Blog by: Valerie Musser, Valerie’s Of Course Catering

We have all heard of Apple Cider Vinegar aka ACV.  But what is it for? There are so many uses! Here are a few of the reasons why we should all incorporate this natural ferment into our daily wellness routine:

Health Benefits

  • Aids in digestion
  • Weight loss
  • Balances the bodies PH
  • Maintain healthy gut flora
  • Clears skin
  • Reduces gas and bloating
  • Kills harmful bacteria
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Natural appetite suppressant
  • Can relieve sinus pressure and congestion
  • Gets rid of dandruff
  • Sooths bug bite redness and itch
  • Lowers Cholesterol  

So how do you incorporate this natural remedy into your own daily wellness routine? Many people will find that AVC is a bit too harsh to consume on its own, so here are a couple easy tonics, to try!

Apple Cider Vinegar and Elderberry Tonic

(This makes 1 adult dose or two child sized doses)

  • 1 TBSP of ACV
  • 1 TBSP of Elderberry Syrup* (can be found in most major grocery stores in the health and wellness section)
    *If you cannot find Elderberry Syrup or would rather use something else, honey is a great alternative.
  • Water

In an 8oz cup, add ACV and elderberry syrup, fill cup with water and enjoy.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Green Tea Tonic

(1 Adult Serving. Green Tea contains caffeine and is not recommended for children) 

  • 1 cup brewed green tea
  • 1 TBSP of ACV
  • 1 TSP Maple Syrup
  • Squeeze of lemon

After you brew your tea, add the remaining ingredients, and enjoy these delicious health benefits.

If you do not have the time to prepare the above recipes and you are in a rush, a tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water also will do the trick.

Another question I get a lot is, “What ACV should I buy to get the most health benefits from?” 

There are many great brands out there and it can be overwhelming. Personally, when it comes to my health, I want the best of the best, so, I make my own. Apple Cider Vinegar is perhaps one of the easiest ferments out there. If you have ever been curious and wanted to try your hand at fermenting, I highly recommend starting with this one. 

Apple Cider Vinegar DIY

First things first make sure that your supplies, knives, cutting boards and countertops are all clean and sterile. 

Supplies:

  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Glass Mason Jars (I like to use half gallon)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rubber band
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Spatula
  • Seedling mat (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 CUPS of apples chopped, peels, cores etc. (Gala, Fuji, Cortland, Pink Lady, Braeburn or Golden Delicious will do.  Each apple will create a different flavor profile, so it is fun to pick a different variety as every time you make a new batch.)
  • 7 TBSP sugar or raw honey (basically 1 TBSP per cup of water)
  • 7 CUPS pure (non-chlorinated) warm but NOT hot water

Chop up your apples and fill the mason jars ¾ of the way with all the pieces, peels, seeds, cores, everything! Mix your sugar or honey into the warm water, stir to completely dissolve and pour the mixture over the apples parts and pieces leaving space (around 2-3 inches) at the top of each jar. At this point, you may add a splash of apple cider vinegar if you have some on hand, this can help with mold prevention and give the Apple Cider Vinegar a bit of a kickstart. 

Cover with cheesecloth and put rubber band around the rim to keep it on. If you are using regular quart sized jars, you can also use a metal sealing ring.

Set in a warm dark place for 2 weeks. Apple Cider Vinegar ferments best in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 80°F, if you live in a cooler climate, I recommend using a seedling mat. They are affordable and easy to find online or at a farm store. You MUST stir your Apple Cider Vinegar mixture EVERY DAY or you will develop mold on the apples that are surfacing throughout the fermentation process rendering it no good. If you go out of town for a weekend, it will be okay, but plan this project around your lengthy (longer than two day) family vacations.

When the two weeks is up, you will now strain out the solids. Press against them in your fine mesh strainer with the flat side of a spatula, to extract all the juicy goodness.

You may want to use a smaller jar for the second fermentation.  I find that when using a half gallon mason jar to begin with, I end up with just about a quart of liquid.

When you add the liquid to the new sterilized jar, cover with fresh cheesecloth and set back in a warm dark place for an additional 4 weeks. 

You will know your apple cider vinegar is done when:

  1. When the proper time has elapsed
  2. When it has a strong ACV smell

When you have successfully made a batch of ACV you have created a true vinegar and it will essentially last indefinitely at room temperature. Apple Cider Vinegar is naturally a hostile environment for harmful bacteria, and they cannot survive. Enjoy!

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