So it’s been about 11 months now since me and Kelly began running as a “hobby”. Ok, so it had more to do with one of the side effects we suffered from quitting smoking… weight gain. Either way we have put in a few miles since then and seen some pleasant side effects. Another thing we have been trying to do is eat a little healthier. Neither of us have any plans to eat bark and leaves, but we would like to think we have been improving our daily diet. A big step was trying to cut out as much processed sugar out of our diet. We also try and make as much of our meals from scratch as possible. This always is a challenge with both of our jobs and our training schedule. I figure as long as little by little we improve our intake and continue to increase our energy expenditure something amazing will come of it all… right?
This brings us to today’s little adventure. Friday after work we met up at the South Post Commissary on Fort Bragg to do our weekly grocery shopping. With fall finally approaching I saw one of my favorite seasonal beverages… Apple Cider!!! I grabbed a gallon jug of the fruity swill but before I set it in the cart I took a glance at the ingredients to make sure there wasn’t any added sugar. Apples… check… Potassium sorbate… what? Sodium benzoate… Huh? For some reason now I needed to know what magically ingredients were added to cider that I so craved. Oh, just some preservatives that are commonly added to beverages and other food items. That can’t be so bad.. or can it? I should have stopped reading there and remained happily ignorant. But no one ever said I was the brightest bulb on the tree (yes I know it isn’t Christmas time yet).
Sodium benzoate found in beverages are at levels that are below those considered dangerous for consumption. Oh that makes me feel so much better. Solid potassium sorbate (which is rarely encountered in food) is a skin, eye and respiratory irritant. But what about the form found in Cider? Now I’m sure that neither of these preservatives will cause me to grow a third nipple or catch the gout, but it does make you think a little about all the added goodies that the experts put in our food.
Well Today I was going to do something about it. Today is the day I was going to give Apple Cider its freedom from all that is unnatural. I decided to attempt to make my own apple cider. My google machine hummed to life and soon I had all the knowledge I needed to create my autumn swill.
With the help of Kelly’s high powered food preparing device I was able to finish the first step of my project. I used a three bags of different types of Apples and began to grind away. Already this was beginning to be a pricey endeavor. This was about nine dollars of some of the commissary’s best apples. Soon I had a large bowl full of what looked like soupy apples sauce. Now I began to strain away the sweet juices that would make at least a gallon of cider (or so I thought). After two different sized strainers I was finished…