Applesauce2The morning air has an edge to it and the days are getting shorter. Fall is here and with it the feeling of change. I like this time of year even though it means the end of summer and that winter is inevitably around the corner. It’s exhilarating – the crisp air, the changing colors…

Fall also means apple season and while apples are available all year long, there’s nothing like a fresh apple plucked from the tree. There is a small, private heirloom orchard close to where we live. We filled our bags with several different varieties and brought home the goods with dreams of cider and crisps…and applesauce.

Eat your heirlooms

Did you know that just 3 generations ago there were over 15 thousand named apple varieties in the United States? And today there are less than 500, only 50 of which are being produced in any quantity, and only 12 of which are commonly eaten. Shop at farmers market, u-pick farms, farm stands and natural food markets for a greater selection. Look for organically grown whenever possible to lower you exposure to pesticides. Conventional apples top the list for pesticide residue.

Wait, that’s the best part!

Chances are you have made your own applesauce before. For such a simple food, having little more than one ingredient, applesauce can be a bit of a pain. Most recipes call for peeled and cored apples, which can take forever, especially if you’re peeling tiny apples like the ones that grow in Alaska.

I’ll admit that I’m a little lazy when it comes to peeling and chopping. And besides there’s so much nutrition in the peel, it’s a waste to just through it in the compost pile. There is a higher concentration of phytonutrients in the peel – by discarding the peel you’re discarding half of the nutrients. There’s really no need for such silliness – keep the peel and the nutrition. This recipe is so simple and delicious, you’ll wonder why you ever bought applesauce from the store. The best part is that all you need is simple, nutritious, wholesome apples (and spices if that’s how you roll).


Easy No-peel Spiced Applesauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 2 quarts


  • 4 lbs. apples, washed and cored
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional) plus more to serve
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. clove (optional)
  • coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey to taste


  1. Slice the apples and place them in a large pot with the water and spices, if using. Simmer, covered until apples have broken down, about 30 minutes (this will depend on the type of apples and the size of your slices). The peels will remain mostly in tacked.
  2. Let cool and blend with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Taste and add sweetener if desired, one tablespoon at a time. If you start with sweet apples you won't need any at all. If you are using crab-apples or tarter varieties you may need a little extra sweetness.
  3. Serve topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon.


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