Recipes

Easy Homemade Apple Ginger Cider Recipe

This Easy Homemade Apple Ginger Cider Recipe with no added sugar will fill your home with aromas of the season: apple, orange, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, while it simmers in your crock pot.

Apple Ginger Cider

This easy and delicious homemade apple ginger holiday cider recipe takes only 5 minutes (or less!) to prep and can cook in 3-4 hours or 6-8 hours in your crock pot / slow cooker, depending on your heat preference of low or high. And best of all – there is no refined sugar added. Honestly, I believe you don’t need to add sugar because apples are naturally sweet and when added with the orange and cooked slowly, they release their own sugars which makes this cider deliciously sweet, as is.

Apple Ginger Cider

When the cider has cooked, simply grab a clean large pot and strain it through a fine mesh strainer, like this one:

and serve it hot or pour it into a gallon jug or pretty pitcher and refrigerate it for up to a week.

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Easy Homemade Apple Ginger Cider Recipe
 
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Easy Homemade Apple Ginger Cider Recipe
Author:
Serves: 1 Gallon
Ingredients
  • 10 fresh organic apples, any variety
  • 1 large organic orange
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3-4 slices of fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp. of ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 gallon of filtered water
Instructions
  1. Wash the apples and orange really well and cut them into quarters. No need to remove the seeds and peels because this will all get strained out later. Add the fruit to the slow cooker along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger slices, ground nutmeg and cloves.


  2. Pour filtered water into the crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.


  3. An hour before the cider is done cooking, use a potato masher to mash the fruit. Cook for another hour.



  4. Strain the cider through a fine-mesh strainer (or cheesecloth) into a clean pot. Serve hot or let it cool and refrigerate it for up to 1 week.

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This Easy Homemade Apple Ginger Cider Recipe with no added sugar will fill your home with aromas of the season: apple, orange, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, while it simmers in your crock pot.This Easy Homemade Apple Ginger Cider Recipe with no added sugar will fill your home with aromas of the season: apple, orange, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, while it simmers in your crock pot.This Easy Homemade Apple Ginger Cider Recipe with no added sugar will fill your home with aromas of the season: apple, orange, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, while it simmers in your crock pot.

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Minestrone Soup With Gluten Free Pasta

This hearty Italian Minestrone Soup With Gluten Free Pasta is full of healthy veggies and zesty herbs.

Minestrone Soup With Gluten Free PastaNote: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

This satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta.This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs and vegetables you have available. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients. I used gluten-free fusilli here, but any variety will work. Here are a few gluten-free pasta options:

I like to make this soup in my dutch oven. I do, however, cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup, especially if you’re using gluten-free pasta. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft and mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day and better results when freezing for future use.

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Minestrone Soup With Gluten Free Pasta
 
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Minestrone Soup With Gluten Free Pasta
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 large stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 28-oz. can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 c. organic vegetable broth*
2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or 1 t. dried)
  • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t. dried)
  • 1 T. fresh oregano leaves (or 1 t. dried)
  • ½ T. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 3” Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 c. Fusilli pasta
  • 2 c. fresh green beans, cut into ½” pieces
  • 2 c. fresh arugula
  • Optional Garnish: 
¼ c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

* Use additional vegetable broth to reach desired consistency, if needed
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.

  2. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are soft and tender.

  3. Add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes to pot and stir to combine. Add Parmesan cheese rind, if desired, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.

  4. While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta. Rinse pasta and transfer to a medium bowl and toss with remaining olive oil. Cover and set aside.

  5. Remove cover from pot or Dutch oven and add green beans and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and continue cooking, uncovered, another 20-25 minutes or until green beans are crisp tender.

  6. Add arugula and additional vegetable broth, if needed, and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until arugula begins to wilt.

  7. To serve, divide cooked pasta among individual serving bowls and top with hot soup. Top with chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with crusty bread and/or a crisp, green side salad for a hearty meal. Enjoy!

