Hot Apple Cider with Superfood Power!

I’m a Rocky Mountains girl through and through. The peaks draw me in with their magic, captivate me with their beauty and pull on my heart strings. I feel more at home in the shadow of a mountain than I do anywhere else in the world. When it came to decide where Mom, Dad, Christina and I would go on a little outing yesterday, Banff was an obvious choice.

When we were kids, Mom and Dad would take us out to Banff around this time of year to visit the Christmas store. They served hot apple cider by the mug-full for each and every person that entered the enchanting place. We would walk around with our little treat; which I’m sure was just a tiny dixie cup come to think of it, and look at all of the Santa things… such great memories.

Guess what we did yesterday? That very same thing! But they’ve since stopped serving hot apple cider. But no worries, I loaded up on homemade cider before the trip. Plus, my version is loaded with superfood awesomeness and doesn’t have any sugar!

What’s so superfood about these common ingredients?

Cloves contains significant amounts of an active component called eugenol, which has been studied on the prevention of toxicity from environmental pollutants like carbon tetrachloride, digestive tract cancers, and joint inflammation. These little guys are an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and vitamin C and a good source of calcium and magnesium.

Cinnamon is a anti-microbial powerhouse and seasoning a high carb food with cinnamon can help lessen its impact on your blood sugar levels. How? Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating. Cool, right?

Cardamom stimulates the digestive system and is a natural detoxifying herb.

Star anise has been shown to help alleviate headaches.

Ginger promotes the elimination of intestinal gas and relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract. Research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties like boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation and boosting the cell death of cancerous cells.

Lemons & oranges are loaded with Vitamin C, a vitamin that helps us heal free radical damage.

Moral of the story: you don’t have to buy fancy superfood powders and supplements to get some superfood action in your life!

Lightly adapted from Organic Authority.

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5.0 from 4 reviews
Superfoods Hot Apple Cider
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Easy apple cider recipe packed with superfoods that will benefit your health, one sip at a time!
  • 4 cups freshly made apple juice - approximately 4-6 apples depending on the quality of your juicer
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 Chinese star anise
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • ½ orange, thinly sliced
  1. Juice apples and place completed juice in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Add cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, anise, ginger and lemon zest.
  3. Cover and heat on low-medium heat for 20 minutes. The mixture doesn't need to boil. Just get it warm, up to around 170F or so.
  4. Add orange slices during the last 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and strain to remove spices and fruits.
  6. Serve immediately.
For a sweet juice use apples such as Gala, red delicious of Macintosh. For a tart juice, use apples such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady.

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)

Keeping the cider just under a boil will ensure that you’re not killing off the enzymes in the apple juice. Just heating it will combine the flavors and keep many of the nutrients in tact.

When you’re done, strain it and; if you’re feeling a bit festive, place the strained ingredients back in a pot of water and bring to a boil to infuse your home with cinnamon spice amazingness!

Now, all you need is a good book, a blanket, and a warm spot on the couch!

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  1. Originally from Toronto! Already paid a visit to Whistler and was so beautiful… Can’t wait to make it to Banff!

    • Oh wow! I have no doubt you’ll love it out West. So beautiful!

  2. This looks great Leanne! Sounds like a lovely family outing too. I am loving living in Vancouver – for the mountains alone! Hope to make it out to Banff while I’m on the west coast.

    • Mmm Vancouver is one of my favorite spots! Where are you from originally? You’ll definitely have to make a visit to Banff, it’s quite something!

  3. Banff is one of my favourite places in the world. I love mountains and I’m happiest when surrounded by them. This must smell so amazing when you’re making it. I love hot apple cider!

  4. My hubby was just asking for apple cider for his bday next weekend! I had been looking around and was not happy with all the gunk in the commercial ciders. This recipe is perfect! I love Banff, so beautiful and I remember the xmas store with the apple cider…and you are right, dixie cups for sure ;)

    • What perfect timing! Somehow I had it in my memory (from when I was like, 10) that they were BIG mugs! Heh…

  5. I love Banff! Going to miss it whenwe move this week but it just gives an excuse to visit and enjoy it more! Have you ever eaten at the Nourish Bistro there? I love the food combinations but not so sure about how vegan and healthy it is. Enjoy your visit!!

    • Where are you moving to, Michelle? I have heard endless good things about Nourish Bistro but haven’t visited… yet. I’ll definitely add it to the list for next time!

      • Moving from Canmore to Dawson Creek BC, I am very excited. New opportunities, new experiences and new area. I am embracing the change. Nourish is definitely a must try. I have never had apple cider and I am going to make this one this year to try something new and I love all the spices!!

        • Wow, that’s awesome! I’ve been to Dawson Creek, beautiful place. So great to hear that you’re embracing the change, that’s the best (but most challenging) thing to do! Enjoy the move :)

  6. Great recipe, I love how it is healthy AND festive! I also love the idea of using the extras as aromatherapy! Have a wonderful holiday with your family!

    • Thanks Jane! Yes, it smelled up the house real, real good.

  7. This is an amazing idea! Sounds like just what I need right now! Cinnamon is also an incredible antioxidant – just 1/3 of a tsp is 2,000 ORACS – 1/3 of the Recommended intake :)

  8. I LOVE the Christmas store!! Haven’t been in forever, but I’m so glad you got to go! This cider sounds fantastic, and the spice mix you’ve used sounds amazing. I’m huge on ginger – it’s like a lifeboat for my digestive system and lately i’ve been putting it in everything! I hope you’re having an awesome time in Calgary. Stay warm!

    • It’s the bomb, isn’t it? I got a cute little ornament that I can’t wait to add to our tree! Ginger = lifeboat… awesome. It’s amazingly pretty warm here… just so, so dry.