Probiotic Fermented Apple Sauce

How to Make Probiotic Apple Sauce

This is my daughters new favorite snack! I’ve been trying to give her more fermented and cultured foods over the last few months. This apple sauce recipe along with full fat yogurt seem to be her favorite (for now).

Why Ferment?

You may be wondering why I ferment my apple sauce. Fermented foods are incredible good for the digestive system. They help build up good bacteria in the gut! Sauerkraut is one of the more popular fermented foods but unfortunately my kids don’t like it much.

Fermented apple sauce is a wonderful way to get kids to eat healthy, gut building probiotics in the body!

Probiotic Fermented Apple Sauce

6 – 8 medium size organic apples
2 tablespoons whey or water kefir
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt

Core and slice apples.
Process apples in food processor until it reaches desired consistency. Add whey, cinnamon and salt.
Blend until smooth.
Pour apple sauce into a clean quart size jar (or 2 pint size jars).
Leave an inch of space from apple sauce to lid. If you don’t, you may have an explosion!
Place in warm place for 3 days.
Keep in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Probiotic Fermented Apple Sauce
Serves: 1 quart
  • 6 - 8 medium size organic apples
  • 2 tablespoons whey or water kefir
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  1. Core and slice apples.
  2. Process apples in food processor until it reaches desired consistency. Add whey, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour apple sauce into a clean quart size jar (or 2 pint size jars).
  5. Leave an inch of space from apple sauce to lid. If you don't, you may have an explosion!
  6. Place in warm place for 3 days.
  7. Keep in refrigerator for up to 2 months.



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About the author: Hi! I’m Tiffany – aka Coconut Mama. I’m a real food mama of three coconut babies. I’m passionate about traditional and healing foods. As a true believer in the health benefits of coconut, I use coconut products in all my recipes. You can download my free Coconut Flour Recipes E-book here. Thanks for stopping by!
92 comments… add one
  • Jennifer September 4, 2017, 9:56 am

    What is the alcohol content?

  • Kathryn Comerford August 1, 2017, 1:43 pm

    Would hot water/pressure canning the finished product destroy the probiotic benefit? We use a lot of apple sauce in baking and usually I hot water bath process the jars as I want a longer shelf life.


  • Mark January 5, 2017, 10:29 am

    I’m a first timer and a little confused. I bought “water kefir grains” on Amazon. They are like little crystals. I just mixed them in with the applesauce (there wasn’t even a full tablespoon of the crystals in the packet). I’m guessing I messed this up. Am I supposed to make “water kefir” first, and then use a tablespoon of that? Please help!

    • Priscilla February 20, 2017, 2:45 am

      Hi, yup that was a goof. You use the crystal in a sugar water for 24-48 hours (do NOT refrigerate, it will stop them from working), drain the liquid (which is the water kefir you measure and add to the applesauce, if you are only doing 1 fermentation stage you can now refrigerate this water, try to use up in a few days to a week), and put the grains (that can look a bit like jelly now) into a new batch of sugar water (do not refrigerate, leave them on the counter or in a cupboard is fine). The grains you get in the mail are dehydrated and so you have to wake them up and get them growing again. because they are waking up it might take a little longer to ferment things and the taste of each batch for the first week or two might be different from each other. If they get too cold they slow down fermenting,a warm kitchen they ferment well/faster, if they get too hot (above 95 degrees fahrenheit)they start dieing. Also if you don’t give them a new batch of sugar water (it is their food) they start starving and dieing, also makes the mix even more sour because ALL the sugar is gone.

  • Folake December 28, 2016, 8:48 pm

    Hi Tiffany,

    Great recipe and I can’t wait to try it. Quick question though, in the absence of any of the starter cultures that you’ve mentioned, would probiotics work, do you think? And if so, how much? Many thanks. Folake

  • Stephanie October 12, 2015, 7:45 am

    Would coconut water kefir work?

  • Emily McMillan July 31, 2015, 5:05 am

    I made this and the taste is evervescent. It’s supposed to taste like this, correct?

