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How To Make Apple Cider

How To Make Apple Cider

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to make apple cider, the process can range from extremely easy to much more labor intensive.

Historically speaking, people once used the cider press, a non-mechanical device, to squeeze out the juice from apples – and they would just call that apple cider. From there, employers could pay their employees with it, and pay rent or other obligations.

We’ve come a long way since the days apple cider was used as a form of commerce. Apple cider also has a different meaning today: it’s a spiced apple drink – not just apple juice.

You can find apple cider ready-made at the store, or you can create your own – either using purchased apple juice or, for a more natural drink, fresh apples.

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However you make it, apple cider is the perfect drink for autumn and for using all those ripened apples!

Apple Cider: The Super Easy Way
apple cider

    If you want to make your cider a little more special and don’t want to just get the store-bought version, follow this recipe.

    What You’ll Need: 

    • apple juice – 1 gallon
    • some cheesecloth (enough to make a little “bag of spices”)
    • spices – cinnamon, cloves (whole or ground), ginger, nutmeg
    • orange peel from one orange
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar (optional)
    • cinnamon stick (optional)

    What To Do:

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    1. Pour the apple juice into a large pan. Turn your stove on to medium-low heat.

    make apple cider

      As the apple juice is heating, prepare the cheesecloth by laying it out and then putting 1-2 teaspoons each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg on the cloth. Add the orange peel, and 3-4 whole cloves or 1 teaspoon ground cloves. Using the corners of the cloth, tie it into a small bag.

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      apple cider cinnamon nutmeg ginger orange cloves

         

        Place the cheesecloth bag into the cider. Add the brown sugar at this time, if desired. Stir occasionally. You’ll see the spices and sugar dissolving into the apple juice.

        apple juice and cider with spices

          Once the mixture is hot (20-30 minutes), use a slotted spoon to take out the cheesecloth bag. Set aside and let cool. Compost the orange peel and spices.

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          Ladle the cider into mugs and serve with a cinnamon stick. You’ll want to be sure to consume all of the cider within one week of making it.

          Make Apple Cider Using Fresh Apples

          If you want to skip the grocery store altogether and make cider from scratch, you’ll need a few on-hand kitchen items, and a little time.

          What You’ll Need:

          • 36 apples, preferably a mix of red and green varieties, washed thoroughly (Red Delicious and Granny Smith are good bets)
          • apple corer (nice to have, but not necessary if you don’t already have one)
          • blender
          • cheesecloth
          • spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves
          • orange or lemon peel
          • cinnamon sticks (optional)
          • whipped cream (optional)

          What To Do:

          1. Core the apples. You can either do this by using an apple corer or cutting each apple in half and scooping out the center (seeds and all) with a knife.
          2. Quarter the apples so they will fit more easily in the blender.
          3. Place the apples in a blender and puree them (both peel and pulp). You’ll probably have to do this in batches to accommodate all the apples.
          4. Place the cheesecloth over a bowl, and pour the apple puree with its juice over the cloth. Squeeze the pulp to extract more juice.
          5. Lift out the cheesecloth with the pulp and you’re left with the juice.
          6. You can now drink as-is or heat the juice over medium-low heat. Then add the spices of your choice, by the teaspoonful, until you’re satisfied with the taste. Add either the orange or lemon peel, depending on your preferences.
          7. Strain out the spices once the cider is hot, but not boiling. You can use cheesecloth and strain the cider into a bowl once again, or skim off the spices and orange or lemon peel with a large spoon.
          8. Serve in mugs with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.

          Yield: approximately one gallon of cider

          More Tips:

          • If you do happen to have access to a cider press, it’s always fun to extract juice from apples the “old-fashioned” way.
          • You can add a little rum and brown sugar to instantly make hard cider.
          • If you heat the cider to 160° F, you effectively pasteurize it, allowing it to keep a little longer – up to 21 days. If not, you’ll want to consume it within 7 days.

          More by this author

          Cyndi Calhoun

          Cyndi is a passionate writer who writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on June 24, 2019

          15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

          15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

          You work all day, and you come home exhausted and hungry. Naturally, the last thing you want to do is to spend hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. If you love cooking, but your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to cook every night, you can simplify your life by making crockpot freezer meals. These meals will allow you to still eat homemade, healthy, filling dinners without the countless hours and enormous effort spent in the kitchen. You can store the simple ingredients in freezer bags and put them in the crockpot when it is time for dinner, or you can cook over the weekend and stock your freezer with delicious ready meals that will make your life easier. Here are 15 easy-to-make recipes to make delicious dinners for busy nights!

          1. Cheesy Tortellini With Ground Beef

          Cheesy tortellini with ground beef

            This is a perfect crockpot freezer meal that even your kids will love. The best thing of all is that it’s incredibly easy to prepare. All you have to do is crumble some ground beef and combine all the recipe’s ingredients in your crockpot. The other ingredients needed for this super delicious meal include tomatoes, herbs, and onions. Tortellini is one of the most commonly ordered meals when eating out, but this way you will get to eat a homemade, healthier version of the popular dish. Find the recipe here.

            2. Cranberry Pork Roast

            Cranberry pork roast

              Cranberry pork roast is a gluten-free meal that everyone can make, regardless of their culinary skills. The dish requires only these few ingredients: onion, cranberry sauce, bone-in pork shoulder, and honey. To prepare this mouthwatering dish, simply combine all the ingredients together in the crockpot and let them cook. If you don’t like pork or if you prefer not to eat it, you can easily use beef as a substitute without impacting the flavor. Click here to see the recipe.

