Yummy and Healthy Apple Cider and Banana Nut Bread

Apple Cider
Photo credit:Β Β Some rights reservedΒ byΒ Violette79

Hot apple cider is a great wintertime drink and goes perfectly with popcorn, cookies, or banana nut bread. The following recipes are good for making up to four quarts of apple cider and a loaf of banana nut bread to go with the cider. I know what you’re thinking: why would anyone need a recipe for apple cider? Well, hot apple cider has gotten lost over time, and every recommended way to make it seems to yield a highly unhealthy product. Hot apple cider is a great wintertime drink and goes perfectly with popcorn, cookies, or banana nut bread.

For starters, use only top-notch organically grown apple juice. Don’t use pre-packaged flavor mixes; choose raw, whole, and dried spices. Keeping it hot can be done by simmering on the stovetop or using a Crock-Pot. The following recipes are good for making up to four quarts of apple cider and a loaf of banana nut bread to go with the cider.

Apple Cider

Ingredients

  • 1-4 quarts Organic apple juice
  • Spices (use more or less, depending on your desired quantity)
  • 4-10 Whole cloves (depending on how much juice you used)
  • 2-6 Green cardamom pods
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • a thin slice of Fresh ginger

Cooking Directions

  • Blend your spices and ingredients and let it simmer on the stovetop or in a crock-pot. If using a crock-pot, start it two hours in advance. You could also heat your cider on the stovetop and then transfer it to your crock-pot.
bananas
Photo credit:Β Β Some rights reservedΒ by rotron

Banana Nut Bread – with gluten-free options below!

Ingredients

  • One and a half cups wheat flour (unbleached)
  • Three teaspoons baking powder
  • Half teaspoon salt
  • Half teaspoon nutmeg
  • One teaspoon ginger
  • One teaspoon cinnamon
  • Three over-ripened bananas (equal to about two cups of mashed bananas)
  • One-quarter cup cane sugar (unbleached)
  • Half cup chopped walnuts
  • Half cup dried chopped apricots (optional)
  • Two tablespoons cornstarch
  • Two tablespoons lemon juice
  • Two tablespoons water
  • One-quarter cup vegetable oil
  • One-third cup unsalted butter melted
  • Two eggs, or 2 tablespoons flax meal whisked well with 1/2 cup of water

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat your stove to about 350 degrees.
  2. Oil a bread pan (medium size).
  3. Measure and chop the walnuts.
  4. Measure and blend all the dry ingredients (except the sugar).
  5. Add in your chopped nuts.
  6. Blend all the moist ingredients, including the sugar and banana. Use a food processor, blender stick, or blender. If these are all unavailable, just mash your bananas, whisk the rest of the wet ingredients, and then add in the dried chopped apricots (if you chose to include them).
  7. Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and lightly mix it all with about five strokes.
  8. Evenly smooth your mixture into the oiled bread pan
  9. Bake in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes, until browned and firm to the touch.
  10. Shut off the oven and allow your bread to cool in the oven for five minutes, and then take it out to finish cooling.

For a Gluten-Free Version, substitute the wheat flour with:Β 

  • One cup rice flour
  • One-third cup tapioca
  • Two tablespoons corn starch

As a rule, you should allow the bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing, but good luck fighting off the urge to dive in right away!

Written by Chris Keenan

Chris Keenan is a green and general blog writer. He also maintains a personal cooking blog: http://thekeenancookbook.com/

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