Simple Additions To Upgrade The Flavor Of Your Applesauce

Even a plain serving of applesauce can be easily boosted with the right addition of ingredients. We understand that not everyone has the time to prep apples and put together sweet and spiced applesauce from scratch, but a fancier bowl from a ready-made recipe doesn't take much work. If the applesauce you picked up from the store doesn't meet your fancy, all you need is a bit of culinary creativity and out-of-the-lunchbox thinking to upgrade your next spoonful.  

Whether you're craving a luxuriously sweet afternoon treat or a creamy dish to serve alongside that thick stack of berry and buttermilk pancakes you have plated, we have simple inspiration that the laziest among us can replicate. You may have several of the necessary items already stocked in your kitchen cupboards. All you need is a willingness to experiment and the conviction that even a boring bowl of applesauce deserves some TLC. Get ready to turn store-bought containers into a seriously flavorful affair. The best part? Little effort on your part is required.

Spice it up

A quick visit to your kitchen's spice rack can help make over simple applesauce servings. While cinnamon and nutmeg are reliable standards, a sprinkle of homemade za'atar can dial up the taste of the dish and steer your applesauce into a more savory experience. Allspice, cardamom, and cloves will hold your bowls of applesauce in an earthier-tasting lane, but if you want to pivot recipes into flavor combinations that taste more like dessert than a cast-aside snack, reach for a pumpkin or apple pie spice blend.

To pack a bit of heat into your fruity spoonfuls of apple mush, don't shy away from adding a sprinkle of grated ginger and cayenne pepper. Haven't made it to the store in a while? We've got you. Should your spice cabinet be running low, an easy pinch of flaky sea salt or smoked salt can help your simple dish take on new dimensions of flavor. The flavored salt you made with leftover herbs can serve your applesauce well.

Decadent dishes

Applesauce may have earned a reputation as a healthy snack choice, but that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a touch of decadence. Infuse spoonfuls of applesauce with chocolate shavings, swirls of Nutella, and butterscotch chips. Cinnamon and dark chocolate are a match made in applesauce-enhancing heaven, but you can also drop pieces of milk and white chocolate bars into your fruity dishes and pair the choice with a pinch of cayenne. Your sweet dishes can be topped with toasted coconut flakes and any of the spices we've already mentioned. 

Don't have your favorite chocolate bar on hand? A small handful of carob chips can instantly transform a simple bowl of applesauce, while broken pieces of your favorite candy bars — Snickers, Mounds, Butterfingers, and Kit Kats — may have you questioning whether you're eating a nutritious snack or dessert. Top your creations with caramel sauce, sprinkles of brown sugar, or cookie crumbles, and you may find yourself reaching for the applesauce jar with increasing regularity. 

More is more

More is more when it comes to dressing up bowls of applesauce with fruit. While fresh, seasonal berries can quickly elevate a simple bowl, don't feel limited to the kinds of fruit you have to wash, peel, or cut. A quick toss of dried fruit can add pretty garnish to applesauce bowls that not only taste delicious but offer plenty of texture. Dried raspberries, mangoes, pineapple cubes, and kiwis can all turn up the flavor dials, and dehydrated fruits can add a delightful, airy crunch to your next bite. Basic applesauce could be the perfect platform to sprinkle a few pieces of TruFru's hyper-dried fruit into your dish.

Even if you don't have fresh fruit on hand, a spoonful of your favorite preserves, jam, or fruit compote can be easily stirred into your applesauce bowls. Double down on the flavors of autumn with a compote made with apples, or spoon strawberry compote into your bowls for complementary flavors. You can't go wrong here.

Get nutty

A handful of your favorite nuts can quickly provide a bit of texture to applesauce. Roasted and smoked nuts and nuts covered in cinnamon and sugar can add both flavor and crunch to a bowl of mushy fruit. Your favorite nut butter can add subtle flavor, and swirls of almond, cashew, pistachio, or peanut butter couldn't be easier to drip into a snack dish. Tahini spread can also bring an earthy, grounded flavor to your applesauce recipes, or you can use flavored nut butter — almond or peanut butter enhanced with cinnamon, honey, maple syrup, or dark chocolate — to punch up the taste and appearance of your plain applesauce.

For the outdoor enthusiasts among us, a sprinkle of trail mix dumped into an applesauce container can bring more excitement to your snack, and the assortment of nuts, seeds, and sweet chocolate-covered treats can help add interest and flavor to your post-hike treat.

Reach for some booze

Though applesauce is frequently seen as a child-friendly treat, you can turn your next serving into a dish meant for mature palates. A splash of amaretto or whiskey can turn applesauce into a dish that could easily serve as a symbol for happy hour. Sneak your favorite bourbon into applesauce by the spoonful for a smokier bite or try swirling in a dash of Baleys Irish Cream for a decadent concoction that is sure to delight. Rum and brandy can also turn up the interest factor in your applesauce bowls and upgrade your applesauce into a saucier affair. 

Should you have a bit of time on your hands, consider cooking your mixture of bourbon and applesauce on low heat and add a bit of butter for an even more luxuriously smooth mouthfeel. A generous garnish of cinnamon can help highlight some of the tasting notes in your alcohol preference, and drizzles of maple syrup to top your bourbon-infused dishes make for a delightful treat that is anything but boring. 

Double down on creamy deliciousness

Consider turning applesauce into a creamier dish with dollops of yogurt, whipped cream, or your favorite coffee creamer. The pairing of dairy or a dairy alternative with your applesauce dish can yield a smooth, decadent-tasting delight that will have you looking forward to snack time. Depending on the product you add, your dish may offer a tart flavor that can complement sprinkles of lemon zest or build a richer bite that can be dressed up with swirls of maple syrup or honey and shavings of dark chocolate.

Adding Greek yogurt to applesauce and garnishing the dish with pieces of nuts like walnuts and pistachios and a powdery finish of cinnamon may have you thinking you're eating a specially prepared dessert. Alternatively, you can layer honey whipped cream and spoonfuls of applesauce in a pretty dish to turn afternoon snack time into a more elegant occasion. When topped with a handful of berries and a sprinkle of crunchy granola, you may forget the taste of the basic ingredients that you started with. 

A sweeter side

Give your dishes of applesauce a bit of sweetness with an easy swirl of sweetener. While honey and maple syrup are dependable classics, molasses and agave honey can also bring in the touch of deliciousness your applesauce dishes call for. Should you not have sweeteners stocked in your kitchen cupboards, a quick sprinkle of sugar can also help plain applesauce go down. Traditional white sugar can punch up the taste of your dish, but brown sugar and homemade powdered sugar can also elevate a basic recipe. If your kitchen is well stocked with an assortment of sugars, experiment with adding muscovado, pearl sugar, coconut sugar, or date sugar to applesauce. 

Pair sweetened applesauce with your choice of add-ins to create a treat that is something to look forward to. Combine your sweetened dish with toasted nuts or fresh blueberries, and you'll have a snack that is anything but a disappointment. After all, even a plain recipe deserves a bit of gussying up.