              3. Greens and Beans

              Greens and beans

                Greens and beans are the ideal dishes if you want a dish that is both delicious and nutrient-dense. Combine vegetable broth with beans, garlic, kale, escalore, and Parmesan, and let cook. The result will be a dish with a soup-like consistency that will fill you up and provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals.

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                As a bonus, if you or someone else in your family suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or some other common types of arthritis, greens and beans can reduce the inflammation. That’s because kale and other veggies rich in Vitamin K are anti-inflammatory and are known for relieving arthritis. Click here and start cooking!

                4. Chicken Curry

                Chicken curry

                  That is yet another gluten-free recipe that you’ll love to make. Chicken curry requires basic ingredients such as tomato paste, coconut milk, honey, onions, and garlic, in addition to chicken and curry of course.The result is a sweet and spicy dish where different flavors are perfectly balanced. Find the recipe here.

                  5. Honey Sesame Chicken

                  Honey sesame chicken

                    Honey sesame chicken is a simple and effortless dish that delivers an amazing taste. To make this wonderful recipe, you have to combine all the ingredients except for the sesame seeds and green onions and let them cook. Use the sesame seeds and green onions for garnish when serving. Click here for the full recipe.

                    6. Mushroom Spinach Stroganoff

                    Mushroom spinach stroganoff

                      In this warm weather, many people opt to eat lighter food that is easy on the stomach. Mushroom spinach stroganoff fits the bill being a vegetable version of a famous comfort food that you and your family will love. The dish requires simple ingredients such as sour cream, onion, garlic, ketchup, vegetables, and mushrooms. This dish is very simple to make, and thanks to your crockpot, you won’t have much work to do. Find the recipe here.

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                      7. Stuffed Peppers

                      Stuffed peppers

                        If you’re looking for a healthy, simple, and delicious recipe, you’ll love this one! These crockpot stuffed peppers are easy to make, and they require only a few ingredients such as ground turkey or beef, onion, garlic, bell peppers, and pasta sauce. This meal will remind you of grandma’s kitchen. You can find the recipe here.

                        8. Cilantro and Lime Chicken

                        Cilantro and lime chicken

                          Summer is the perfect season to experiment with more exotic flavors, and this meal can help you do just that. To make cilantro and lime chicken, you will need to combine some simple ingredients such as lime, jalapeno peppers, fresh cilantro, and salsa. The result is chicken that is super tender and that you’ll want to make over and over again, so get the recipe here.

                          9. Beef Fajitas

                          Beef fajitas

                            This is an excellent meal for busy weeknights. The best thing about this recipe is that the required ingredients are probably already there in your kitchen. The recipe is also quite simple — combine all the items in a crockpot, cover, and let cook.

                            The result will be beef and peppers that melt in your mouth. You can easily pair this beef fajita with rice and tortillas and get a meal that the entire family will love. You can find the recipe for this delicious beef fajita here.

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                            10. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                            Asian chicken lettuce wraps

                              Asian chicken lettuce wraps are sweet, slightly salty and very easy to make. All you need to do is add the chicken, red bell pepper, carrots, soy sauce, honey, garlic and the other ingredients to your crockpot and let them cook. You can also replace the chicken with beef or turkey if you like. The presence of different flavors gives this meal a summer flavor you are sure to love. Learn how to make this meal here.

                              11. Hawaiian Chicken

                              Hawaiian chicken

                                This dish enjoys phenomenal exotic tones due to pineapple and lemon flavors. To make this yummy crockpot freezer meal, you need skinless chicken breasts, peppers, ginger and corn starch, in addition to the iconic pineapple and lemon. Learn how to make this perfect summer dinner here.

                                12. Beef and Barley Stew

                                Beef and barley stewd

                                  Beef and barley stew is as healthy as it is delicious. Not to mention it’s incredibly easy to make. Besides the beef and barley, you’ll also need carrots, peppers, herbs and beef broth. The result will be a mouthwatering stew that you can serve alone or over white rice. Get the recipe here.

                                  13. Meatball Soup

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                                  Meatball soup

                                    This soup is very delicious, easy to make and quite versatile. You will be able to swap ingredients and experiment to find your perfect combination. To make this meatball soup, you will need to combine meatballs with pasta sauce, chicken broth, carrots, beans, zucchini, and onion. You can view the recipe here.

                                    14. Turkey Black Bean Chili

                                    Turkey black bean chili

                                      Everybody loves chili and for good reason — it’s very delicious, and it’s a perfect combination of different flavors that balance each other out. To make this chili, you’ll need ground turkey, tomato sauce, black beans, paprika, frozen corns, and a few other ingredients. You can get the full recipe here and have this delicious dish ready when you come back from work on those busy nights.

                                      15. Ham and Pinto Bean Soup

                                      Ham and pinto bean soup

                                        What makes soups special is the fact they’re tasty, healthy and filling at the same time. This soup is no exception. The best quality of this ham and pinto bean soup, however, is its simplicity; it requires only five ingredients: ham, beans, ketchup, salt, and water. Learn how to make this soup here.

                                        Conclusion

                                        With a demanding work week and a busy schedule, it’s normal to have a low energy level by the time you get home. If you don’t feel like standing in the kitchen and cooking dinner due to this, you don’t have to resort to junk food. These freezer crockpot meals offer you the perfect solution for healthy meals that require minimal preparation. You can either combine each recipe’s ingredients in a freezer bag to be thawed and cooked in a few minutes, or you can cook your meal and freeze it to be used later, it’s up to you.

                                        This article showed you 15 easy and simple recipes that you can make using your crockpot. All of these recipes contain anti-inflammatory foods whether it is in the form of vegetable, herbs or spices to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

                                        Featured photo credit: Google via bettycrocker.com

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