vitamin A: 100% (100%), vitamin C: 9.1 % (9%), Calcium: 0%, Iron: 0.4%

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