Apple Cider

It’s finally Fall! Yay!!

The past few years, I’ve tried making the first day of Fall a little special with some sort of treat. Last year I made pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread. This year, I went with homemade apple cider.

We got a juicer this summer, so I’ve been waiting a few months to try this!! We made some apple juice a while back and it was pretty dang amazing. The look on the kids’ faces when they tried that juice…. unforgettable!

Seriously, if you have the money to invest in a juicer, I highly recommend it. You don’t get the fiber from the fruits and vegetables, so you may not feel as full, but you get delicious, nutritious juice without all the extra sugar and crap. It takes a lot to get a little and it’s only good for a few days, but I think it’s totally worth it.

I decided to take some pictures of the process because I was just so excited!!! First, I’ll give you the basic recipe I used:

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16 Gala apples (You can use whichever apples you want, these were the ones on sale.)
2 Naval orangesAbout 1/4 cup mulling spices (Guessing on the amount there. I got these at Sprouts in the bulk spice section.)
1 Lemon (optional)
Coffee filter and something to tie with (Optional)

The How To:

  1. Juice the apples and oranges. I used one of those wedgers to cut the apples into wedges before putting them in the juicer. I could do 2 apples at a time and I would throw in about 1/4 of an orange with the apples. The oranges serve 2 purposes: 1) Flavor. 2) They help keep the apples from browning. Who wants browned apple juice? Ew. This is how much I got after juicing 8 apples and an orange!:img_20160922_095753

You don’t want the foam from the top in your cider. It’s just not very tasty. You can scrape it off before pouring out the juice if you want, or pour it and then scrape it off. I used a crock pot for my cider, but you can do it on the stove top at a low temperature.

2. Time for the spices! I put them in a coffee filter at first. This way, the flavor could seep into the juice. But, after a while, there just didn’t seem to be enough flavor, so I just took them out of the filter and let them sit in the juice. This definitely added flavor. A little TOO much. Maybe next time I’ll do that for like maybe 15 minutes or something instead of letting them sit in there for a couple hours.

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One cool thing about the spices is that you can re-use them! Yep! I made a few batches with the same packet of spices last year. I’m not sure how long they’re good for. Maybe you’re not supposed to re0use them, but I did and there weren’t any negative consequences so….. yeah. So after this batch was done, I strained out the spices and I’ll use them again!

3. Time to heat it all up!!! I used my crock pot. I set it on low and let it cook for a while, like maybe 7 hours. Our home smelled amazing!!!!! You don’t have to keep it going that long. I just wanted to make our home smell good. I succeeded.

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4) Enjoy!!

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Like I said, the spices were pretty strong, so not everyone was a fan. I’m probably going to water down the rest a little bit to help calm that down.

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There isn’t much in this jar, but I have a few more of these hanging around. Super excited!

That’s it!! I guess if you want an adult version, you’re more than welcome to spike it. I’m not very educated on that subject but I would suggest rum or Bourbon.

I found the mulling spices last year. I’m not sure what all is in the mix, but I know there’s cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. There are a few other things in there too.

One cool thing I love about our juicer is that we can save the pulp from the fruits.

img_20160922_100154 I know this doesn’t look very appetizing now, but I’ll be able to use this apple pulp for things like muffins, pancakes, or throw it in oat meal. So, nothing gets wasted! Yay!!

Oh, and this has nothing to do with making apple cider, or really anything, but I was super excited when I saw this at the store yesterday. Like, I almost squealed like a little girl because it’s so cute. Are you ready? Okay…

Here it is…

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IT’S A BABY PINEAPPLE!!!! See? It fits in my hands!! Look how cute it is!!!

Okay. Now back on task. Basically, I love Fall. There are many many reasons, which I won’t go in to right now, but I love apple cider and I’m excited to have a juicer so I can do the real thing. Last year I made some with the spices, but I used the dry powdered cider, so it wasn’t as special. This one took more work, but it tastes amazing and it doesn’t have that extra sugar and crap. Score for health! Plus I’m sure the cinnamon and cloves and other spices have their health benefits too. Another score!

Happy Fall, Y’all!

 

 

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