As our next Deprocessed December recipe, fill your home with a little holiday cheer! Of course, you can buy hot apple cider in instant packets at the store.
But I recommend you substitute thisfor this:
Easy Homemade Apple Cider
6 c. apple juice (no sugar added)
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 sticks of cinnamon
Heat all ingredients to boiling in a pot over med./high heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Strain if desired (I usually don’t because it’s too much work).
Frugal Reduce and Reuse Note: finding the cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks in the Hispanic foods aisle at the grocery store means they’re not only cheaper, but the packaging is much less bulky than those plastic bottles that are in the spice aisle. For an even better solution, though, go to the spice section of your bulk foods source and reuse your spice bags (save your empty spice bottles, containers, and small jars so that you don’t need to buy the packaging just to get the spices).
I sometimes double this apple cider recipe and then freeze half. I think the real substitute for individually packaged apple cider would be to freeze it in individual serving sizes (if you ever get to-go cups from eating out, they’re the perfect size to rinse out and fill partway with the cider). Once they are frozen, you can remove them from their cups and put all those frozen chunks of cider in a gallon ziplock or other container to pull out and microwave as single servings on those wintery nights! So…it’s a little more work, but I see two advantages: 1) No mysterious ingredients or additives (have you ever read what’s in one of those packets?!) 2) Making your own cider makes your house smell heavenly…and it always impresses the in-laws.