Cooking and baking healthy recipes these days can seem impossible, but the truth is, there are some tricks to achieve this.
Using applesauce is one of the ways that many of us keep making our baked goods moist and nutritious. However, not everyone has applesauce around or likes to use, so knowing what alternatives can work is a good idea.
What Is Applesauce?
Applesauce is simply mashed apples that have been previously cooked. Sometimes people add spices, like cinnamon or nutmeg, as well as a sweetener, like honey or sugar.
Traditionally, this food is a snack for kids, but adults also consume it since it is low in calories and fat and high in fiber.
You can find applesauce in any store, but making it also takes only a few steps and ingredients.
Applesauce is also used as a sweetener in baking, or as a binding agent instead of eggs, or as a replacement for oil. You can also find applesauce as part of sauces, gravy, and some chutneys.
Why Replace Applesauce, Anyway?
While not common, some people have to avoid apples. Here are some of the reasons why you would need to replace apples:
- Allergy: This is not a very common occurrence, but some people have severe apple allergies that cause swelling, rashes, and anaphylaxis.
- Diabetes: While apples are not the highest in sugar, they do cause blood glucose levels to rise, which is problematic for those suffering from diabetes. In this case, these individuals may want to look for something with lower glycemic content.
What Can I Replace Applesauce With?
If apples are nowhere to be found, or you want something different, then these applesauce substitutes are great for your recipes:
For Baking, Pancakes, and Banana Bread
#1. Mashed Bananas
If the case isn’t about a dislike for fruit, then using mashed bananas is the perfect replacement for applesauce. This is particularly true when you bake things like pancakes, banana bread, and muffins.
You can use as many bananas as you like, but this works best if you choose old ones that mash easily.
Something to keep in mind is that bananas are higher in sugar than apples, so you may want to adjust the overall sugar content in your recipe. This food may not be suitable for recipes like sauces or chutney because it is too thick.
Not everyone can consume dairy, but if this isn’t a limitation, then yogurt is a great substitute for applesauce.
You can choose Greek yogurt for higher protein and lower fat, but plain regular yogurt works too. Use this option when you bake cakes, banana bread, pancakes, waffles, or muffins.
While yogurt is a healthy choice, it contains more liquid and more fat, so you may have to adjust your other ingredients.
Use yogurt in sauces too, as well as creams and dips. You should remember that yogurt is a bit tart, so you should take this into account when cooking and baking with it.
See More: Yogurt Substitution
This is another choice that contains dairy, but it is much more acidic and lower in sugar than yogurt.
Buttermilk is simply cultured cream or butter, but can also be sour milk. You can use buttermilk in baking banana bread, biscuits, pancakes, and cakes, but it may not be suitable for savory recipes.
Keep in mind that the flavor of buttermilk is very particular, so not everyone likes to use it, even when it dissipates with other ingredients. Buttermilk is still lower in fat and calories than regular cream or milk, but higher in these than applesauce.
See More: Buttermilk Substitutes
For Cookies, Cupcakes, Bread, and Carrot Cake
#4. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
It may seem weird to use sweet potatoes, but the truth is that this starch is a great option when you need binding and texture.
First, peel the sweet potatoes, then cook them until soft, and mash with a fork creating a soft puree. Add this puree to your dough when baking cupcakes, bread, or carrot cake.
While sweet potatoes are a good choice, they are higher in carbs and sugar than other options. Also, keep in mind that they have a strong orange color, which can alter the final product too.
See More: Can Sweet Potatoes Go Bad?
#5. Coconut Milk
This is a dairy-free option that is also lower in calories than others, so it works well in baking and cooking.
You can use coconut milk in baking cookies, cupcakes, carrot cake, bread, and more, but also in making sauces, chutney, curry, and soups. This choice is very versatile, as it can replace not only applesauce but also cream or milk.
Coconut milk is a bit sweeter and denser than applesauce, so you will probably want to add a pinch of acid to your cooking. You will also need to adjust for liquids, as coconut milk can overpower the recipe if you don’t.
See More: Coconut Milk Alternatives
#6. Coconut Oil
This option is higher in fat, but can also add great moisture to your dishes. Use coconut oil when baking cookies, muffins, cupcakes, bread, or carrot cake. You can also add coconut oil when you make sauces, chutney, curry, or soups.
While this may not be the right option if you suffer from high cholesterol or are trying to watch your weight, it does create a great fluffy texture and has only a slight coconut flavor. Plus, coconut oil is high in vitamins and minerals.
See More: Best Substitutes for Coconut Oil
Not everyone considers tofu when it comes to baking, but this vegan option is a great replacement for applesauce.
You can first drain tofu and then mash it until it becomes a soft puree. Use tofu when baking bread, carrot cake, and muffins, but you can also use it in savory dishes.
Tofu is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, but it is also low in fat and calories. You may find tofu a bit dry in your dishes, so consider adding more liquid and acid to counterbalance.
See More: Does Tofu Go Bad?
In most cases, milk is a good alternative for applesauce when you are baking or making sauces. However, milk isn’t safe if you are lactose intolerant or follow a plant-based diet. Other fruits or coconut milk can work too.
Yes, you can use butter in place of applesauce and vice-versa. Butter will add more moisture and fat to anything you make, but the texture will be great. Applesauce saves you calories and fat, but it can result in a chewy texture.
Applesauce is a great replacement for oil and other fats in baking, but it can also add moisture and for binding. Some people even use applesauce as a sweetener alternative if they want their baked goods to be healthier.
You may love to snack on applesauce and use it in baking, but sometimes it can be hard to find or can result in a texture you don’t like. Regardless of the reasons, there are plenty of nutritious choices out there to use instead. Try any of these 7 applesauce substitutes for healthy but delicious products.
Up Next: Does applesauce go bad and can you freeze applesauce?
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