We have all heard it said, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." This may be so. Apples are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber to help maintain healthy cholesterol. They contain vitamin C, vitamin B6,, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and plenty of fiber.
Much of the vitamin C in apples is just below the skin, so more nutrients will be obtained by eating the whole apple, unpeeled.
There are over 100 varieties of apples in the United States alone. How many of those varieties have you eaten. It might be nice to look for some different varieties to see how they taste. When you make an apple pie, it tastes better if you use more than one variety in the filling. Three is a good number. When we were growing up, my mother only bought red delicious and some type of cooking apple. Now I see gala, honey crisp, granny smith, macintosh and a few others at the grocery store. I guess some of those other apples don't make it to our stores.
There is so much to do with an apple:
There are many recipes for apple juice and apple cider on the internet. It seems that there is very little difference in some of the recipes. Most of the cider recipes have spices added as they cook.
I read that basically, apple juice is strained so that it does not have particles of apple in it. It can be strained through a cheesecloth lines sieve or through coffee filters. Apple cider is generally not strained so it will have some particles of apple still in the juice. Some people make apple cider and let the particles settle to the bottom and then pour off the liquid so that it is relatively clear. Those particles are, I am sure, full of nutrients.
There is also hard cider which is fermented and has become alcoholic. I think this is a more common drink in Europe than in the US,
You can use a crockpot or a large pot on top of the stove.
You will need about 12 apples of at least 3 different varieties. The sweeter the apples, the less sugar you will need to add. I do not add any sugar when I make apple juice. I usually use at least 3 or 4 red delicious and the same amount of green delicious some honey crisp and some gala apples. Use your favorite apples. Wash the apples thoroughly, core them. Cut into pieces and put in your pan. You do not need to peel the apples. You will lose nutrients of you do.
Barely cover the apples with water. If you use a crockpot, you can use a little less water if you like. Put a lid on the crockpot or stovetop pan and simmer the apples until tender. If you are using a crockpot you can cook the apples for up to 6 hours. On top of the stove, you need to make sure you don't scorch your apples. Stir frequently. Cook slowly.
When the mixture is finished you can strain it through cheesecloth, coffee filters or just a sieve. You may let the juice sit in the refrigerator until any solids left sink to the bottom and then carefully pour off the juice. The pulp from this process can be used for making applesauce or apple butter or I have heard of people using it as a base for a pie filling.
Taste your juice to see if it needs to be sweetened. I would only use maple syrup or honey to sweeten the juice, but hopefully it will be sweet enough already.
You can boil your juice to a temperature of 160 degrees to pasteurize it.
I am not sure there is really a difference in cider and juice as we know it, but mulled cider is made with spices.
To make this cider, you can add the spices at the beginning of the simmering or you can add them at the end of the cooking. I would add 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon or a few cinnamon sticks and about 1/2 tsp of allspice. You can add spices to suit your taste.
Follow the same procedure as above.
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