Apple Cider Vinegar, talk about an ingredient! This wonder product, also known simply as cider vinegar or to some, as ACV, is made from the fermented juice of apples.
While this ingredient might seem like something that is destined only for morning routines and perhaps a salad or two, it is far more versatile than that. Taste-wise, apple cider vinegar has a bright and somewhat sour tang.
To make it, the manufacturer crushes apples and then introduces yeast. The yeast will work with the sugars and ferment them, turning them to alcohol. A type of friendly bacteria (think yogurts and other things that use friendly bacteria) is added to ferment the alcohol and great acetic acid.
Acetic acid is the main compound in vinegar. Cider vinegar is typically around 5-6% acetic acid.
There are two varieties at the store; filtered and raw, unfiltered. The filtered bottle will be a clear, amber-colored liquid. The unfiltered bottle will have a bit more cloudiness to it and will include something called, the mother.
“The mother” is essentially what turns the apple juice to vinegar. It is a mix of cellulose and friendly bacteria. You can see it in the bottle. It is a cloudy substance that is floating around in there. Fear not, it is actually good for you and contains enzymes, probiotics, and more.
Either variety is great in the kitchen while the raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is best if you are using it as a daily dietary supplement.
Here are some delicious recipes that use apple cider vinegar:
When should I use apple cider vinegar in my cooking?
Apple cider vinegar is great in a lot of things. It is perfect in a salad dressing, a great addition to a brine to pickle vegetables, the perfect addition to a pot of beans to give them a little oomph, and a great ingredient for marinades that help to tenderize meats before they cook or in a spritz or baste while they cook on the grill or in a smoker. There are more great ways to use it, but those are just a few.
What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?
It is thought that ACV may help to lower thing this like blood sugar and that it may aid in weight loss. Other things it may help with are skin health and heart health. It should be noted that these things are not proven, but studies suggest that it may provide these benefits.
Do you drink apple cider vinegar?
Some people swear by drinking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar every morning to promote gut health and for all those other things listed above. Fair warning though, vinegar is a form of acid. Drinking it undiluted is dangerous for your teeth (it can strip enamel) and for your stomach. If you choose to drink it for your health always be sure to dilute it and to drink it through a straw.