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Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits – And How to Make it!

A few years ago, I was introduced to Apple Cider Vinegar.  Lovely, she was.  Still is.  😉

It’s not every day you’re impressed enough with a new food ingredient to consider ditching your trusted favourite.

But that’s just what I did.

For many years the staple I reached for was a mix of cold pressed, stone ground virgin olive oil with a good quality balsamic vinegar.  Add to that some seasoning, garlic, mustard and herbs and the Mediterranean is positively dancing on your plate.

It’s a health enough option and I’m not about to start knocking my comfort slippers.  In fact, just typing that out has planted the desire to re-visit the past!

So which new kid on the block captured my attention? (And not really a ‘new kid’ at all!)

Apple Cider Vinegar is a powerful food.  It’s benefits are numerous and not to be dismissed.

To add a spoonful of this to your daily diet can indeed promote many health advantages.  And what better way than to pop it in a dressing you can use for many dishes?

Braggs is widely accepted as a leading health food brand

Here’s what they have to say about it:

http://bragg.com/books/acv_excerpt.html

Check out some Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

http://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/

18 uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

From liver spots, acne, household cleaning to deodorant .. it’s there for the taking!

http://www.treehugger.com/green-home/18-diverse-uses-apple-cider-vinegar.html

 

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FERMENTING

The Best Apple Cider Vinegar

Make it yourself!

Gather Your Goodies

A bunch of Organic Sweet Apples (As many as you like – just make sure you have enough vessels in which to pour your apple juice – I found tart apples made a much less inviting vinegar)

It’s Action Time

  • Juice all your apples and pour them into a jug or open glass vessel/jar
  • Cover with muslin or a thin cloth that will allow the air IN but keep OUT the flies!
  • Secure your cloth with an elastic band or some string so it’s unable to slip off and let in any critters .
  • Leave

Check on it periodically. My first jug took 2 weeks exactly to ferment.

Vinegar Extra:

I took the lazy approach the 2nd time and left it over a week before checking.  Oops!

A thick layer of frothy crust had collected on the top of the ferment, covered in mould.

Ugh.

I removed the offending layer and tasted the ferment below.

There is no known case of mould or the food below mould in a fruit or veg ferment ever harming anyone. I wouldn’t advise tasting though. I just took the bold approach that time. I don’t do this any longer. There’s no point. It’s best to bid farewell and start again.

I ferment everything in our utility room which is, to say the least, more than a little unpredictable with regards to it’s temperature range. When the sun shines through the veluxe during the heat of the day, it warms up.  When the boiler is cranked up, the washing machine or dryer going …? The temp can raise from 75 degrees to over 90.

Keep In Mind:

Ferments are in charge; not you!

My only beef is that this particular ferment can mould very quickly at high temperatures (mainly because it’s an aerobic/oxygenated ferment, which allows mould to form more easily) so unless you find a nice cool place for it to slowly ferment, you need to keep a beady eye on it and it can turn in the blink of an eye, losing you a jar/large vessel of fruit.

You can ferment anywhere, in any temperature within reason. Very hot and mould will likely form pretty quickly. Cool and the ferments simply take longer.

I checked my second batch after 5 days and little lumps were forming in the apple.  I believed that this was what became mould during the second-batch-disaster, so I sieved that out, cleaned the jug and poured the clean apple juice back in.  I did this a couple of times during the fermentation. It turned out just fine.

You’ll know when it’s ready. Taste a little daily and it will stop resembling juice on the tongue and start to leave the sharpness of vinegar.

But be aware! ….

The aroma of the ferment will be like vinegar well before it’s ready, so don’t be fooled.  There is likely to be a juicy undertone to the taste for quite a while after the ferment smells like vinegar.

Vital Rule!

Don’t go by smell or vision. Go by the taste!

It has to be proper vinegar before you bottle it, or it will simply mould in your airtight bottle.

Once ready, DO NOT SIEVE or you’ll be sieving away your Mother Vinegar.

It’s the Mother Vinegar that is said to provide the many healing qualities of Apple Cider.

