Present day: it’s fall of 2021 and inflation is absolutely skyrocketing. Working within the food service industry, I have first hand experience on how much costs are rising. Each day I’m getting emails with more cost increases. Each day I realize how much more important it is that I preserve my own food. I realize my choice to start purchasing from Azure Standard was truly life changing because I’ve been able to buy in bulk and avoid some of the cost increases with the stockpile of food that we have. The other day my mom went to the store and a gallon of apple cider vinegar was $15! Before we processed apples this year for sauce and pie I researched what to do with the scraps. This apple cider vinegar recipe was super easy to make and ends up costing pennies.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
The standard apple cider vinegar is probably only around $5 per gallon but it doesn’t have all the benefits that the organic vinegar does. The raw organic apple cider vinegar contains something called mother. The mother is what holds all of the enzymes and probiotic benefits of the apple cider vinegar. Without it, you might as well be drinking normal vinegar (which is just gross). It looks disgusting because there are all kinds of particles floating around but those are actually the very best part of the organic vinegar. Making your own ensures that you will have the mother in it and all of the benefits without the added cost.
The benefits of apple cider vinegar have been debated for a while. Well, actually they’ve been debated since ACV became a huge talking point among the health community. People started claiming it could help with weight loss, blood sugar, and blood pressure. Honestly, it probably does help with all of that but it’s not a miracle cure. The problem, I’ve found, is that the people making the claims seem to say it will cure your illness. In reality, there are a million things that can contribute to and also help with weight loss, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
Personally, ACV helped me with a lot of digestion issues. I went to the doctor so many times for this incredible pain in my side and no one could diagnose it. Eventually, I was sent away with IBS and told to take some little pill if I had issues. I did not want to be on prescription drugs and it didn’t even help either. Finally, I decided it was worth it to give ACV a shot. So I just started taking a shot of apple cider vinegar each morning to see what it would do. Within about a month I realized I didn’t have the pain anymore. My digestion had improved tremendously and without any prescriptions or drugs. I can’t tell you that it will cure anything that you are going through. I can only tell you that it did work for me.
- Filtered water (non-cholorinated)
- Apple Scraps
- Jar or Container
- Cheesecloth (you won’t need this immediately but after 2 weeks you will need it)
Directions to Make Vinegar:
- Put apple scraps in your container or jar. Fill the jar until it’s about half full of scraps. The amount that you will need is going to depend on the size of your jar. We started with a smaller jar but I’m hoping to do a very large crock next year!
- Add the water to your container to fill it the rest of the way. Your scraps should start to float, that is totally normal. VERY IMPORTANT– Make sure you pay attention to how much water you are adding!
- Add the sugar. This is where the water ratio comes in handy. You need
- 1 TBSP of sugar for every cup of water
- 4 TBSP of sugar per quart of water
- 1 Cup of sugar per gallon of water
- Mix everything up and cover it. Store in a dark area.
- Stir your vinegar every day for two weeks. This helps keep the scraps moving around in the water. If the scraps are left floating on the top they will start to produce mold which you do not want in your vinegar. If you miss a day here and there it’s not the end of the world, but as I mentioned it will start to produce mold if you leave it too long.
- After two weeks strain out the apple parts. I use cheesecloth and just dump the liquid in a bowl.
- Once it has been strained put it back in the jar or container.
- Put it back in it’s dark storage spot and let it sit for at least a month. 2-3 months is ideal but it needs to be at least a month if you are in a hurry.
- Once it has finished processing you can put it into smaller jars. This is a great way to reuse the old apple cider vinegar bottles that you have laying around or you can put them in swing top jars. This is the final storage so you can put them in whatever you want to store them in for the long term.
Now, on top of all the wonderful apple products you got originally from your apples you have another added bonus! When I started preserving I was happy to just be saving our own food. It seemed like such a chore just to preserve food that it was all I could handle. Now that we are getting more experienced I’ve started to shift my focus on getting the most I can. I want to make sure we are getting every ounce possible out of our food. This is the easiest way that I’ve found to use up apple scraps. Plus, it’s the most cost efficient thing I think I’ve ever found. Water and leftover food, plus a little sugar. Pennies people, pennies!
- Don’t use metal containers. This will cause them to rust and you don’t want rust in your vinegar.
- Don’t skip the sugar. I know, I don’t want sugar in anything I eat too. I totally agree that sugar is used too much. However, the sugar in this is needed for the fermentation process. You could use honey but this will greatly slow the fermentation process.