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Festive Holiday Apple Cider (no added sugar)

I typically only drink water. Few habits help you stay healthy easier than just saying “no” to all other drinks. You save so many empty calories and avoid a lot of added sugars. However, for special occasions I sometimes like to offer something more festive to guests than my ever-ready dispenser of water.

Most holiday drinks have added sugar, but fruit is so sweet you really don’t need it! I invented this cider for a fall party we hosted recently, since it was outside and I knew it would get cold once the sun went down. It kept warm in the crock pot and everyone loved it so much and asked for the recipe, I realized I better write down what I had made it out of. Here it is!

If you’re trying to break a hot chocolate habit, here is a no-fat, no-added sugar warm drink alternative. Although water is still always healthiest, this is a good compromise to still have something absolutely delicious and warming. Can’t you just picture everyone with a mug of this sitting around the Christmas tree, sipping and chatting? Or serve it as a game-night treat? You could take it to a Christmastime potluck. You name it. Enjoy!

The Best Festive Holiday Cider
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs

WIth no added sugar, this hot cider drink is a delicious yet healthier way to add warmth and sweetness to your holidays!

Course: Drinks
Keyword: 100% juice, apple cider
Servings: 8 1-cup servings
Author: Faithfu Plateful
  • 1 64-oz container 100% apple juice (I used cold pressed, which is a cloudy brown color)
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate (no sugar added)
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup fresh, whole cranberries
  • 3-5 cinnamon sticks optional for garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT cranberries and oranges (they are mostly for decoration and look better fresh) in a slow cooker and let heat through. Preferably let it warm on low for at least 2 hours so flavors can meld (and your house can get that Christmas smell!).

    Add cranberries just before serving, unless you like them slighly cooked and bursting, in which case, add them about 30 minutes before serving.

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