Applesauce is indeed an inexpensive ingredient, crucial to fat-free baking and very popular in the health-conscious community of today. While this particular sauce was very popular in European and North American cooking, it’s now reached a global level, thanks to the rise of vegetarian diets and healthy eating trends.
However, we’ve all been in a place where our desired ingredient is just not available at the pantry. To solve this issue, here’s a list of the best applesauce substitutes you can use any time you’re in a pinch.
Instead of running to the store to get some more in a hurry, try out some of these equally good alternatives. Who knows? You might actually love one of the substitutes more than the original sauce itself!
Top 6 Applesauce Substitute
1. Olive Oil
If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, olive oil might be the perfect substitute for you. While applesauce might be rare in some areas and localities, olive oil is much easier to find. Besides, in no way olive oil is any less in terms of health benefits compared to a sauce made from apples.
Unlike the sauce that has nothing significant other than pectin in it, olive oil has a good amount of “beneficial” fat. When you use it in baking, it helps cut down saturated fats and any of those “bad” cholesterols everyone is so afraid of.
Moreover, a nice bonus is the extra Vitamin E that’s added to your baked goods, giving them a bend on the healthier side. It might even help keep the loaves of bread and muffins fresher for a longer time.
2. Apricot Puree
A great substitute for apple sauce is any kind of fruit puree- particularly apricot puree. Not only do apricots look similar to apples, but their puree has a very similar texture and fruity flavor suitable to replace the store-bought apple concoctions.
So, if you have apricots in your fridge, go ahead and make yourself some delicious puree. You can do this by chopping up the apricots in little cubes, heating them in water and using a food processor to make a smooth mixture. This needs to be frozen and then taken out and stored properly. It’s easy and takes almost no time to make.
Likewise, you can store this homemade puree for about two months with no worries. And if you have kids at home, this fruity mixture can be used as baby food for them too.
3. Banana Mash/ Puree
A strange but convenient alternative is a banana puree. It might seem weird, but trust us- it works! Bananas are so widely available anywhere that you can get them super easily, especially for our beloved bakers out there. This can work well as its smooth texture adds positively to any recipe.
If you’re trying to avoid using oils, this can definitely be your go-to substitute for the sauce. Although the banana flavor is a bit strong, it can add a tropical twist to your dish and even work in similar ways as olive oil does.
In terms of health benefits, bananas are great for improving your skin’s glow, heart health and have abilities to get rid of cramps due to their high fiber and potassium content. Happy accidents are definitely a possibility with this yummy ingredient in your kitchen.
Health is wealth and it’s definitely on our priority list when recommending these substitutes for you. That’s why we suggest you try using beets instead of apple sauce. In baking, this not only can add a natural “blush” effect to your chocolate cake or brownie but it also increases its nutrient values.
A little bit of beet puree can go a long way when you mix it with your cake batter. And because beets are rich in antioxidants and vitamin folate, it’s great for preventing cancer. All you need to do is steam the beets after cutting them down and add some oil to them in measured proportions.
Usually, half a pound of peeled beets needs around three tablespoons of vegetable oil. Since this is one of the sweetest veggies out there, you don’t have to add extra sugar (unless you really want a sugar rush). By using this as your substitute, you can get extra health benefits while adding extra moisture to make your cakes tender and soft.
Although most of the fruity substitutes don’t alter the taste much, if you’re particularly picky and still prefer to use apple sauce in some way, you can try this one out. This is particularly convenient if you’re running short on the sauce or have barely enough for a full-n recipe by itself.
As long as you have ¼ cup of your preferred apple sauce (be it sweetened or not), you can add some buttermilk (¼ cup) to it and it’ll get the job done easily. Many home cooks use this as an alternative to butter in baking.
However, keep in mind that this mixture will work as an alternative for any recipe except when you make pie crusts. In that case, it’s better to use butter or the sauce enlisted in your crust recipe to make sure the texture is perfect.
6. Pumpkin Puree
When we’ve enlisted almost all the suitable possibilities out there, why leave out pumpkins? While pumpkin spice and everything nice might be a holiday thing, there’s no harm in adding that vibe to your home-baked cookies and cakes, right?
Pumpkins are packed with antioxidants, specifically beta-carotene. So you can get benefits like reducing inflammations and cholesterol levels while using this ingredient.
When you work with a cake batter that’s too dry for your liking, you can just add a bit of this puree and get the moisture you need. This is the perfect substitute for oils and apple sauce. The slight fruity flavor will just heighten the taste of everything else in your baked foods.
Cooking is an art and the kitchen is your canvas. Be it with applesauce or an applesauce substitute; paint your flavors the way you want. We’ve just tried to make things a bit simpler for the better.