There are certain ingredients we have in our kitchen AT. ALL. TIMES. These essentials make it easy to create healthy and satisfying meals whenever the mood hits ya! We’ll be spotlighting one of these ingredients each week for the next 5 weeks, along with information on WHY you must have it and ideas and recipes on HOW to use it.
We’re kicking off our series with something that can protect you from disease, shrink your waistline, and increase your energy…
Apple Cider Vinegar!
WHY you should care:
- Acetic acid in ACV activates enzymes to break down fat in our bodies. A Japanese study found that vinegar intake reduced BMI, belly fat, and triglyceride levels in humans.
- Immune system support. Acetic acid kills bad bacteria, so ACV is a powerful antibiotic. Use proactively to maintain good health, rather than wait until you’re already sick.
- Supports healthy digestion. The “Mother” is the cloudy blob in the middle of the bottle, full of probiotics and beneficial bacteria for your digestion.
- Balances pH in your body which can aid in relief from heartburn and acid reflux, increase your energy, and ward off chronic illnesses in the future. See our “Anti-inflammatory” guide for more info on this topic!
- Increases absorption of minerals.
When buying ACV, look for the raw and unfiltered kind. It's cloudy and looks like it has cobwebs floating around in it. THAT's the good stuff! That's the "Mother" and it's where all the magic happens. Clear ACV means that it's been processed and we all know that processed foods are not as good for us.
NOTE: Don’t drink it straight, as it is NOT appetizing and can harm your esophagus.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use ACV daily:
Detox Tea/ Immunity Tea: This detox tea is perfect in the morning to drink after consuming 16oz of water and before coffee or tea. It will set the tone for the day by alkalizing the body and ridding the bowels of toxins (aka pooping!). This will also support our immunities to keep us healthy through flu season. If you do get sick, it is great to drink hot. It will soothe your throat and, combined with raw honey, will give us a boost of antiseptic properties.
- 8 oz hot water
- 1-2 tbsp ACV
- juice from ½ lemon
- freshly grated ginger or 1 drop ginger essential oil
- 1 tsp raw honey, pinch cayenne.
HEALTHY HACK: To ensure we make this a daily habit, make it easier on yourself by preparing in bulk every 3-4 days.
The Bomb Salad Dressing: (Makes enough dressing to toss in one large family style salad) This is a great dressing to pair with spicy or bitter greens like arugula or kale. The sweetness of the maple syrup balances the flavors perfectly. Whisk together the following:
- 1 tbsp dijon
- 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp ACV
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- Salt & pepper and garlic powder to taste
HEALTHY HACK: add a few tablespoons of ACV to your favorite store bought dressing. This a sneaky way to add the benefits while enhancing the flavor.
FASS: Fat Acid Salt Sweet. Did you know you can create your own dressings and marinades by learning how to balance the flavors of fat, acid, salt and sweet. Here is a link to learn more about balancing flavors: How to Season Foods for Gourmet Flavor & Optimal Nutrition
Using ACV as your acid always makes for the most mouth watering marinades. We even fill up the cap and pour it over our meals for the final touches, just as you would add S & P. Now instead of saying "MA, can you pass the salt," I’m like "YO, hand me that ACV!"
SKIN: ACV can be godsend after getting too much sun at the beach. For immediate sunburn relief mix a spray bottle with half water and half ACV, apply liberally. For an even better solution add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to the mix.
We also use ACV as a toner. We take a small mason jar and use the same recipe above as a toner. Just dunk cotton ball and apply at night before using your moisturizer. This equalizes the skin tone and draws out the redness. It also balances the pH, helping prevent future breakouts!
HEARTBURN: Throw those Tums away; there is no reason to be eating Easter egg-colored chalk. 2 tbsp ACV mixed in a few glasses of water will put out the fire in your belly. It balances the pH in your gut by adding alkalinity to your already too acidic tummy. If you can't handle the taste add some raw honey to the mix.
Now, get your booty to the store and get that ACV! Try to incorporate it into your daily routine and keep us posted on how you like it.
[Stay tuned for next week's healthy kitchen essential: QUINOA]