With so many of us having made New Year’s resolutions to take better care of our health, more and more of us are focusing on simple meals that can be enhanced with a bright dressing or other healthy condiment–and apple cider vinegar falls into both categories.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- One shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tsp. raw honey, to taste
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Simply combine all the ingredients in a mason jar, seal the lid, and shake until the ingredients are thoroughly combined, (especially the honey!) Let the dressing sit for about 30 minutes before using for the best flavor. This dressing is not only delicious on a tossed green salad with shaved green apple and red onion, but also drizzled on fresh steamed broccoli or asparagus, accompanied by lean protein of wild caught shrimp or some organic chicken breast.
Apple Cider Vinegar Cosmo
- 1 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice
- 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp. raw honey
- Club soda
Combine all ingredients except club soda and shake with ice. Serve on the rocks, topped up with club soda and garnished with a lime slice. Pink grapefruit juice works well too, if cranberry isn’t your thing.
However, like anything that’s raw, organic, and comes in a glass jar, good ACV can get pretty expensive to consume in large amounts. Luckily, it is incredibly cheap to make–you literally make it out of what would otherwise be compost. You can have your vinegar and eat your apples too, since all you need to make raw, organic ACV are three things: filtered water, raw and organic sugar, and the peels and cores of organic apples–like those left over after you make an apple crumble, some apple pancakes, or a big bowl of faux-tatoes. With all the wonderful farm stands out on the North Fork that carry fresh, local apples–like Woodside Orchards of Aquebogue and Wickham’s Fruit Farm of Cutchogue–there’s plenty of choice in variety for your cider vinegar apples.
Here’s how to do it:
- Put the cores and peels into a large glass jar. Be sure not to use a metal container, as the vinegar mixture will corrode it.
- Mix 1/4 cup raw sugar with one quart filtered water until dissolved, then pour over the scraps. Repeat with that ratio until apples are completely covered.
- Put a cheesecloth, paper towel, or thin white dishtowel over the top of the jar, and secure with a rubber band or metal jar ring.
- Store in a warm place, ideally about 80 degrees. Leave for one week, stirring scraps daily to allow bubbling and prevent surface mold, (both of which are natural and good things!)
- After one week, strain the solids from the vinegar and return the liquid to the container. Re-cover with cloth.
- Allow to ferment for 2-3 weeks longer–it’ll be done when it tastes like apple cider vinegar. Be brave and taste!
- Pour the vinegar–including the mother–into a jar, cap tightly, and store at room temperature.
One of the best things about making your own raw, organic ACV, other than the obvious monetary and health benefits, is the complexity of flavor that you can produce. Much like wine, raw vinegar will age, and the taste will evolve over time. You can use many different kinds of fruits, different sugars, even raw, local honey, and experiment with different nuances.