Applesauce never tasted so good, and sneaking in some veggies has never been easier! This Instant Pot hidden veggie applesauce is a simple and quick kid-friendly recipe that packs a big dose of nutrients in every bite. Loved by kids, loved by adults, extra loved by moms. It’s the perfect paleo, allergy-friendly, naturally sweetened snack.
I thought I had NAILED this mom thing, specifically when it came to raising great eaters. My firstborn eats anything I put in front of him – beets, sauerkraut, fish, broccoli, steak, brussels sprouts, you name it. When he was 18 months old he used to inhale calamari when we’d take him to our favorite place on the wharf. When he was two he would beg me buy to broccoli when we’d go grocery shopping. Now at 3, he will try anything. And just like it always happens, second child comes along and has his own plan…
Just when I was getting ready to accept my own Academy Award of raising a stellar healthy eater, my little guy refuses almost every single vegetable. He also won’t touch chicken or roast or ground meat. Anything exotic or adventurous? Get real.
Baffled guys. Baffled. I thought if I followed the exact same ‘routine’ of introducing various foods with each child, I’d be the food Yoda mom….not so much.
I keep introducing and keep introducing, trying and retrying, in hopes one day he’ll at least pick it (whatever I’m trying to get him to eat) up. But until then, I’m getting sneaky with this Instant Pot hidden veggie applesauce.
‘Cause a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.
So instead of stressing about what goes into his little body for every meal, I’m doing my best and throwing a big ‘ol bowl of this Instant Pot hidden veggie applesauce in his face and calling it a win. And luckily, he loves it.
My oldest also loves it, and he is an applesauce snob (hands down his favorite food). So if I can fool one kid into loving veggies and the other one into thinking it’s the same stuff in the jar, I’m calling that a DOUBLE mom win.
This recipe is effortless and really does taste delicious. Using veggies (like golden beet and carrots) that won’t drastically alter the color of traditional applesauce makes it easy to fool the littles and feel like the Jason Bourne of baby raising. Or the Mission Impossible of mothering. Or winning the Hunger Games battle of hangry kids.
If you DON’T own an Instant Pot, don’t sweat it. You can still make this hidden vegetable applesauce by following a few additional directions below. Don’t worry, you can rock this mom thing even if you live in the stone ages without a pressure cooker 😉 However, you will need a blender for this recipe. Aaaaand if you’re thinking, “hey, maybe I should jump on this Instant Pot wagon”, then click here.
You may never buy applesauce again (or at least I’m not going to!), And you may also never look mom hacks the same. For all of this, you’re welcome.
Here are some other healthy snack ideas for kids AND adults! 3 ingredient paleo blueberry bliss balls, fruit and veggie snack pack ideas, healthy breakfast banana boats, paleo banana cream pie cookies, and these spinach sweet potato tots.
Instant Pot Hidden Veggie Applesauce
Healthy applesauce with a few sneaky vegetable – this Instant Pot Hidden Veggie Applesauce is made in just minutes, and tastes just like REAL cinnamon applesauce.
- 7 apples of choice (gala or fuji work well)
- 3 golden beets (these are yellow in color)
- 2 large carrots
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Wash and pat dry the beets, then slice the skins off. Cut the beets in halves then quarters if they are on the smaller side, in eighths if they are bigger
- Using a carrot peeler, remove the skins from the carrots, cut the ends off, then cut them in half
- Wash and pat dry the apples then place into the bottom of your Instant Pot or pressure cooker, then add the beets and carrots, followed by the water
- Turn on the manual setting and cook for 10 minutes, then release the pressure by the quick release valve
- Place the beets and carrots into a blender
- Gently remove the apples from the Instant Pot with kitchen tongs (these will be very hot and mushy). Place on a cutting board and carefully peel off the skin, then gently cut in half to remove the stem and any large seeds. Place the apples into the blender
- Add the cinnamon and blend on high until well combined
*if you don’t own an an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you can simply roast the beets, carrots, and apples.
- Carrots: Peel the carrots and lightly coat with oil, then roast at 400 degrees for roughly 20 minutes
- Apples: Place halved apples into the oven and roast at 400 degrees for roughly 30 minutes
- Beets: Peel and cut the beets into fourths and lightly coat with oil, then roast at 400 degrees for roughly 40 minutes
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Will this recipe work in the crockpot?
I would guess so! I haven’t tried it!
Is there a reason not to peel/cut apples PRIOR to cooking? Seems like it would be easier than dealing with hot apples?
You could! I just didn’t want to do the extra step. The skin literally peels right off with tongs when it’s hot but either way works
I’m curious about two things; why do you put the apples in whole? Wouldn’t it be easier to peel and quarter them before cooking? Also, do golden beets taste less crappy than red beets? I detest beets but you may be able to convince me to try this if golden beets are better. 😉
You certainly could! I just wanted to omit a step 🙂 Golden beets and red beets taste pretty much the same.
Can I use red beets if that’s what I have on hand?
Sure! Will taste the same, but alter the color (obviously) 🙂