  • Miriam January 19, 2015, 8:00 pm

    How old should baby be to feed this? My son is 6 months and we are starting solids. Would love to give him some fermented food to hopefully help constipation.

  • suzi December 9, 2014, 9:18 pm

    kombucha would do the same in place of the kefir, right? this sounds great!! i have kombucha and i have apples : )

  • barb October 25, 2014, 4:06 pm

    if you get mold on top it is ok just scrap it off if it smells bad with mold its bad throw it out you will know its bad when its bad it just stinks really bad

  • Rina September 17, 2014, 12:27 pm

    Do I need to burp this as it ferments?

  • Cori August 18, 2014, 6:22 am

    Couple of quick questions if anyone can answer this. I’ll have the air on and I keep the thermostat at 71/72, is this warm enough? I am wondering if I can just use the dehydrator but the lowest setting I have is 95 and for how long now? If I can make yogurt in the dehydrator surely I can do the applesauce but I can’t find any links on fermented apple sauce and dehydrators. I guess #2 will be answered about the fuzziness on top like some other people have mentioned. I don’t want to throw out a batch if this is something that can be scraped off or stirred back in.

  • Allison July 23, 2014, 8:42 am

    The first batch I made was awesome! No issues. The second batch had fuzzy stuff on the top. Is this yeast or mold? Either way what do you know what caused this, and how I can prevent it? I did open the jar on a daily basis to let breath, is this where I went wrong? Can I just scrap it off or do I just throw it out?

  • Amanda May 22, 2014, 7:37 pm

    So I tried this… But I’m not sure it worked?? My jar lid seemed to have sealed when left for the three days? And it seems to taste really salty? Did I do something wrong?!

  • Kristine May 2, 2014, 5:59 am

    I used whey (that I separated from my yogurt). The yogurt was pasteurized store bought organic. Will that work? Thanks!

  • Roberta April 3, 2014, 7:00 am

    Can you use whey isolate instead of the whey, or whey protein hydrolysate?

  • Georgie April 2, 2014, 11:12 am

    I’m so excited to try this – just finished making my whey. Is it freezable?

  • Audrey April 1, 2014, 12:14 pm

    I love this idea, and I have tons of apple sauce canned from last fall. Can I use cooked apple sauce for this recipe? There is no sugar in it. Thanks!

  • Summer March 18, 2014, 1:36 am

    So I am up to day 2 and mine has fuzzy mould on top, is this normal? Is it ok to eat?

  • Lesley Earl December 23, 2013, 8:47 am

    I’ve already cooked and frozen my apple sauce can I thaw it and then ferment I’ll use whey. Also my oven light doesn’t work and isn’t easily accessible to replace bulb (Need a socket which I do not have) so would a heating pad on low work as a warming source?

  • Erin Lyons Harris December 6, 2013, 2:18 pm

    Does the whey have to be raw? I buy liquid whey from a local dairy (they sell the whey left over from making cheese) but it’s pasteurized.

  • Laura November 6, 2013, 4:57 pm

    Do you think a ginger bug would work as a starter. I don’t keep water kefir because I usually forget about it for a while and it gets gross, but I can restart a ginger bug easily at any time.

    • Tiffany @ The Coconut Mama November 6, 2013, 5:39 pm

      I bet it will but i can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried it. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it. Thanks!

  • Aliyanna Mancuso August 10, 2013, 11:35 am

    Was wondering how this would work with pumpkin or winter squash???

  • Faith Gauthier May 10, 2013, 6:28 am

    This looks wonderful for my little guy who is gluten free. Thanks for sharing.

  • Erica M November 25, 2012, 10:15 am

    I’ve just made applesauce and used a small amount of chai spiced Kombucha as the only addition and it is great. Next I,m going to make a larger quantity so I can lacto ferment some.

  • MamaA July 31, 2012, 10:37 pm

    Do you think you could make it in a vitamix instead? I don’t have a large food processor.

    • The Coconut Mama August 4, 2012, 8:23 am

      Yes, I think a vitamix would work great 🙂

      • Liz November 24, 2013, 12:36 pm

        I just used a vitamix and it worked great! I can’t wait to eat it in a few days.

