How Do You Like Them Apples? A Look at Apple Cider Vinegar
In the food world, it always seems like "this" is the new "that," and that is perfectly acceptable! We have all heard that kale is the new spinach, and quinoa is the new rice. I think that it's fun to be exposed to new items and the various ways in which you can use them. While Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is not new by any means, it is enjoying another moment in the spotlight.
ACV is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, and the sugars are turned into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria.
Aside from being used in salad dressings, marinades and vinaigrettes; ACV has a long history in traditional medicine. Here we’ll consider some of the most common uses of ACV, highlighting why it deserves to be checked out.
Soothe Your Sore Throat
If you’re feeling a sore throat coming on, turn to ACV for relief. Mix one teaspoon ACV, one teaspoon cayenne pepper, and three teaspoons of honey together in a glass of warm water for easy relief. The ACV and honey have antibacterial properties, and the capsaicin found in cayenne peppers helps to alleviate pain.
Help Reduce Blood Pressure
ACV may help to lower your blood pressure, which in turn, can help to lessen the risk of heart disease. ACV contains potassium, which can help balance the body’s sodium levels and maintain optimal blood pressure. Magnesium is also found in ACV, which helps relax blood vessel walls, which can ultimately lower blood pressure.
A Great Source of Polyphenols
ACV is a great source of Polyphenols. Polyphenols are compounds that are found in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties, and they’re also helpful in regulating enzyme function and stimulating cell receptors. Research has supported the role of polyphenols in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis.
Regulates Your Body’s pH Level
ACV contains acetic acid, which is acidic in nature but has a more alkaline effect on your body. Balancing the pH in your body can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses as well as dramatically increase your energy level.
It’s an All-Natural Household Cleaner
The antibacterial properties and balanced pH level of ACV make it the perfect choice to use as a household cleaner. It’s simple to do, just fill a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% ACV. Use it to clean windows as well as kitchen and bathroom countertops.
Do Away With Dandruff
Rinsing your scalp with ACV alters the pH of your scalp, halting the growth of yeast, the main culprit of dandruff. It will also get rid of greasiness, itchiness and irritation. Just combine two tablespoons of ACV in a glass of water, then rinse through your hair while in the shower.
Cooking With ACV
You can use ACV for a comparatively mellow, slightly sweet kick of acidity in glazes, slaws, dressings/marinades and sauces.
For a year-round, you’ll-never-get-tired-of-it salad dressing, check out this recipe:
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Makes 1 Cup
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a glass Mason jar, seal the lid and shake until the honey dissolves and the ingredients are well combined. Adjust flavor to taste if necessary.
Leftover dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.