What’s the Difference Between Apple Cider and Apple Juice?

This hot weather makes me thirsty. There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot day then an ice cold glass of apple… cider? Juice? What’s the difference? The word cider means “strong drink.” The definition of cider is, “the expressed juice of apples, used for drinking and for making vinegar.” That sounds like juice to me. When I look at the calorie count, they both have 100 for an eight ounce glass. The only difference I see is that the cider is darker. I know it must be in the process. Maybe the cider is made from the peels too, or something of that nature and the juice is made from just the juice. On both bottles it states that they are made from the juice of apples. The state of Massachusetts has a web page devoted to explaining their definition between cider and juice. Their definition of cider is what Californian’s call “unfiltered,” which is my preference. At any rate, the Massachusetts website says that apple cider is high in potassium. That’s a good thing. Also a plus… a high pectin content, good for lowering cholesterol. In California, look for “raw” or “unfiltered.” In Massachusetts, look for the word “cider.”

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:


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