Homemade applesauce is delicious AND healthy. Keep it fresh for longer using these tips and learn how to freeze homemade applesauce!
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One of my favorite ways to save money is by making foods we love from scratch. I make almost all of our breads, yogurt, granola, and condiments myself. Not only does this save money, but it also ensures you know exactly what is going into your foods. Since we are avoiding refined sugars, I’m able to swap out white sugar with natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. In some cases, I discover that the item I’m recreating doesn’t need added sweetener at all! Such is the case with my Healthy Homemade Apple Sauce.
There are certain drawbacks that come with making your foods from scratch. Since you’ll be using whole food ingredients and opting out of preservatives and processing, your shelf life can be greatly reduced. While a bottle of ketchup has a very long shelf life, homemade ketchup can only keep for so long. If you’re going to be a from scratch home cook, you’ll have to have a few tricks up your sleeve for extending the storage time of your homemade foods.
Can You Freeze Homemade Applesauce?
The easiest way to preserve most foods for a long period of time is by freezing them. Since the freezer slows microbial activity to a near stop, it’s a useful method in keeping foods good for a long time. Both freezing and thawing homemade foods is a relatively easy process, and most homemade foods freeze extremely well.
Applesauce is one food that I love to freeze. Although you are able to can applesauce if you wish, I prefer freezing it. Canning anything destroys some nutritional value (not a significant amount, but enough), and requires more work and equipment.
Canning Vs. Freezing
Canning is a particularly helpful food preservation method when you:
- Have a large quantity of food that needs to be processed at one time (like during the garden harvest season)
- You have little or no freezer room
- You want a large stockpile of particular foods
- There is a large available pantry area
- You are off grid or solar and need to be discerning with your refrigeration needs
Freezing is a great option when you:
- Have a small amount of time you can dedicate to food preservation
- Buying a lot of equipment isn’t in the budget right now
- Small children running under foot (canning is an involved process with lots of potential for danger)
- Have a small amount of food to preserve
- You will be using your preserved food regularly
Since my family uses a fair bit of apple sauce now that we have a toddler on the move, I opt for freezing my homemade applesauce more often than not. I can just take it out, and it’s all thawed and ready to go in about an hour. You can also freeze store bought applesauce if you buy it in bulk containers and won’t be able to use it up before it goes bad.
If you are interested in canning your homemade applesauce, this method from Fresh Preserving is safety tested for water bath canning. When you’re dealing with room temperature storage, you definitely want to go with the most recent tested-safe methods for canning. Pinterest is not the place to go for canning advice! (Unless it is, of course, using a safety tested recipe).
Different Methods of Freezing Homemade Applesauce
There are a few different ways you can freeze homemade applesauce, and that all depends on what you have available, and how you like to serve your homemade applesauce.
Since I have a toddler, I like to serve him his applesauce in these reusable squeeze pouches. I wasn’t sure how much I would love cleaning the reusable ones, but we’ve been using them now for several months and I find them very easy to clean! I am nervous to freeze directly in them, since I have just a 6 pack, but I think I will try it in the near future and let you know the results.
In the mean time, I’ve been using these silicone muffin liners. I love using silicone muffin liners for freezing all kinds of things. Anything kind of liquidy like leftover pumpkin puree or tomato paste. They are also great for baked oatmeal cups!
If I’m looking to fill the pouch, I thaw 2 silicone muffin liners worth of applesauce. I simply squeeze them to form a sort of tapered end, and pour them directly into the reusable pouch. This has been a great way for freezing homemade applesauce, all while using something I already have on hand and something that is reusable.
There is another way to freeze your homemade applesauce though, and I certainly think it’s a more convenient way! I first bought these Zipzicles popsicle molds for making my own yogurt tubes, since my toddler absolutely loves yogurt tubes! I figured out the cost per tube, and it was SOOOOO much cheaper than buying yogurt already in a tube. Although I tend to use low or no waste products, I knew it would be perfect for those on-the-go days where I needed to take a snack with me. So I bought a 100 pack of them, and I absolutely love them for freezing our healthy homemade applesauce.
Taking Homemade Applesauce on the Go
Since I’m freezing the applesauce directly in the way I’ll be serving it to my toddler, there are no extra dishes and I can pack them into the diaper bag easily. They thaw quickly, so by the time we get to the grocery store or mall, they are ready to be enjoyed by a hungry little tot. I don’t love the plastic, but I think it’s a great compromise versus store-bought, and there are no washable items to be brought home afterward. This is especially important to me, since my distracted mom brain means I leave a lot of things in the diaper bag when I get home and discover it a week later. Not fun.
What I also like about the Zipzicle tubes is that I can use them in the summer for making healthy homemade ice pops and treats. I’ve already used them for making a mango sorbet pop and it was a delicious treat!
How to Freeze Homemade Applesauce Using Silicone Muffin Liners
If you’re opting for freezing using reusable silicone muffin liners, I recommend setting the muffin liners in a 9X13 glass baking dish. Since applesauce is fairly liquid, it can slop out of the sides and spill if not properly supported. A 9X13 baking dish has high sides, and does a great job of keeping all of the liners contained and spill proof.
Freezing homemade applesauce in silicone muffin liners is easy. Just follow these steps:
- First, you’ll place all of your silicone muffin liners into the glass baking dish, making sure they are not squished together, but comfortably close.
- Second, spoon your cooled homemade applesauce into each muffin liner, filling to about 1/4″ from the top to allow for expansion during freezing.
- Then, place your baking dish in the freezer on a flat surface and let them freeze until solid.
- And your final step is to move the frozen solid applesauce cups into a large, gallon sized zip top freezer bag. Place that back in the freezer and you’re ready to go!
When you want to serve the applesauce, leave a few applesauce cups at room temperature for about 30 minutes to one hour, and then serve as desired. I like to pour mine into these reusable squeeze pouches for my son. I love how easy and mess free of a toddler snack it is. 😂
How to Freeze Homemade Applesauce in Ice Pop Tubes
I find it super easy to freeze applesauce in the disposable tubes. The only tricky part is finding a funnel with a small enough opening to fit into the tube. These ones are small enough to fit into the tube, making transferring applesauce a cinch. Since the tubes have an indicated “fill” line, it’s pretty easy work.
- Fill your ice pop/yogurt tube using a small funnel. Make sure you are below the “fill” line
- Remove excess air and seal it
- Lay the tube on a flat surface in the freezer. Once frozen solid, you can move them to a more convenient location or leave as is.
Once you’re ready to serve, let the applesauce tube thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour. Then serve directly from the tube! Easy peasy, right?
Can You Freeze Homemade Applesauce in Freezer Bags?
Yes, you can! All you have to do is transfer the cooled applesauce to a half gallon or smaller size freezer bags, remove the air, and seal it. I like to freeze it flat so they fit easily into the freezer, and they are easy to thaw as well.
The drawback with using freezer bags is that you can’t freeze and thaw single servings, and instead need to thaw many servings at once. I prefer the silicone muffin liner and zipzicle method for this reason, but if you use large quantities of applesauce, using freezer bags may be for you!
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