You may also like:
Dutch Oven Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
Beef Chili Recipe

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This hearty Italian Minestrone Soup With Gluten Free Pasta is full of healthy veggies and zesty herbs.This hearty Italian Minestrone Soup With Gluten Free Pasta is full of healthy veggies and zesty herbs.This hearty Italian Minestrone Soup With Gluten Free Pasta is full of healthy veggies and zesty herbs.

 

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Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie

Classic holiday spices enhance and flavor this Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie.

Healthy Gingerbread Protein SmoothieNote: This post contains affiliate links for Amazon.

Ah! The warm and spicy flavors of gingerbread are a holiday favorite.  Whether you like yours in cookie form, bread, or brownies and bars, give this healthy gingerbread smoothie a try this season. It’s so easy to make.

I use unsweetened almond milk, although coconut milk (from a carton) will work, too. The secret ingredient that really kicks it over the top for that classic gingerbread flavor is molasses. You’ll need just a little, so don’t panic! Molasses is fairly strong in flavor, so a little goes a long way. I also like to use fresh ginger if I have it on hand, but ground ginger will do the trick, too. Ground cinnamon and cloves round out the spices that you’ll need.

Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie

There’s rarely a smoothie that I make that doesn’t have frozen banana in it. I always have frozen bananas in my freezer. You just peel the bananas, break them into bite size chunks (makes it easier on the blender!) and throw them in a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer. I typically have two or three bags in my freezer at a time since I make several smoothies during the day.  You’ll also need almond butter. This is another staple that usually ends up in my smoothies.

Since I make smoothies daily, I keep an abundance of frozen fruits in my freezer. For fresh fruits that are in season and that I want to freeze, or like bananas that I peel and break in half, I use these silicone reusable ziplock bags. Money-saver and eco-friendly!

I use my favorite high-powered blender to blend this smoothie in stages. A high-powered blender works best because those frozen fruits need to be pulverized, otherwise, it’s not a “smoothie,” it’s a “chunky,” and no one wants that!

Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie

Add this yummy and healthy gingerbread protein smoothie to your morning rotation this holiday season. I actually make it throughout the year so it feels like Christmas even in July!

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:
Gift Guide for the Smoothie Lover
Cherry Vanilla Protein Smoothie
Peaches and Cream Protein Smoothie
Blueberry Pineapple Protein Smoothie

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Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie
 
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Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie
Author:
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetend almond milk
  • 1 whole frozen organic banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ tsp organic ground cinnamon, or to taste*
  • ¼ tsp organic ground cloves, or to taste*
  • ⅓ tsp fresh ginger OR ⅓ tsp organic ground ginger, to taste*
  • 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • *Ground spices can be adjusted according to your taste preference.
Instructions
  1. Note: This smoothie yields the best consistency if blended in stages.

  2. In a high-powdered blender, add almond milk, protein powder, ground spices and blend until combined.

  3. Add in almond butter and molasses and blend well.

  4. Add in frozen banana chunks and blend well.

  5. Pour into glass, garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy!

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Classic holiday spices enhance and flavor this Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie.Classic holiday spices enhance and flavor this Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie.Classic holiday spices enhance and flavor this Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie.

 

Classic holiday spices enhance and flavor this Healthy Gingerbread Protein Smoothie.

Apple Cinnamon Protein Smoothie
Apple Cinnamon Protein Smoothie
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15 Thoughtful Gift Ideas For Wine Lovers

If there’s a wine lover or connoisseur on your gift list, birthday list, holiday list, or just because, the following 15 thoughtful gift ideas for wine lovers will help you find a gift that they will appreciate and use.

15 Thoughtful Gift Ideas For The Wine Lover

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Wine Decanter – Elegant hand blown lead-free crystal glass makes a unique statement piece as well as being a functional decanter. Slanted top makes for drip-free pouring. Wine connoisseurs will appreciate this thoughtful gift!

