It's easier than you think to make your own apple cider, and it's a great family activity for a chilly fall day. Besides, how many apple pies can you eat?
Since apples are readily available at this time of year and it's the perfect weather for an excursion to a local farm, consider picking your own for a big dose of family fun! If you don't have access to a spot where you can harvest your own apples, check your local farmers market or grocery store. Organic apples have been found to have a better taste, and something else to consider when deciding on organic: this year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization focused on public health, ranked apples at the top of the "dirty dozen" list as the most chemically-contaminated produce, which may influence your choice.
The type of apples you use for your cider is simply a matter of taste. The more tart the apple, like Granny Smith for example, the more tart your cider. Sweeter apples include Red Delicious, Fuji and Gala among others. The more tart variety includes Granny Smith and Macintosh apples. You can also mix and match until your heart's content!
You'll need about 36 apples to make one gallon of cider, along with seasonings of your choice, like cloves, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.
Red and Golden Delicious may be the most common, but there are more than 10,000 varieties of apples! Watch this video to learn about the appearance, texture and taste of a variety of apples.
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