Stovetop Herbal Apple Cider

As someone who has spent years wandering the globe, I have discovered countless ways to bring the magic of the seasons with me, no matter where my travels take me. And now, I’m excited to share one of my favorite recipes with you: stovetop herbal apple cider that’s as enchanting as it is delicious. This delightful blend of spices and healing herbs – including hawthorn and rose hips – is the perfect way to warm your heart and soothe your soul during this season of turning inwards and cozying up.

Apple cider is simple to make and requires minimal ingredients, all of which you can locate easily in your local grocery store. You can refer to our slow cooker apple cider recipe if you wish. But if you love to watch a big pot of apple cider simmer on the stove, and add a healing herbal boost of botanicals wherever you can, this recipe is perfect for you!

close up image of stovetop herbal spiced cider next to autumn bouquet of flowers

The botanicals:

I wanted to use Autumn botanicals in case you were lucky enough to live somewhere where foraging is a possibility. There is nothing like making cider from freshly pickled apples and herbs, and berries! So I simmered this cider with Elderberry, Hawthorne and rose hips. These wild medicinal plants, traditional herbs, and healing plants contain a large number of bioactive compounds. Trusted source.

close up image of elderberry

Elderberry:

Sambucus nigra L. ssp. canadensis is a shrub that’s commonly found throughout most of North America as an ornamental plant. It is often found along hedgerows and forest perimeters where the ground has been disturbed to create a habitat for new growth.

While elderberries are edible, you can’t just pluck them from the tree and eat them raw, like you would with blueberries. Raw elderberries, and leaves, stems, bark, and roots of these plants contain toxins that would harm your pancreas if consumed. It’s important not to include any when processing ingredients for cooking with this berry.

Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis. Research shows that it can be an effective antiviral against the flu. In one study, 60 people who were suffering from symptoms were enrolled into two groups: placebo or elderberry treatment patients. Results showed that those taking the remedy had much faster recovery times (they felt better 4 days sooner than with traditionally prescribed medication!) – suggesting its effectiveness may not just be folklore! Trusted Source.

close up image of rose hips on tree

Rose hips:

When Autumn arrives in the mountains of Oman, it’s rose hip time! Beautiful orange rose hips to be simmered and sipped, sharing their beauty and benefits. In spring time, when picking roses for rose water, take only what you need, as rose hips will form where flowers bloomed.

While I usually always prefer dried plants in recipes like this, rose hips are the exception, Rose hips have powerful antioxidant properties thanks to it’s high levels of polyphenols, carotenoids, and are rich in vitamins C & E, and their levels of antioxidants are higher when they’re fresh. (Trusted Source).

close up image of Hawthorne

Hawthorn:

Hawthorn is widely distributed in the world, with over 1000 species. Hawthorn is found in trees, often in hedgerows. The berries ripen to an orange to deep red. Hawthorn is widely used to prevent hypertension and heart failure (Trusted source) Hawthorn berries, leaves, and flowers are traditionally used in Europe to treat heart disease. (Trusted source)

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 apples quartered, seeds, stems, and cores removed to prevent bitter apple cider. You can use either red or green apples. Our family prefers sweet red apples!
  • ¾ – 1 cup brown sugar. You could also use coconut sugar or any sweetener of choice. Brown sugar adds a lot of depth from its molasses, which is what I recommend most. Start with ¾ cup and add more if needed after tasting
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger, or simply sliced
  • ¼ nutmeg freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons elderberry
  • 2 tablespoons hawthorne berry
  • 2 tablespoons rose hip
  • 8 cups water, more if needed

How to make it:

  • Start by prepping your apples by cleaning and cutting them into quarters. You can remove seeds and stems to prevent apple cider from becoming bitter during cooking. 
  • Add apples, hawthorne, rose hips, elderberry, water, and spices to your stockpot. Cover with water.  Water should fully cover apples.
  • Cover and bring water to a boil.
  • Turn the temperature down to low to let simmer.
  • Simmer on low for two hours.
  • Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to mash the apples and into the pot’s side to release their flavor. Then, continue to cook on low for another hour or two. 
  • Strain apple cider into the serving vessel of choice. Use the potato masher or wooden spoon to extract all additional liquid from apples before discarding them. Note, we like to use these apples for apple sauce!
  • Stir in the brown sugar, tasting and adding more until you reach your desired level of sweetness. 
  • Serve warm or chilled with a cinnamon stick.

close up image of terracotta cup with orange slice and big piece of ginger showing healing herbal spiced cider

Stovetop Herbal Apple Cider

5 from 2 votes
As someone who has spent years wandering the globe, I have discovered countless ways to bring the magic of the seasons with me, no matter where my travels take me. And now, I'm excited to share one of my favorite recipes with you: stovetop herbal apple cider that's as enchanting as it is delicious. This delightful blend of spices and healing herbs – including hawthorn and rose hips – is the perfect way to warm your heart and soothe your soul during this season of turning inwards and cozying up.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:4 hours

Ingredients

  • 8-10 apples quartered seeds, stems, and cores removed to prevent bitter apple cider. You can use either red or green apples. Our family prefers sweet red apples!
  • ¾ – 1 cup brown sugar. You could also use coconut sugar or any sweetener of choice. Brown sugar adds a lot of depth from its molasses which is what I recommend most. Start with ¾ cup and add more if needed after tasting
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger or simply sliced
  • ¼ nutmeg freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons elderberry
  • 2 tablespoons hawthorne berry
  • 2 tablespoons rose hip
  • 8 cups water more if needed

Instructions

  • Start by prepping your apples by cleaning and cutting them into quarters. You can remove seeds and stems to prevent apple cider from becoming bitter during cooking.
  • Add apples, hawthorne, rose hips, elderberry, water, and spices to your stockpot. Cover with water. Water should fully cover apples.
  • Cover and bring water to a boil.
  • Turn the temperature down to low to let simmer.
  • Simmer on low for two hours.
  • Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to mash the apples and into the pot’s side to release their flavor. Then, continue to cook on low for another hour or two.
  • Strain apple cider into the serving vessel of choice. Use the potato masher or wooden spoon to extract all additional liquid from apples before discarding them. Note, we like to use these apples for apple sauce!
  • Stir in the brown sugar, tasting and adding more until you reach your desired level of sweetness.
  • Serve warm or chilled with a cinnamon stick.

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
 
Allow cider to come to room temperature before storing in the fridge.
 
Consume within two weeks.
 
Freezes well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.004g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.004g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 183IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple cider, herbal apple cider, herbal cider, homemade cider, stovetop cider
Servings: 8 cups
Calories: 89kcal
Author: sarah

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