Fall is in the air!
And what better way to celebrate than with a nice tall glass (or hot mug) of apple cider?
I have been craving that liquid gold for weeks now, but couldn’t get my hands on the stuff!
Any of you who’ve read my How To Can Pink Applesauce post, know that I won’t eat non-organic apples.
The reason, is because apples are always on the top of the Dirty Dozen list of foods with the most pesticides/chemicals sprayed on them. In fact, this year marks the ninth year in a row that apples were number one on the list!
There are so many pesticides, acaricides, fungicides, bactericides, herbicides, nematicides and rodenticides found on apples it’s sickening.
“Well what’s the big deal with pesticides?” you might ask.
Check out this post from beyondpesticides.org to learn about the Wide Range of Diseases Linked to Pesticides, and you’ll find out. It’s pretty disturbing!
After learning all of these disturbing facts, I’ve decided that any apple product I (or my family) consume needs to be organic. Including apple cider!
Unfortunately, I have not found organic apple cider in any of the stores near me. In the past I would buy organic apple juice and heat it up in a pot on the stove with some added cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and allspice! It’s delicious, but still kind of pricey!
This year I was lucky enough to score a TON of apples from my parent’s yard. They have a bunch of apple trees that have not been sprayed or treated with anything, and the best part is…they were FREE!!! My favorite word!
I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to start making it.
The apples I used were quite small! In the Yummy Finds post, Brittany removed the cores from all of the apples she used. Since my apples were so tiny, I figured once I went to the trouble of removing all of the cores, there wouldn’t be much apple left. So I decided to go ahead and leave the cores on!
I started out by rinsing all of the apples really good and then cutting each apple in quarters with my big old butcher knife…
I went ahead and (working in batches) tossed the apples in my food processor…
Then I processed them until they were nothing but brown mush…
Once it got to this state of liquidy mush, I poured the mush into this nifty jelly strainer I purchased on a whim (and now am very glad I did!)
After letting it strain for a bit on it’s own, I got the Hubs involved and put his big man-hands to good use! He squeezed the rest of the cider right out of the bag and then dumped the dried-out apple mash into a nearby bowl for me. After several rounds of this, I was left with a large pot of delicious apple cider and this…
At this point, I tried a taste and it was delicious, but I wanted to heat some up and add a little spice, so I added some cinnamon sticks and whole cloves (I would’ve added some whole allspice and a little nutmeg too, but I was all out!)
After it simmered for a little while we all gulped down a couple of mugs of the cider and it was so good that we had to try it in a tall glass full of ice! (It was good that way too!)
After the five of us consumed a good amount of the deliciousness, I decided to bottle up the rest.
This is seriously the best tasting apple cider I have ever tasted! And the leftover dried up apple mush is so full of nutrients I just couldn’t throw it out. After some research, I learned that not only is it great for your compost pile, but it also can be added to baked goods for added nutrition and it really helps to keep cakes extra moist! Whoopee!
You can also freeze apple cider, so I plan on making a bunch more for my deep freezer (I still have tons of apples left and plan on going back for even more!)
I even made some apple cider slushies and apple cider popsicles and they were sublime! (I’ve been suffering from a sore throat lately so alternating between hot cups of cider and cold popsicles really helps to soothe it!)
Have you ever made your own cider? If so, I’d love to know any creative ways you’ve used up the apple mash!
I’d also love for you to share your favorite apple recipes! Feel free to link them up here or on the Diary of a MadMama Facebook Page!
Happy apple-picking ya’all!