Cozy Cinnamon Apple Cider – A simple and easy way to spice up your winter apple cider (and make your house smell amazing)
Because it is dang cold outside all I want to do is have my house smell like cinnamon and apples….
How cold has it been lately – I keep asking myself why I live in a place that gets to be -30 ….. why? But then I remember the perfect summer days and beautiful snow days in between (with normal winter temps) and I get it. I love it here. Buuuuut, that doesn’t mean I like this weather and we all need to find a way to cope. This is how I cope ?
This recipe, if you can call it a recipe, it is more of a suggestion really – is simple but so meaningful to me. My mom (who taught me and inspired to me learn to cook) loves having apple cider sitting on the stove with some cinnamon sticks. When we were little she would frequently have a little sauce pan going on the stove and the smell alone of apple cider and cinnamon just bring me back to a million memories – I love it.
So I decided to just take that simple “recipe” and crank it up a notch. I mean, I didn’t do much, I just added an apple slice or two and some star anise…. but it is delicious and comforting and one of my absolute favorites.
On another note, I wanted to reflect back on 2017 and, in turn, take what I learned and apply to the year to come….
I would say this year was a healthy journey for me. Here are the highlights from the blog/personal life:
- Whole30: After battling horrible acid reflux/ulcer issues last year and other “gut” issues, I tried Whole30 for the first time in May and my diet/lifestyle hasn’t been the same since (currently doing my 3rd round!). Whole30 and Whole30 recipes have become a huge part of my life and my blog. It is honestly incredible how much better I feel when I eat Whole30 compliant food, but I also love that within my own food freedom, I can still eat/indulge on my own terms. My family has seen how much happier and healthier I am and now they are all joining me in January Whole30 and it is amazing.
- Dairy-Free and Vegan Recipes: When I am not focusing on Whole30 recipes, I have found a real passion for creating dairy-free and vegan recipes, particularly desserts ?. I am allergic to dairy so basically all of my recipes are dairy-free, but it is something I have focused on even more this past year.
- Self-Care: It is amazing what happens when you actually take care of yourself. I know, mind-blowing. But I have always been of the mindset that …. I am tough, I can handle it. If I stay up past midnight working, I fully expect myself to get up in the morning and perform at my A-game. Yeah, it doesn’t work like that. When you actually set aside time to take care of yourself, exercise, and eat right ….. amazing things happen. You have better ideas, better relationships, better work product when you take the time slow down and allow yourself to take a freakin breath (and get some sleep!). I know this seems really obvious (like, really obvious), but for whatever reason I never really understood it until this year.
So, looking forward to 2018, I will keep pumping out the healthy, Whole30 recipes for you guys, along with the dairy-free and vegan desserts, etc. On a more personal note, I am going to really try to focus on 4 areas of self-care:
- finding my food freedom with a balance of Whole30 food and those indulgences or non-Whole30 foods that I think are “worth it”
- mediating more
- taking time to take care of me so I can be a better mom, wife, friend, daughter, creative (taking a bath, sitting down and reading a book, going to bed before midnight, etc. )
- cycle syncing (I mentioned this a couple of other times, it is essentially the practice of knowing what your body needs through the various parts of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is super interesting and, when I actually do it, I always see results. Check out Flo Living for more information)
Oh and technically (technically) apple cider is Whole30 compliant, BUT I wouldn’t recommend drinking an entire glass of it during your Whole30!! It is essentially concentrated apple juice soooooo yeah – just saying ?
- 10 cups apple cider
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 slices of apple
- 1 whole star anise
- Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce to low heat and let sit for as long as needed, serve hot.