What is Applesauce?
Applesauce is semisolid food made from apples along with a liquid (that can be apple juice, vinegar, or cider), spices, and sugar or honey.
This fruity sauce can be consumed in many ways. It can be eaten along with vegetables, added to smoothies, baked goods, or salad dressings.
Just like the whole apple, applesauce is low in calories, fat, and salt.
It contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals including copper, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
The content of nutrients depends on:(1, 2)
- The variety of apple used
- How the apples are processed
- The cooking temperature
- Whether peel was included in sauce or not
Also, the amount of sugar can vary in the applesauce according to the ingredients used.
A ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce contains:
- 0.2 grams of protein
- 51 calories
- 0.1 grams of fat
- 1.3 grams of fiber
- 11.5 grams of sugar
- 13.7 grams carbs
- Less than 1% of the daily value (DV) of sodium
- 1% of the DV of folate
- 2% of DV of magnesium
- 3% of DV of thiamine
- 2% of DV of riboflavin
- 4% of DV of copper
- 2% of DV of vitamin B6
- 1% of DV of vitamin C
- 1% of DV of vitamin E
The fiber content of applesauce depends on whether the peels are added to it or not.
Apples are rich in antioxidants, but the levels of antioxidants vary according to the variety of apples used.
Applesauce with peels is higher in antioxidants. Apple peels are a rich source of antioxidants and have a higher amount of flavonoid and anthocyanin antioxidants than apple flesh.(3, 4)
Apple flesh is rich in vitamin C, and vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties.
The cooking method may reduce the number of antioxidants from both peel and flesh.
Benefits of Applesauce
Apart from being low in calories and containing nutrients that benefit health, apple sauce is known to provide the following specific benefits.
Contributes To A Healthy Diet
Consuming apple or apple products regularly is associated with taking an all-rounder diet.(5)
A survey found children consuming apples regularly consumed less fat and more fiber, magnesium and potassium.(6)
Reduces The Risk Of Chronic Diseases
Research has been done to evaluate the link between consuming apple and the risk of diseases like obesity, heart disease, and cancer.(7, 8)
The effect of apple on chronic disease is clear, but whether applesauce has a similar effect is yet to be studied.(9)
Applesauce Can Soothe An Upset Stomach
Applesauce is good to be consumed in an upset stomach.
It is an option of the ingredient of BRAT (banana, rice, applesauce, toast) diet, a diet that is low in fiber and easy to digest. This diet is advised to people who suffer from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Applesauce contains insoluble fiber that encourages easy passage of food through the intestine and healthy bowel movements. To maximize these effects it is good to drink lots of water along.
Applesauce can help a person in his weight loss plan.
Unsweetened applesauce contains 100 calories, which is enough for a few people to go a few hours without eating.
Adding almonds and raisins enhances its nutrition value more.
Downsides of Applesauce
Low in Vitamins and Minerals
½ cup of serving of applesauce provides 1-4% of reference daily intake of vitamins and minerals.(10)
Extra vitamin C can be added by the manufacturers to preserve its color. If made at home, lemon can be added to add to reach the required vitamin C level.
As there is a limited amount of vitamin and minerals in applesauce, consuming other fruits along can help raise its nutrient power and ensure a nutritionally balanced diet.
Not as Filling As Whole Apples
Although applesauce is made from whole apples, their nutritional value is not the same.
If compared apples are a better source of fiber than applesauce.
A study found adults who consumed whole apples reported a fuller feeling than those who consumed applesauce.(11)
Applesauce is a fruit puree that can be enjoyed on its own or with other dishes. It contributes by protecting the body against chronic diseases. It does not have any major downsides, still should be consumed in moderation.