Robin's Healthy Take: Cooking With Apple Cider -- Beyond Spiced Cocktails

apple cider pancakes

When I walk into grocery stores in autumn and see fresh apple cider, I get goose bumps. I swear. I adore fall and everything that comes with it. Spooky costumes (that sometimes get banned from school). Hay rides to the pumpkin patch (yeah, I live in the desert but they pretend really well). Heartwarming, traditional family meals. Shopping for gifts and hiding them in the closet --  all of it. For me, fresh apple cider is the doorway to the holidays – the ultimate symbol that fall fun is upon us and celebrations are close behind. I love a good spiced cider laced with rum, cinnamon and cloves. But I also love adding fresh cider to meals and sweet treats. These are my favorites -- enjoy them. And share yours!

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

This pancake batter may be made up to 24 hours in advance, meaning you can wake up in the morning, flip some flapjacks and enjoy!

Cooking spray
2 cups pancake mix
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple syrup

Coat a griddle with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high.

In a large bowl, whisk together pancake mix, apple cider, cinnamon and vanilla until blended (small lumps are OK).

Spoon 1/8 cup of batter per pancake onto hot pan. Flip when tiny bubbles appear in the center and edges of pancakes. Keep pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven while making additional pancakes. Serve with maple syrup drizzled over top.

Serves 4
chicken with apple cider

Seared Chicken With Apple Cider, Rosemary and Honey

You’ll adore the flavor of cider mixed with fresh rosemary, tangy lemon juice and sweet honey. This sauce also works well with seared pork chops.

1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine in a bowl, apple cider, scallions, parsley, honey, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic and oregano.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and add to hot pan.  Cook 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Add apple cider mixture and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes, until liquid reduces and chicken is cooked through.

Serves 4

apple cider pot roast

Cider Braised Pot Roast with Yukon Gold Potatoes and Baby Carrots

You can also cook the beef in a slow-cooker, just sear the meat first to lock in the juices and keep the meat tender.

4-pound boneless beef chuck roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups baby carrots
2 cups chopped white onion
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Season all sides of beef with salt, pepper and thyme.  Rub flour all over beef.  Heat oil in a large ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add beef and cook 3-5 minutes, until browned on all sides.  Add potatoes, carrots and onion.  Whisk together cider, Dijon mustard and vinegar and add to pan.

Cover pan, transfer to the oven and bake 2 1/2-3 hours, until meat pulls apart easily.  Slice beef, across the grain, into 1/4-inch thick slices.  Serve beef with vegetables and sauce spooned over top.

Serves 6

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at

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