festive apple cider cups

it’s been a bit since my last post. we’ve been away in portland visiting family for the holidays. we’ve spent our days from morning til night exploring the city and wandering through the neighborhoods. i’ve fallen crazy in love with portland and can’t wait to share all about it in an upcoming post. we came to spend the holidays with my brother and sister in law and have had our fair share of delicious food. i’m looking forward to sharing some of the healthy and gluten free recipes we cooked up soon! it’s been crisp and cool here in portland so we’ve been having fun mixing up yummy beverages to warm our bodies after our evening walks through their quaint little town. i’m wild about apples and love everything about them from their shape to their colors, crispy textures and sweet and sometimes tart flavors. i love apple sauce, apple butter and most of all apple cider. we were in the mood for some hot apple cider on thanksgiving and i was in the mood to get creative so i whipped up something fun and festive. this is the perfect beverage to prepare for those holiday get-togethers, is sure to be a talk of the party and is simple and easy to make!

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festive apple cider cups

here’s how the recipe goes

ingredients:

Serves 4-6 people

4-6 fuji apples (round and even on the bottom so they stand up tall when placed on a flat surface)

6-10 cups organic -pure pressed apple cider

4-6 fresh cinnamon sticks

fresh ground organic cinnamon

fresh ground organic nutmeg

1 fresh organic lemon

i found this brand of organic apple cider at the local organic market new seasons. no matter where we travel, we are always on the hunt for the local organic markets and shops and this one didn’t disappoint. the people were incredibly helpful and friendly and they offered a variety of locally made items. this particular apple cider was local, made from northwest grown apples and was 100% pure pressed with no added sugar or preservatives. we didn’t plan enough time for preparing our own apple cider but if you do have the time to make your own recipe there’s a quick and simple recipe here.

i picked up a few lovely looking fuji apples from the produce section. the key to picking out apples for apple cups is choosing ones that have a nice round shape and are even on the bottom so they stand up tall when placed on a flat surface.

i love fuji apples. they’re my favorite kind of apple. that being said, i just love apples in general and one thing i love most about them is their variety. so many choices of this healthy fruit. i absolutely adore apples. here’s why you should adore them too.

  • good source of vitamin c which helps boost the immune system
  • good source of soluble fiber
  • they’re loaded with antioxidants which support healthy heart function and inhibit inflammation
  • apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin, which is thought to aid endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs.
  • help reduce risk of diabetes
  • support healthy digestion
  • thought to help prevent parkinson’s, alzheimer’s and some forms of cancer
  • help detoxify liver

the fresh cinnamon sticks came from the bulk section and in my opinion are the best part of this entire recipe. you’ll know why once you make this delicious warm goodness of a treat. not only is cinnamon incredibly flavorful but it’s also loaded with health benefits. here are just a few reasons why you should love this wonder spice.

  • good for your heart
  • helps protect against diabetes
  • supports better brain function
  • aides in digestion
  • helps regulate blood sugar levels

add cinnamon’s cohort nutmeg. i’m nuts about nutmeg. here’s why you should be nuts about nutmeg too…

  • strengthens the liver
  • aides in digestion
  • is thought to aide in sleep (add to a warm glass of coconut milk before bed)
  • boosts the immune system
  • supports healthy digestion
  • supports healthy brain function
  • helps relieve muscular and joint pain
  • supports healthy circulation and kidney function

add these all together and you’ve got a powerful drink packed full of health benefits.

begin by slicing the tops off of apples – try to make the top as even as possible

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use a large spoon to hollow out the inside of the cup.

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be sure not to hollow out too close to the bottom or the cups will leak.

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squeeze fresh lemon on the edges and insides of the apples to prevent browning

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heat cider mix on low heat. add desired amount of ground cinnamon and nutmeg. whisk gently

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ladle warm cider into cups

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add a fresh cinnamon stick.

here’s the fun part. use the cinnamon stick as a straw to sip your cider.

you’ll love the extra hint of cinnamon in your sip.

who doesn’t like to drink from cinnamon stick straws?!

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enjoy. celebrate life. spend time with others who lift you up and bring you joy. drink a warm beverage on a cold day. get plenty of vitamin c. drink from a cinnamon stick straw. be good to yourself. be good to others. life is good.

much love, Shawnee

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