As the first days of winter are upon us, I am busily processing the last of the apple harvest for this year. There are many delicious ways to enjoy the harvest but Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) might just be the most nutritious!
A yummy and healthful addition to soups, stews, dressing, and marinades, ACV provides an array of enzymes and minerals to nourish the body. It is high in vitamin C and pectin as well. ACV is also an effective digestive aid for those with low stomach acid or just plain sluggish digestion; simply mix a teaspoon into a mug of warm water and sip with meals. Lastly, ACV neutralizes the scalp’s pH and removes residues when used as a hair rinse for an itchy, flaky scalp. The uses and benefits of this simple apple tonic are endless!
There are several ways to go about crafting your own apple cider vinegar, but apple scrap is my favorite and certainly the most resourceful way to go.
Apple Scrap Vinegar Recipe
This is a two-part recipe because it must be done as an aside to your main apple endeavor in the kitchen. So next time you find yourself making an apple pie, crisp, or apple sauce, reserve the scraps and make yourself some vinegar!
What You Will Need
- Apple scraps (peels and cores)
- Raw sugar
- Pure water
- A glass or ceramic container (Mason Jar, crock pot, etc)
- A chop stick or some other similar utensil to stir
- Mesh Strainer
- A glass jar or bottle with a plastic lid to store your finished vinegar
- Take all of the peels and cores and put them into an appropriately sized container. I use a 1 liter mason jar for scraps from one pie. If you are processing a larger amount of apples, a crock will work equally well.
- Dissolve raw sugar (1/4 cup per quart of water) in water, and then pour over the apple scraps until they are well covered, about a ¼ inch above the top of the peels.
- Using your chop stick, move the peels around a bit to release any air bubbles that might be hiding at the bottom.
- Place a piece of cheesecloth over the top of the jar/crock and secure with a rubber band.
- Let this mixture sit for 1-2 weeks then strain off the liquid, place into a clean container, and let sit for another 2-3 weeks, stirring occasionally.
- Taste test your vinegar and store it in a clean jar with a plastic lid once it is to your liking.
Although vinegar can stand alone as a health tonic, when used as a menstruum for herbs and vegetables, its nutritional value and ability to act as a medicine skyrocket. It has long been used as an extracting medium for the immune-boosting roots and herbs in Fire Cider, a wonderful health tonic for the winter months. Look out for my Fire Cider recipe in my next blog post!
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz.
Writer Aubrey McDonald is a Holistic Nutrition Educator, Herbalist, and Medicine Maker at WishGarden Herbs.