As we’re talking about fermented foods this month, I thought I’d talk about a staple you might have a bottle of sitting in your pantry right this very moment, apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is a versatile ingredient. It has a mild and delicate taste that can complement foods in ways you might not have considered. My favourite, and likely the way you use it now, is to make a salad dressing. You can mix it with a near infinite combination of other ingredients, such as specialty oils, fruit juices and purees, spices and herbs. My personal go-to is combining apple cider vinegar with something sweet, like maple syrup or honey. Using these dressings on a fresh, raw-vegetable salad is simple, but try using it to dress your cooked root vegetables, pulses, or grains as well. Now that we’ve touched on the basics, let’s start thinking outside the box (or perhaps bottle in this case).
Apple cider vinegar is a popular base for many marinades or glazes for red meat, chicken, or fish. Once again, as the flavour is very versatile and easy to complement, you can combine it with any number of other ingredients to create your own personalized recipe. You can also try curing your own gravlax, or making a west coast style ceviche using the acid in the vinegar to cook the raw seafood.
Many pies or crumbles call for a splash of lemon juice. Try substituting apple cider vinegar for a unique flavour spin. The same can be said for your favourite beverages. Apple cider vinegar is perfect in your winter mulled wine as well as your slushy summer cocktail instead of the usual lemon.
If you’d like to try making your own Apple cider vinegar, it’s not the least bit complicated to make, but it does takes several weeks to prepare. For those of you who don’t have that level of patience, Choices carries many different varieties. Always try to choose unpasteurized and organic vinegars. Over time you might notice the appearance of a live mother, which will make the product slightly murky, or even form some solid clumps. It is perfectly fine, your vinegar can’t go bad.
It’s also worth mentioning that all kinds of health claims are associated with the use of natural unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in alternative medicine. If you have questions about the health benefits, be sure to speak to one of our in store nutrition experts.