Copper Stainless Steel Double Walled Wine Bottle Cooler Holder – stylish and elegant, this double-walled cooler keeps your wine chilled as you entertain. No need to keep going back and forth to the fridge when you need to refill your (or your guests) glasses. Also comes in stainless steel if copper isn’t your thing.

Copper Stainless Steel Double Walled Wine Bottle Cooler Holder

 

12-Bottle Dark Espresso Bamboo Wine Rack – I’m in love with this wine rack! Made of bamboo, it’s a contemporary design that will look spectacular on your counter. Also comes in a lighter natural bamboo color if you prefer.

Stemless Wine Glasses with Classic Gold Dot – 4 piece set perfect for everyday use or to bring a festive touch to entertaining and parties.

Leather Single Bottle Wine Carrier Box – made of premium environmentally-friendly PU leather, this wine tote bag fits standard size wine bottles. Perfect to use when gifting a standard size bottle of wine without having to worry about using gift wrap. Totally re-usable; your recipient will love it. Comes in black and brown, too.

Rapid Beverage & Wine Chiller – For all those times you forgot to put the Chardonnay in to chill: d’oh! This amazing machine chills cans in 1 minute and wine bottles in 6 minutes! I need this! Comes in silver or white.

Rewined Blanc Candle Collection (Chenin Blanc) – This brand’s wine-scented candles made a great gift. They come in a variety of scents such as chenin blanc, zinfandel, pinot noir. Yummy!

Wine Flight Decanter Set – 4 Glasses (6oz) with Paddle, Chalkboard and Chalk – This set is excellent for sampling small quantities of a variety of different wine. It’s great for parties or as a gift. Makes an excellent addition for the wine lovers collection.

Gorgeous Marquis By Waterford Markham Wine Glasses – Set of 3 beautifully designed short stem wine glasses of premium crystal. Perfect for red or white. Everyone knows the Waterford name and will appreciate this sparkling set.

Moleskine Passion Journal For Wine – This beautiful Moleskine journal contains 6 theme-based sections for the wine lover to fill in – Sparkling, White, Rosé, Red, Fortified/Sweet, Spirits. Also contains tabbed sections to personalize and 10 blank pages in which to insert comments and notes. Adhesive labels included to further personalize thoughts on notes on wine. A truly thoughtful gift!

Best Rabbit Wine Opener Corkscrew With An Extra Corkscrew Worm/Spiral – In my opinion, this is the best wine opener that I’ve found. I’ve gone through a lot of them in my search for one that will work well with my small hands and carpal tunnel syndrome issues. I always come back to this “rabbit” opener. It’s sturdy and can handle the job. Plus, you get an extra spiral and a foil cutter packaged in a lovely gift/storage box. Hmm… I may need to upgrade mine just for the color: luxury golden!

Wine and Champagne Bottle Snap Thermometer – true wine connoisseurs will always want to serve wine at the appropriate temperature, and what better way to gauge that temp than with a thermometer made just for wine bottles. Easily snaps on to display temperature on the front of the thermometer. Reference chart included for varietals of wines and champagnes.

Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine – this book will delight the wine lover on your list! Hailed as “The best introductory book on wine to come along in years.” by The Washington Post.

Mikasa Cheers Set of 4 Glass Bottle Stoppers – a beautiful, sparkly gift! Each stopper etched with a different design. Makes a great house-warming gift, too.

Premium Aerating Pourer and Decanter Spout – aeration and tidy pouring all in one! Aerates instantly as you pour, drip-free. Hooray! No more wine stains from messy, drippy pouring! Elegant design with effortless cleaning.

YOU MAY LIKE:
Grand Marnier Chocolate Truffles
Roasted Olives with Feta and Lemon
Holiday Gift Guide For The Cook
Must-Have Baking Tools and Essentials

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15 Thoughtful Gift Ideas For The Wine Lover

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