Monday, September 23

Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Health (and How to Make it for Pennies!)

Each fall we are blessed with a huge box of apples from our food co-op.  With nearly two hundred apples in the box, we set some aside to eat and set to work preserving the rest.  

In the spirit of no-waste cooking, once we've peeled and cored the apples, we send some out to the animals, and save the rest to start a big batch of homemade apple cider vinegar!

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother)
You'll need:
  • organic apple scraps 
  • sugar
  • water
  • Fill a clean jar with apple scraps -- three-quarters of the way to the top.
  • Dissolve 1 Tbsp sugar into a cup of water.  Make as many cups as needed to fill your jar.
  • Pour the sugar water over the scraps until they are submerged.
  • Weigh them down with a fermentation weight.  (Anything exposed will probably mold.)
  • Cover with a handkerchief or cheesecloth, and secure with a rubber band.
  • Store in a room-temperature, dark place.  Leave it there for three weeks.  (Check occasionally to make sure it is not molding.)
  • After three weeks, strain the scraps and leave the liquid in the jar.  Put the cover back on it and leave another 3-4 weeks, stirring (or shaking the jar) every couple of days.
  • Once it is as tart as you want, put a lid on it!
    • Note - You can pull out the mother to start another batch of ACV that will ferment more quickly in the future.
Apple Cider Vinegar 'Recipes'

Speed up metabolism / improve weight loss
  • 1 c. green tea
  • 2 tbsp. ACV (apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cayenne
Mix together well and drink tonic 30 minutes before each meal.  The combination of caffeine, temperature rise, and multiple vitamins promotes proper metabolic functioning and increases energy levels.

Detoxify naturally
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. ACV
Mix and drink three times each day, thirty minutes prior to meals.  It helps to cleanse your body of toxins and assists the organs in ridding the body of waste. Then, it helps to replenish vitamins and minerals needed for optimal functioning.

Minimize allergies
  • 1 tbsp. ACV
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix and drink up to three time daily during allergy season to reduce symptoms.  Try to use local honey if possible, as it has been proven to help reduce allergy suffering in your area. The cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and the apple cider vinegar is both antiviral and antibacterial. Combined, they help to reduce histamines in the body.

Tone skin
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. ACV
Soak a washcloth in the solution and apply to skin. Store extra in an airtight container.  The acidity helps to remove dead skin cells and oil, refreshing the face. It also helps to balance the pH of the skin, reducing further outbreaks. The vitamin C provides antioxidants to help restore skin.

Prevent insect bites
  • 1 c. ACV
  • 1/4 c. water
Use a washcloth to apply solution to skin to deter bugs from stinging or biting.  The acidity discourages bugs from your skin. This can also be used after bites, by applying directly to skin - helping to prevent inflammation.

Thicken hair
  • 2 tbsp. ACV
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
Apply mixture directly to scalp and rub in for five minutes. Allow to sit for one hour before shampooing as usual. Should see results within 2-4 weeks. (Note - you should probably try this with a patch of hair first, just to be sure that you have the mixture right for your body chemistry.)  Capsaicin and quercetin in cayenne help to stimulate hair growth, while the acidity helps to improve circulation and provide minerals needed for strong hair.

Homemade shampoo
  • 1/2 c. ACV
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 c. water
Use mixture in place of shampoo, then condition as usual. It is recommended to alternate with your regular shampoo at first.  The acidity will help to cleanse your hair of buildup and add minerals for strength and shine.

Minimize iron deficiency
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 tbsp. ACV
  • 1/2 c. spinach
  • 1/2 green apple (cored)
Combine ingredients in blender until smooth. Drink daily.

Final Notes
  • It is important to get a raw apple cider vinegar, one that still has the mother floating around in it (that's the murky stuff). I recommend Bragg's Organic - it works well and has a good shelf life.
  • For further information, check out Apple Cider Vinegar for Health, by Britt Brandon.

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