This fall especially, I have been all about the cider. I think this is the first year I've really realized there is such a huge, enormous difference between the cider I have been used to, the ciders bought by the jug in the grocery store, and the ciders brewed in small batches by microbreweries.
Silly me, for all these years I've thought the sugary cider-sodas of the world were the only ones that existed. How have I been so blind? There's a whole new world out there, am I am intent on exploring it one cup at a time.
To be honest, ciders aren't 100% paleo- they do have added sugars. However, there is again a huge difference in quality between conventional ciders and ciders made in small batches from reputable sources. Ciders also have vastly different flavor profiles, and I've realized that my the ciders I had formerly just don't hold up; its akin to comparing a beer to wine and wondering why they taste different.
So again, cider: not fully paleo but totally full in flavor. And because I am all about the festive fall drinks this season, I have brought you all a recipe with a the best flavors that come from cider, with a little pumpkin spice....and a little vodka. Because, hey, its the most wonderful time of year.
P.S: perfect last-minute Thanksgiving recipe!
Some cook's notes:
- Vodka is totally optional.
- Definitely source your cider from reputable sources with the lowest amount of added sugars possible. Locally made ciders from co-ops or even crop shares are great options.
- If you don't have orange peel, lemon peel, or anise, you can omit them. I think they make for a much richer fall flavor similar to an apple pie.
Hot Pumpkin-Spiced Apple Pie Cider
- 3 cups apple cider (see note above)
- 1 apple (plus more for garnish, optional)
- 1 tbsp. Dried Star anise
- 2 tsp. Dried Orange peel
- 2 tsp. Dried Lemon peel
- 1 tsp. primal-friendly pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 6 oz. Vodka, optional (fermented from potato or berries, not grain)
- Cinnamon sticks and/or extra ground cinnamon for garnish (optional)
- Dice apple into small pieces.
- In a small pot, add apple cider, anise, orange and lemon peel, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in diced apple pieces.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vodka.
- Pour into 2 mugs, and garnish with cinnamon sticks or dried cinnamon.