If you are a true cider lover, you might experiment with different fruits to make it. But have you ever tried making it from crab apple juice?
Crab apples are not like regular apples but hold many essential nutrients. How about adding it to your diet rarely as a drink?
Well! You can make it happen, and this article will tell you how. So, read it out till the end!!
What Are Crab Apples and How Are They Different from the Regular Apples?
If you don’t know what crab apples are, don’t worry! There’s no need to open another tab to search for them because the answer is here!
Crab apples are smaller versions of apples that are firm and have a tarty flavor. They come in different colors, such as red, yellow, and green.
Unlike regular apples, you can’t eat most of the varieties of ripe apples raw due to high tannins. They are cooked to make jellies, jams, and sauces.
In short, these apples are one of the best ingredients to add to different dishes.
What Are the Different Varieties of Crab Apples?
Crab apples and regular ones belong to the same species but have different tastes and textures, as mentioned above. Also, like the traditional apples, there are different varieties of crab apples too.
Some of the most common varieties of crab apples are listed here. So, let’s check them out!
- Geneva Crab Apples
The apple came into existence on the Ottawa Experimental Farm in partnership with the New York State Agriculture Experiment Station. Its peels and flesh have a dark red color.
Moreover, the Geneva crab apple has low sugar content, a medium amount of tannins, and is quite acidic.
- Hughes’ Crab Apples
Also known as Hewe’s crab, Virginia crab, or Virginia Hewe’s crab, the apples have high acid and are juicy.
- Dolgo Crab Apples
Do you know the origin of the Dolgo crab? Well! It’s from Russia and has a reddish color and olive-like shape.
Moreover, it yields pink juice.
- Manchurian Crab Apples
The apple of Asian origin! Manchurian crab apples are rich in tannins and pinkish and yellow color.
- Wickson Crab Apples
Wickson crab apples are high in acid and have high sugar content.
All these varieties have their characteristic flavor that gives your dishes a nice flavor.
What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Crab Apples?
Though small in size, crab apples have a lot for you. You can’t underestimate their nutritional benefits.
So, are you curious to know about these benefits? Let’s start, then!
- Rich in Antioxidants
Crab apples contain a lot of antioxidants. They fight against the free radicals generated in our bodies due to metabolism.
This way, your body is protected from oxidative stress that can cause cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
- Has Vitamin C
Vitamin C, an essential nutrient! It keeps our immune system healthy, reduces heart disease risk, and regulars blood pressure. In short, it prevents you from a lot of chronic illnesses.
- Jam-packed with Pectin
Regular apples also contain pectin, but crab apples have more of it. It acts as a food for the gut bacteria, keeping our gut healthy.
- Crab Apples have Quercetin.
Quercetin is a flavonoid that is found in many fruits and vegetables. It keeps your immune system healthy, reduces inflammation, and is suitable for heart health.
These are just a few benefits of crab apples. The list is quite long.
Can You Make Cider with Crab Apples?
A question that most of you are curious to know the answer to! And luckily, the answer is yes.
Though making cider with crab apples is a new invention, you can do so. It’s a refreshing alternative to traditional apple cider and is worth trying.
How to Make Cider from Crab Apples?
Many people prefer to buy cider from grocery stores because they think achieving the right taste at home is impossible. Well! It’s not like that.
Achieving a flavorful cider from crab apples is relatively easy. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you.
Step# 1 Get 10-12 pounds of crab apples and wash them to remove all the dirt.
Step# 2 Chop them off into small cubes.
Step# 3 Extract juice from the crabs by mashing and then straining them or using a juicer.
Step# 4 Fill the juice in a sanitized fermentation vessel.
Step# 5 Add a packet of yeast to it. You can also add honey or sugar before adding the yeast if you want a more alcoholic drink.
Step# 6 Tightly cover the vessel and allow the yeast to consume all the sugar from the juice.
Step# 7 Once the fermentation is complete, transfer the product into a sanitized bottle and keep it aside for a few weeks to age.
Step# 8 Now, it’s time to enjoy the fruit of your hard work. The delicious and refreshing crab apple cider!!
Try it at home. You are going to love it!
How Does Cider from Crab Apples Taste Like?
The cider from crab apples has a distinct flavor from the one you get from regular apples. It has a tart, tangy flavor and a slightly astringent aftertaste.
However, depending on the types of crab apples used, the taste of the cider varies. For instance, some crab apple cider is sweet, while others are bitter or sour.
What Are the Best Crab Apples for Cider?
The best crab apples for cider are Whitney crab apples. They have a greenish-yellow shade with a red blush and stripes.
Its flesh is yellowish, juicy, and slightly astringent. These apples contain 11.39% of sugar. Hence, the cider produced has more than 5% alcohol by volume.
Final Thoughts on Crab Apple Cider
Can you make cider from crab apples? A common question in every brain that knows about crab apples!
Well! The answer is a big yes. If you want to make cider from crab apples, go ahead!
There are different varieties of crab apples. You can make cider from them individually or as a mix.
It’s totally up to you. But the unique and refreshing taste is guaranteed.
So whenever you buy crab apples, make crab apple cider at home and enjoy the beverage.