Meatless Monday - Fun and yummy things to do with applesauce

>> Monday, November 23, 2009

Musselman's recently sent me a couple of different types of HFCS-free applesauce to try and review.  Applesauce is one of those products that is surprisingly hard to find without HFCS, so I was thrilled to try their products - one new and one old.  I have to admit, my family is not a big fan of applesauce.  It's a wonderful product (well, as long as it's free of added sugar), but we're just not likely to turn to applesauce as a snack.  So, I decided to find other ways to use this applesauce.  There are so many wonderful uses for applesauce!  I'm going to share just a few that we've tried, but do a little search on recipes using applesauce and you'll be inundated.

Let me start by introducing the applesauces that I used for these recipes.  First up, Musselman's Natural Applesauce.  This applesauce has no sugar added - just apples, water, and a little vitamin C for freshness.  This applesauce is a good, basic applesauce with a strong fresh-apple flavor.  It's a good one to keep on hand for baking and snacking.

Next, a new variety from Musselman's.  Musselman's Healthy Picks applesauce comes in three varieties - Raspberry Acai, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Key Lime Cupuaco.  As with the natural applesauce, the Healthy Picks applesauce has no added sugar - a requirement if I'm buying applesauce.  These applesauces boast that they contain antioxidant-rich superfruits as well as extra fiber, calcium, and vitamin C.  To be sure, apple is the predominant flavor in these applesauces with the other flavors a very subtle undernote.  They're good applesauces, but don't buy them expecting to be hit with a strong raspberry or blueberry flavor.  Despite that, my son was totally enthralled with the idea of the flavors and actually ate more than one of these - a rarity!

On to a few uses for applesauce...
First up, as an oil substitute in baking.  Yes, you can substitute some or all of the fat in your baked goods with applesauce!  Fit Sugar has some tips for using applesauce as a fat substitute in baked goods - such as only replacing half of the fat with applesauce.  Fats actually have a pretty important role in baked goods, so replacing half with applesauce will give you much better results than ditching all of the fat.  The end product won't be quite the same as the full-fat version, but chances are that unless you're serving them side by side, you won't really notice the difference!

Make a slushy treat.  Freeze a serving size of applesauce (spooned into a container or just use one of the small containers that some applesauces come in) for about an hour - just long enough for the applesauce to become slushy but not a frozen block.  Serve it to your kids as a treat.  They might not even realize that it's applesauce!

Use it to make french toast.  I came across a great recipe to make french toast using applesauce - Apple Cinnamon French Toast.  It's a hit in our house!  It's the kind of breakfast you can throw together in 10 min - a breakfast even this morning grump doesn't mind making.  The result was a piece of french toast with a slight apple flavor and a nice final texture.  I'll keep applesauce around just to make this french toast on the fly!

Top Apple Cinnamon French Toast with a little maple syrup or sauteed apples with brown sugar and cinnamon for a wonderfully tasty breakfast!

Make some fun and wonderful smelling Christmas ornaments.  My kids and I did this applesauce ornament craft last year.  Applesauce plus a lot of cinnamon (I mean A LOT) and some cookie cutters equals Christmas ornaments that will actually hold their smell for a couple of years (though they're most pungent the first year).  We'll make these ornaments again this year!

Last, I'll just mention that there are a ton of recipes out there that make use of applesauce - like Apple Quesadilla and Apple Pasta Salad.  Or you can serve it on the side as a treat all by itself or served with latkes or other dishes.  Whether you're using your applesauce in baked goods, in a craft, or in a unique dish, read those ingredients!  Surprising ingredients lurk everywhere - even in applesauce.  Applesauce is sweet enough on it's own that added sugar just isn't necessary - especially if you're baking with it!

What do you like to do with applesauce?  I'd love to hear your favorite uses!


Jill November 23, 2009 at 6:24 PM  

Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I had no idea so many applesauces had HFCS. Of course after reading this I went and read the ingredients on our applesauce and sure enough it had HFCS in it. Since the beginning of your blog, my family have made a concerted effort to eliminate HFCS from our diet. You have no idea how much I appreciate your blog.

Melissa December 8, 2009 at 5:26 AM  

I use unsweetened applesauce in this recipe for banana bread. It is the best! It makes a nice tall loaf and my kids love it!

cathy December 8, 2009 at 6:07 AM  

Melissa - YUM! We're on a banana and apple bread kick here (just made a makeover apple bread from Taste of Home last night), so I'll give this a try! Thanks!

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