  • Kera April 9, 2012, 4:01 pm

    I love, love, LOVE this recipe! I make it in four quart batches at a time. (need to feed five kids) and when I let it sit out long enough it forms one mass, like apple yogurt 🙂 Super yummy! Thanks for posting!

    • Lynn December 5, 2013, 10:38 am

      Do you use whey or water kefir? And where do you get yours? Thank you.

  • Amy March 20, 2012, 3:46 pm

    Help! I made the fermented apple sauce exactly as the recipe says but I’m not sure it worked. It tastes great. Just like apple sauce, not sure it fermented. The cover didn’t pop when I opened it, was it supposed to? As you might be able to tell this is the first time I’ve tried fermenting. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    • A different Amy! December 21, 2013, 1:11 pm

      How funny, this is the exact question I came on here to ask. I looked through the comments to see whether anyone had mentioned this, and sure enough, you did! Does anyone know the answer to this?

      It tasted the exact same after sitting out for a few days as it did when I first pureed it. When I ferment other things, they taste completely different after fermenting.

      Also, it never burped or popped when I opened it. The recipe warns to leave an inch of headspace to avoid an explosion. Does it mean I did something wrong since mine didn’t have that issue?

  • Shaina January 25, 2012, 12:22 pm

    We keep our thermostat at 60 during the winter, is this too cold for this to ferment? Should I put it in my dehydrator on a low setting? Thanks!

    • The Coconut Mama January 25, 2012, 8:56 pm

      Yes, I would put it in your dehydrator. The temperature needs to be 70-75 degrees :).

      • Lisa in TX December 5, 2013, 11:58 am

        Or put it in a closed oven with just the light turned on.

  • Elizabeth January 21, 2012, 4:55 pm

    The honey doesn’t counteract the bacteria in the fermentation process? This sounds great, but I thought honey was a “no-no”.

    • The Coconut Mama January 22, 2012, 6:32 pm

      The recipe for apple butter in Nourishing Traditions uses raw honey, so I assumed it would be okay in this recipe too! I haven’t had any trouble with it fermenting properly.

  • Jennifer @ How to Peel an Onion January 11, 2012, 4:20 am

    I’m about to try this right now! Seems like just the thing to get my son into fermented foods. Thanks!

  • lydia October 23, 2011, 1:18 pm

    Tiffany, I love you!! I have been wanting to do this very thing! I love the idea of using water kefir, how complimentary! Gonna try this soon!

  • KomBuChaCha October 12, 2011, 7:20 pm

    Have you seen the ‘Apple Pie’ smoothie @ Cultures for Health? Combines applesauce w/ dairy kefir, bet your daughter would *love* it! (we sure do) Hubby has me add extra cinnamon, plus I add a frozen banana per person in the Vitamix when I whip it up… yum! http://tinyurl.com/3h4cs4j

  • Ruthann October 1, 2011, 5:10 pm

    Can the fermented applesauce be put in the freezer? At what stage?

  • Tiffany - The Coconut Mama September 7, 2011, 8:55 am

    @ Peggy – Yes, it can turn brown on top. You can scoop off the top layer if you prefer.

  • peggy June 21, 2011, 10:24 am

    i just made this using honey then fermenting i am wondering if it is supposed to turn brown on top?

  • Anonymous May 11, 2011, 5:13 am

    can this be done with cooked apples?

    • Jennifer Linden December 15, 2013, 10:53 am

      I’d like to know this one, too. I made applesauce and canned it this summer, but would LOVE to just pull some out and ferment it. Do you suppose it would work?

  • anna April 29, 2011, 6:11 pm

    ah good to know then .. . .

  • Krista April 29, 2011, 1:28 pm

    It worked okay, but the water kefir just keeps eating the natural sugars so it turns “off” pretty quickly in my experience.

  • anna April 29, 2011, 11:34 am

    how did the water kefir work?

  • Krista January 5, 2011, 10:55 pm

    Tiffany, thanks for the quick reply. It's so nice knowing there's this great community for those new to fermentation. Thanks a ton for all the help. I'll let you know how it turns out with the water kefir.

