Johnny Appleseed did America a favor by spreading the wonderful seeds of the apple tree everywhere he went. Today we surely benefit from his work. From apple pie, to apple butter; apple sauce to apple cider, autumn surely is the best time of year to enjoy all the splendor that apples have to offer. I love fall. And I love apples.
I have so many apples growing in my yard. With all the apples I’ve spent many autumn days perfecting my apple cider recipe. I’ve come to love the recipe that I share with you all today.
Pick Your Apples
It doesn’t matter what kind of apples you use. Whatever you have on hand is fine. I grow Honeycrisp, Macintosh, and Red Delicious. Depending on what is in abundance I sometimes use a blend or just one variety. In this recipe only Honeycrisp apples are used.
Next, you’ll want to wash your apples. I use my awesome and very experienced apple washer. 🙂 He’s the best around.
Making Apple Cider in a Slow Cooker
Start by chopping your apples. Leave the peel, core, and seeds. It’s ok to add it all in. Then add the remaining ingredients. (Find the recipe below). And lastly, add just enough water to cover the apples. Allow to cook on low for 7 hours.
About the herbs
Cinnamon, clove, and cardamom are all warming herbs that stimulate the digestive tract. Cinnamon is also known to move the blood, and it also acts as an antimicrobial. Cardamom is used as an antidepressant. And cloves are also used to freshen breath and ease toothaches.
Astragalus is a warming herb that is used to support the immune system, nourishes the body and improves energy levels when used regularly over a period of time.
Time to Strain
At the 7 hour mark. Leave them in the slow cooker and give them a rough mashing. Let sit to slightly cool for an hours or so. Then, begin the straining process. Mash the apples through a colander, compost the stuff that doesn’t get through (seeds, core, and skins). Strain a second time to separate the juice from the pulp.
The End Product
Warming Apple Cider
This amber colored autumn beverage can be served warm or cold. You can even spike it with a bit of brandy. It freezes well too!
This apple sauce is the best because it’s packed with all the nutrients from the herbs added to in the cooking process. I love using this apple sauce to make cayenne oatmeal bars. The apple sauce can be canned or frozen.
Homemade Apple Cider
This recipes make a delicious apple cider with the wonderful warming flavors of autumn. It also produces pulp that can be used as apple sauce.
- about 6 pounds apples
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2/3-1 cup dark brown sugar
- 10-15 astragalus slices *optional
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 10 whole cloves
- 8 cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Quarter the apples and place in a large crockpot. Toss in the peel and seeds too. Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Add enough water to cover the apples. Use a wooden spoon to push the spices downward and into the water
- Set slow cooker on low for 7 hours.
- After the 7 hours, give it a bit of a mash and allow to slight cool before straining.
- To strain, set a colander over a bowl. Press the apples through the colander.
- Strain a second time to separate the pulp from the juice. Use a fine strainer and make a scooping motion with a spoon to help the juices through. Put the mash in one bowl and the juice in another.
- You know have apple cider AND apple sauce ready to use. If the apple sauce seems to dry, just add some apple cider to it.
- Or if you prefer to just have the cider and not the sauce, strain once without pressing anything through.
- De La Foret, Rosalee. “Alchemy of Herbs”. Hay House, Inc. 2017
- Farrow, Joanna & Houdret, Jessica. “The Kitchen & Garden Book of Herbs”. Hermes House. 2006.
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