Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is getting a lot of attention lately and for good reason. It has been shown in some studies to lower blood sugar levels, it is antimicrobial and there is limited evidence that it may help with your weight loss journey. Add that to the long list of anecdotal home remedies from heartburn prevention to acne treatment.
Read on before you guzzle the stuff, though. When used undiluted, it can weaken tooth enamel and actually worsen acid reflux symptoms. ACV is usually diluted in water and drunk as a tonic, but the tart flavor isn’t for everyone. Here are five creative ways to incorporate the tasty, probiotic pantry staple into your diet.
1. Add flavor to grilled foods
Spritz meat and vegetables with apple cider vinegar right before throwing it on the grill. A recent study suggests that using vinegar on pork prior to grilling reduced the amount of the cancer-causing compound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the finished dish. Added bonus: it adds a burst of zesty flavor to your dinner.
2. Make a homemade spiced apple shrub for non-alcoholic cocktails.
Slice 1 pound of Braeburn apples. Muddle with 1 cup water, ¾ cup ACV, ⅔ cup honey, 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger, and a cinnamon stick. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Strain. Mix 2 tablespoons of the shrub per 8 ounces of fizzy water and garnish with an apple slice.
3. Throw together a zesty slow cooker chicken adobo
Blend ¼ cup ACV, 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon chopped ginger, and 3 chopped garlic cloves in a slow cooker. Add 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs and 1 large sliced white onion, stir and cook on low 6 to 7 hours.
4. Make a creamy, all-purpose vinaigrette
Combine ¼ cup ACV, ⅓ cup avocado oil, 1 tablespoon grainy mustard, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small glass jar. Screw on lid and shake to combine. Drizzle on salads or use as a marinade.
5. Make your own pickled red onions
In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup apple cider vinegar, ½ cup water, 2 teaspoons pickling spice (or dill seeds), 1 teaspoon organic sugar and ½ teaspoon salt and heat. Thinly slice a small red onion and place in a clean glass jar. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the top of the onions and set aside for 1 hour. Use as a topper for tacos and salads.