  • Tiffany - The Coconut Mama January 5, 2011, 8:48 pm

    Krista – you just need at least an inch of space =)

  • Krista January 5, 2011, 8:29 pm

    Okay, I'm trying this recipe out now, substituting water kefir for the whey. I used about 1/2 cup of water kefir to 4 apples, since water kefir is more dilute than the dairy counterparts.

    The question I have is I'm using a 1/2 gallon jar to ferment, and the jar is only half full. Is it important to have *only* 1 inch headspace, or is it okay to have a lot more than that?

    I'm sure Nourishing Traditions answers this question, but I just requested it from my library and there's 17 people in front of me. Thanks!

  • Tiffany - The Coconut Mama December 17, 2010, 12:32 pm

    @ Menueys – You can actually ferment cooked food. I ferment my beans and other cooked foods (recipes from Nourishing Traditions). I did wonder if the honey would be okay, so I did some research and looked at other recipes. There's an apple butter recipe in nourishing traditions that calls for raw honey that is fermented. You could omit the honey, or add it after you've fermented the apple sauce if you prefer.

    I think this recipe is more beneficial raw, but it does not have to be raw.

  • Menueys December 17, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Faedemere – I don't think you can cook them and then have them ferment; the lacto bacteria would be dead, right? Or did you mean adapt your recipe to fermentation w/o cooking? Also, not sure about honey w/ lacto ferments?! want to try this but I've only done cabbage and carrots, lol!

  • Wendy December 7, 2010, 3:50 pm

    Oh thank you for this! I am VERY new to the cultured veggie thing and having a difficult time getting my 4 and 6 yy girls to try them…excited to try this! Keep them coming!

  • Tiffany - The Coconut Mama December 6, 2010, 12:15 pm

    @totiemotie – I left the peep on. I like easy =). You can peel yours if you prefer it that way.

  • totiemotie December 6, 2010, 12:10 pm

    Do you peel your apples first or leave the peel on??

  • Tiffany - The Coconut Mama December 6, 2010, 10:50 am

    @ Rosalyn – I tried this with salt and it turned out very salty. That is why I went with the whey. You can use whichever method you prefer =)

  • Tiffany - The Coconut Mama December 6, 2010, 10:48 am

    @ Faedemere – You cane use your favorite recipe. Just add the whey at the end and leave it out to ferment for a few days.

  • Tiffany - The Coconut Mama December 6, 2010, 10:46 am

    @ Aiming4simple – Yes. I bet that would taste terrific!

  • Rosalyn December 6, 2010, 10:32 am

    Actually you can use a little sea salt instead of whey. The “lacto” in lacto-fermentation refers not so much to the whey, but to the lactic acid that is produced by enzyme activity (which is why fermentation is good for you).

    I use salt instead of whey in my fermentation and it works great.

  • Nichol-Doula December 6, 2010, 9:16 am

    I'm curious, do you have to puree the apples? We like our applesauce chunky. Do you cook the apples? My recipe is to peel and core the apple and slow cook them with just enough water to cover in the crock pot along with 2 cinnamon sticks and honey.
    How could I adapt that to use the fementation?

  • Aiming4Simple December 2, 2010, 9:10 pm

    I have never lacto-fermented anything before. Do you think I could add cranberries to this?

  • Farmgirl Cyn December 1, 2010, 7:37 pm

    Dang! Wish I'd have thought of this a few weeks ago when I had 2 bushels of apples! I have been on a fermenting binge, but had never thought of apples. Next year for sure!

  • Brandon May December 1, 2010, 4:48 pm

    I just “re-discovered” apple sauce this Thanksgiving, and this gives me a good excuse to make a version packed full of nutrition. So far I've made lacto-fermented ketchup. I love fermenting condiments, but never thought of this.

  • Tiffany - The Coconut Mama December 1, 2010, 10:59 am

    Krista- I believe you can. Let me know how it turns out!

  • Krista November 30, 2010, 10:29 pm

    Great idea! I do have a question. My daughter is sensitive to dairy, it makes her wheeze. Can I replace whey with water kefir when doing fermentation?


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