Yeah, I don’t care if you believe it melts fat or flushes toxins from your body, ACV is yummy. And for folks with a corn allergy, it’s the safest vinegar to have in the kitchen.
What? You didn’t know that white vinegar, acetic acid, and even citric acid are made with corn? So, yeah, sorry to bust your bubble. But, hey, what I’m about to show you will reduce your wasted dollars AND be safe for you to use.
You know those apple peels and cores your kids won’t eat? You’re about to stop throwing those away! I happened to be making stewed spiced apples today and knew I’d have about 10 apple cores – YAY!
It’s best to start your ACV adventures with a quart. That way you’ll be able to experiment with types of apple, amounts of sugar/honey, and overall strength of flavor. I like mine very strongly tart, so I use very little honey.
For a strong, dark-colored ACV in a quart jar,
- apple peels and cores to fill the jar to the top – stuff it full!
- 2-4 T honey or sugar
- water to cover the apple
For a lighter-colored, fruitier ACV in a quart jar,
- 3-4 medium apples, diced, with cores
- 1-2 T honey or sugar (you can wait to see how sweet it will be to add this)
- water to cover the apple
Now here’s the actual “recipe” – it’s in the timing!
- Cover the jar with paper towel or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Store in a dark place (mine goes on the bottom shelf of my pantry) and add a note to your calendar to check it in 21 days.
- Strain out the apples and return the ACV to the jar; it won’t fill to the top this time, perhaps a little past halfway. Taste and add honey to sweeten or water to weaken if it’s too strong for you already. Recover with paper towel or cheesecloth and rubber band. Add a note to your calendar to check it in 4 weeks.
- At 4 weeks, taste. If you like it, start using it and switch to a sealed jar top or bottle with a cap/lid. If it’s not there yet, re-cover and add a note to your calendar to check again in a week. Continue this process until the ACV reaches your desired taste.
I’m at the point now where I deliberately ferment to different flavor levels and acidity for use in a variety of dressings, sauces, poaching, etc.
- Dark and Strong for sauces like my soy-free, corn-free, gluten-free soy sauce
- Sweet and fruity for dressings and vinaigrettes
- Light-colored short ferment for poaching – to use instead of wine (which often has corn and sulfites) or store-bought broths (which also often have corn)
Tip: if you just want the dark ACV with the peels and cores, you can dice and freeze the apple meat for use in pies, cakes, and applesauce later.
Tip: when it’s not apple season, you can save and freeze the apple peels and cores until you’ve got enough to fill the jar.