Instant Pot Applesauce
Homemade applesauce made easy with my Instant Pot Applesauce! The best part is you get to decide how sweet it is, and choose your favorite spices, like cinnamon and pumpkin spice or enjoy it plain. Whatever you do, leave the skin on to get the most nutritional benefit.
Apples are a staple in most of our diets. Thanks to their extensive shelf life, and ability to hold up in a lunchbox, backpack or suitcase, apples are a fruit that can keep up with our busy lives. I find that since apples are always around they can become a bit boring or unappealing. That’s why cooking apples, until they are soft and sweet with my Instant Pot Applesauce is a delicious variation to get your daily recommended fruit intake!
The way my Mom made applesauce, on the stovetop, cooking the apples from early in the morning for what felt like days, was never appealing to me when I became a Mom. Who has the time for that?! That’s why I love getting the same delicious results in just a fraction of the time with my Instant Pot Applesauce.
Leave the Skins On!
It is a very rare occasion when I peel a fruit or vegetable. From potatoes and carrots, to tomatoes, peaches and apples I opt for leaving the skin on! Whether I am making mashed potatoes, tomato sauce, peach jam or applesauce the skin adds a nice texture and are nutrient dense.
Peeling the 8 apples for my Instant Pot Applesauce with a vegetable peeler or some fancy kitchen gadget is not how I want to spend my free time. It also makes a mess of confetti-like strands of peel all over your counter, and most likely your kitchen floor!
More importantly the peel of an apple and all fruits and vegetables for that matter are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. As most Americans are not eating the recommended amount of fiber, the apple peel is a great opportunity to boost your intake. A study has shown that an apple with the skin on contains up to 332% more vitamin K, 142% more vitamin A, 115% more vitamin C, 20% more calcium and up to 19% more potassium than a peeled apple.1,2
Apples are also high in antioxidants, which appear to be more concentrated in the skin.3 The apple skin is rich in quercitin, a flavonoid that is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory effects. Antioxidant consumption is connected with a decrease risk of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. So leave the peels on to optimize the nutritional benefits of apples and other fruits and vegetables!
A medium size apple, is the equivalent of one serving of fruit and has about 95 calories, 1 gram of protein, 3 grams of fiber and is a good source of vitamin C. In addition to the antioxidants found in apples, they are also rich in pectin. Pectin is a type of soluble fiber that can help prevent constipation and moderately lower LDL “bad” cholesterol. Pectin is also fermented by beneficial bacteria in the colon, which produces short chain fatty acids that may play a role in prevention of bowel disorders and chronic diseases.4,5
My Instant Pot Applesauce is delicious on its own, but also has many culinary applications that may give you even more of a reason to make this recipe! Applesauce goes great in baked goods, like apple muffins, carrot cake and cookies––it replaces the oil in the recipe and makes for an extra moist delight. Applesauce can also be used as topping on latkes (potato pancakes) or served with a cheese board.
Another way to use my Instant Pot Applesauce is mixing it with equal parts peanut butter, transforming it into a protein-packed spread or dip. I love enjoying this on toast or using it to make a peanut butter and jelly. It is a lighter spread than using peanut butter by itself.
Let’s Get Saucey!
After you core the apples and cut them into chunks all that is left is adding the rest of the ingredients to the Instant Pot. With the skins left on it will give the sauce a slightly pink, rose hue that I find much prettier than the standard grocery store variety. I recommend tasting the finished sauce before adding maple syrup, depending on the types of apples you use, it may already be plenty sweet.
Do you like your applesauce, smooth or chunky? The choice is yours with my Instant Pot Applesauce! After you let the applesauce slightly cool, you can enjoy it as is for the ultimate chunky option or mash with a potato masher for slightly chunky option. To make it smooth use an immersion blender or put it into a blender. Store in the refrigerator up to a week or in the freezer for months. Enjoy!
- Apples, raw, with skin [Includes USDA commodity food A343] Nutrition Facts & Calories. Accessed September 26, 2020. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2
- Apples, raw, without skin Nutrition Facts & Calories. Accessed September 26, 2020. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1810/2
- Deng G-F, Shen C, Xu X-R, et al. Potential of Fruit Wastes as Natural Resources of Bioactive Compounds. Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(7):8308-8323. doi:10.3390/ijms13078308
- Boston 677 Huntington Avenue, Ma 02115 +1495‑1000. Apples. The Nutrition Source. Published October 1, 2018. Accessed September 26, 2020. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/apples/
- Cancer chemopreventive potential of apples, apple juice, and apple components – PubMed. Accessed October 1, 2020. https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/18855307/
- pressure cooker
- 8 large apples mix of sweet and tart, such as gala and granny smith
- ½ cup water
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Optional: 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Core apples and cut into large chunks. Place into electric pressure cooker with water, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Mix well.
- Secure the lid and set to cook on High pressure for 5 minutes. Once done, allow pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and mash, using a potato masher, to chunky consistency. For smoother applesauce, use an immersion blender.
- Optional: mix in maple syrup.