You know summer is ending when you start seeing apple cider at your local farm stand, but seriously, it's so good you're almost glad, right?
A six-ounce glass of apple cider has about the same number of calories as a whole apple—about 90 or so. Cider is made by mashing apples that ripen early, the pulp is filtered out, and the result is the cloudy brown, tangy-sweet drink we associate with cool weather, blue skies, and autumn's bright colors. Yeah, apple juice can be healthy but this stuff is healthier yet. Studies have found that apple cider (and other cloudy apple juices) are even more nutritious, since they contain more antioxidants than the clear juice.
One thing that you should know about apple cider: if it is not pasteurized (heated to extremely high temperatures), it may contain certain types of bacteria that can be dangerous to people with weakened immune systems. Unpasteurized apple cider is supposed to have a label identifying it as such, but it's safest is to keep all apple cider refrigerated, and toss it out after two weeks.
Apple cider is delicious cold or hot. For a warming, comforting treat on a cold day, try heating it with a dash of cinnamon or, even nicer if you have them on hand, a cinnamon stick! It's tasty, healthy, and it smells soooo good, you won't even be sad that winter is on its way!