If you’ve checked the links above, you’ll now know that most commercial vinegars are stripped of this vital component.

Summary

There is no rule for how long this ferment will take.  It depends on:

  • The type of apples
  • The ambient temperature of the room in which you’re fermenting

Here’s the low-down again:

  • Make the juice
  • Leave the apples in a vessel with muslin and a tie around it
  • Check it regularly by tasting it
  • Check for early signs of mould forming (you’ll get froth on the surface if that’s about to occur, so remove any lumps at this stage, just in case they turn to mould)
  • You will KNOW when it’s vinegar because it will have a lovely, tart taste and it won’t be stomach stripping if you use sweet apples
  • DON’T sieve your final vinegar, or you’ll strain away the most vital and healing element – The Mother

This is how I do it myself.  There are many ways to make it. This is raw, organic apple cider vinegar. Some people prefer to heat before fermenting and make pasteurised, which does eliminate the issues with moulding in general and can be safer for pregnant women. I prefer to make a raw one because it still contains the mother. And it’s super easy.  Just think of it as a baby that needs tending. 😉

The Result?

The sweetest, cloudiest, most delicious vinegar I’ve ever tasted! There I go.  Recommending my own recipes again! 😉

Having completed my very first batch of vinegar, hubs couldn’t believe the difference between shop bought and home made. He blind tested the two and chose the home made version without hesitation.

If you make your own with a sweet apple (it will taste entirely different if you use bitter/sour/rustic varieties) you are gifted with a product that is superior to anything you can buy. In spades.

It’s rich and cloudy.  You can watch the mother floating about (bless her) in her white floaty dress. (The Mother looks like cloudy wisps within the ferment.)

And to use it in dressings means you’re adding a much less harsh ingredient, along with giving yourself all the Apple Cider benefits.

Loving it yet?

Have a juicer?

Make some tomorrow! It takes leads than 15 minutes to make a huge bottle of it!  Buy yourself 20 apples and JUST DO IT! (Wasn’t shouting. Just encouraging.) (Sweet smile.)

BOTTLING APPLE CIDER VINEGAROoh, Really?

Once you’re ready to bottle your vinegar, use a good, thick bottle with an attached stopper.

Here’s the salad dressing I make.

I also make a lovely sweet and sour sauce with this very vinegar that takes only 5 minutes to rustle up if you’re pre-prepared with one ingredient and 15 if you’re not.  Great for quick stir fries on a busy evening!

If you plan to add a spoonful of vinegar to a daily glass of water, remember to keep the water warm, not boiling. Anything over 116-118 degrees F/ 46-48 degrees C will mean heating the vinegar beyond raw and kill ‘the Mother.’ Now I know you don’t to hurt your Mama. 😉

So what time will you be juicing tomorrow? 😉

Catch you then …

KISSES - CBemail-signature1

About the Author Sarah Jackson

I love to experiment with food, write, read, walk by the river, watch vintage TV dramas, good documentaries and comedy.

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Leave a Comment:

4 comments
Angie pearce says

Hi Sarah! This sounds wonderful! If I don’t have a juicer can I manage this in my vitamin?

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    Vitamix is a blender, not a juicer Angie, so it won’t do the job for this recipe. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Any low cost juicer will do, although I always feel quality is best for long-term use.

    Reply
Tricia Woolfrey says

Great article Sarah. I recommend apple cider vinegar in hot water as an alternative to hot lemon and water as a means of alkalising the body. It is also my favourite ingredient in French dressing. Really quick to make and much better than shop bought dressings.

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    Thanks Tricia. My husband’s mother took a spoonful every day! I didn’t meet her sadly and haven’t asked Mr Him, but I’m sure she took it in water. It’s not great for the stomach as it comes.

    I’ll be sharing my staple salad dressing recipe today. No salad is complete without a dressing. I totally agree that shop bought dressings don’t compare. I can’t even remember the last time I bought one, it was so long ago. They take seconds to make and if you have the ingredients to hand at all times, there’s never a panic to shop if you need a dressing!

    Reply
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