Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is considered by most health and natural living enthusiasts to be liquid gold!
It is delicate and very aromatic. It is a wonderful ingredient in your daily cooking and it is often used as a natural skin tonic or balancing hair treatment. There are many claims for its general health benefits as well. While no evidence has been found to support some of them so far, it has been shown that consumption of vinegar can help regulate blood sugar and help with weight management. It may even have positive effects on blood pressure and cholesterol – although here the evidence comes only from rat studies. You can read more about evidence for health benefits on the CNN website here or on Science Driven Nutrition website here.
Even though its smell is not the most pleasant on the planet, apple cider vinegar is one of these must have products in my house. I always have one bottle in the kitchen and one in the bathroom. You can of course go to a supermarket or to one of those fancy health stores and buy a bottle of an organic cider vinegar. However, there is nothing much easier than making your own, especially when the apple season is still on and you run out of the ideas on what to make with the apples from your or your friend’s gardens.
Below I give you my vinegar recipe, alongside some of the ways I use it outside the kitchen.
The recipe for the home made organic apple cider vinegar:
Place 1.5kg of organic apples thinly sliced (with cores) in a big sterile jar. Add 1.5 l of previously boiled and cooled water mixed with 4 tablespoons of raw honey. Cover the jar with a clean muslin cloth and secure with an elastic band. That’s it! You are almost done. Set aside in warm place – I usually keep it in the kitchen next to the fridge- for about 5 weeks. It is important to stir the mixture daily with a sterile wooden spoon to prevent from moulding. You can taste the vinegar when you stir it and when it reaches the desired acidity you can move on to the last step which is straining out the liquid, discarding the apple pieces and transferring the vinegar to a bottle with a lid. Store in a fridge.
A few notes on the fermentation of the apple cider vinegar:
- When you clean and sterilize your jar, make sure you rinse the jar well to avoid having residue soaps or anything. This can spoil your brew.
- Organic vs non -organic. If using organic apples, you can use the whole lot – core, peel, everything, as long as there’s no rotten bits. If using conventional apples, I would discard the peel as that retains a lot of pesticides
- Bubbles mark the start of the fermentation process
- The white scum that forms on top of your ferment is good. It is a natural outcome of the fermentation
- Any other scum of any other colour (green, blue, grey, black) is not good. I would personally discard it.
Morning apple cider drink: To make this refreshing drink all you need is one cup of lukewarm water, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of raw honey. I tend to drink the mixture every morning on an empty stomach as a general tonic.
Skin tonic: Mix one teaspoon of ACV with 100ml of filtered water. Use daily after cleansing your face to refresh and purify your skin.
Hair wash: Mix one tablespoon of ACV with one litre of water. Use daily to rinse your hair after washing. Don’t worry-the smell will disappear completely when drying your hair. Effect: hair look shiny and stay fresh for longer.
Smoothing facial: 5 tablespoons of ACV mixed with 0.5l of filtered water. Dip the face cloth in the mixture and place on your face. Leave for 10 minutes then rinse off with warm water.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not use undiluted vinegar on your skin, hair or mouth as it’s acidic and can cause skin irritation and burns.
My home-made apple cider vinegar from this season apples should be ready in a week and I am looking forward to using this amazing liquid gold again 🙂
How will you use your apple cider vinegar?