Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce with Vegetables Recipe

Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce with Vegetables Recipe

This applesauce with vegetables recipe has no added sugar and chances are your kids will love it! Even my vegetable averse 4-year-old gobbles up this apple sauce as a wholesome snack or side dish. 

This recipe is simple and requires just a few nutritious ingredients;

  • apples
  • a vegetable like carrot, sweet potato, or celery
  • cinnamon
  • lemon juice
  • pure vanilla extract
  • water

You will also need a stovetop, a small saucepan, and a stirring spoon.

hidden veggies recipe ingredients

I love this recipe for a few reasons;

  • No added sugar
  • Vegetable options depending on what you have in your fridge
  • Easy to prep
  • Wholesome snack or side dish for even the pickiest eater

Vegetable Options

I have tried the following vegetables in this hidden veggies recipe;

  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potato

All have worked well and are kid-approved by my preschooler and 1 year old!

I have also tried zucchini and bell pepper, but I do NOT recommend using either of these vegetables in this recipe! They both overpowered the apples, creating a strange and unappetizing flavor.

The carrot applesauce version is currently my 4 year old’s favorite. Historically, he has also loved the celery option and even a yellow squash version.

Baby-Friendly Veggie Applesauce Option

If you are making this applesauce for your baby or young toddler, just make sure the pieces are chopped into small pieces and that you have cooked everything until the apples and veggies are easily mashable.

I also peel the apples before throwing them in the pan if my 1-year-old will be eating it. For my 4 year old I just leave the apple skins on for added nutritional value. 

You can also throw the apples and veggies in a food processor or use an immersion blender after cooking to make a puree.

You could even throw the puree into some reusable pouches to have a delicious on-the-go treat for your little one. Or, if you like to batch cook, fill some silicone ice cube trays with a cover with your puree and store them in the freezer. 

Naturally Sweet Comfort Food

Making your own applesauce is so satisfying and it’s one of the best comfort foods.

The apples serve as a natural sweetener in this recipe. Carrots are a natural sweetener as well and cinnamon enhances the natural sweet flavor of foods.

vegetable applesauce with no added sugar

And to make homemade applesauce with veggies even more tasty, the combination of pure vanilla extract and lemon juice brings out all the sweet and tangy apple flavors.

I was making very plain applesauce with just apples, a veggie, and cinnamon for a while, but once I tried it with lemon juice and vanilla extract I never left them out again.

What are the Best Apples for Applesauce without Sugar?

I like Honeycrisp apples mixed with Fuji apples for homemade applesauce. Honeycrisp apples are tangy and sweet, and Fujis have a sweet mellow flavor.

Allrecipe recommends using both tart and sweet apples in combination for the best homemade applesauces. 

It’s important to use at least some sweet apples (like Fujis and Galas) verses only tart ones (like granny smith apples) in this recipe though, since there is no added sugar.

Toddler Cooking Activity

This is a great recipe to have your kids get involved and learn some food prep skills.

My 4-year-old uses his serrated blunt kid-friendly knives to help chop apples and vegetables.

applesauce with vegetables recipe

Applesauce with Vegetables

Simple wholesome ingredients for a baby-friendly, toddler-friendly, & kid-friendly snack or side dish. This veggie applesauce has no added sugar!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 3

Equipment

  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 stirring spoon
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 peeler

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium-large apple amounts to about 1 cup of diced apples
  • 1 medium-large carrot amounts to about 1 cup of diced carrots. Or, use a small-medium sized sweet potato or 2 stocks of celery
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Peel the skin from your apples (feel free to leave the skin on for added nutritional value. You can experiment to see if your child is more likely to eat applesauce with or without apple skins. I peel apples if making this recipe for my baby to prevent choking risks).
  • Peel the skin from your vegetable if using sweet potato or carrot.
  • Dice or cube your apples.
  • Dice your vegetable (mince them if you want to really disguise them in the applesauce for picky eaters. You can also mash your applesauce after it is done cooking to mix the apples in with the veggies).
  • Put 1/2 cup of water in your saucepan on medium heat to bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to low to medium and add your veggies.
  • Simmer with the lid on your saucepan until they are just starting to get tender (usually less than 5 minutes).
  • Add your apples, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon juice to the veggies.
  • Let everything simmer for about 10 more minutes (or until the apples and veggies are nice and soft. The water should have turned into a cinnamon-colored gooey consistency around the diced apples and vegetables).
  • If you want to hide the veggies really well, lightly mash everything once it is all cooked.
  • Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy while still warm.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Keyword applesauce with no added sugar, applesauce with vegetables, hidden vegetable recipe, unsweetened applesauce

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