Monday, January 06, 2014

wholefood step-by-step: #1 apple cider vinegar

Welcome to a new series designed with wholefood beginners in mind. After reading lots of blogs and facebook pages it seems many mamas want their family to eat real food but feel overwhelmed about where to start - especially when they are confronted with fussy eaters, resistant husbands and tight budgets! So in response to this, each Monday I will post one step you can take to include wholefood in your family's diet.

By making one small step each week, in one year you will have incorporated 52 ingredients, habits or recipes into your repertoire. This adds up to a huge difference in your pantry, your cooking and health and well-being. Small changes add up to a big transformation.

Let's get started. And tell me your thoughts in the comments, anything specific you want covered? Anything specific that you trip over on getting started with or continuing with wholefoods?

Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

This delicious elixir is a wholefood pantry essential. ACV tastes sharp like vinegar only with a sweetness from the apple that rounds out the flavour, it is versatile, and excellent for your health. ACV is easy to find at your local health food store and in many supermarkets and independent grocery stores.

What is ACV?
Basically, it is fermented apple juice. The key to buying good quality ACV is to look for an organic, unfiltered version, one that contains the 'mother'. The mother looks cloudy and settles at the bottom of the bottle (shake before use), this tells you that the ACV is 'alive' with good bacteria and that it has not been filtered and pasteurised which strips the ACV of its powerful health giving properties.

What to do with ACV
- ACV can be used in practically any recipe that calls for vinegar.
- We use it everyday as a salad dressing, either splashing some directly on to the salad or mixing up a dressing of olive oil and ACV (2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar) sometimes with crushed garlic and dried herbs or mustard mixed in. This is a much better for your health than buying ready made salad dressings.
- I also use it on rice when I make sushi in place of rice vinegar which I find to be very sweet tasting.
- ACV is a great digestive tonic, a couple of capfuls mixed into a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of raw honey is a wonderful pre or post meal drink. It is best to drink it half an hour before a meal but any time you or your children have an unsettled stomach drinking a glass of water with ACV can help to settle things. (disclaimer: I am not a doctor or naturopath, this post is based on my personal experience and research, please seek professional advice if you have health concerns).
- At the first sign of a sore throat mix 1 tbsp of ACV into one cup of warm water and gargle every hour.
- And the main other thing I use ACV for is cleaning! I mix a couple of tablespoons into a bucket of warm water and clean the bath, diluted it is great to clean windows with too I wash the windows with the water and vinegar and then dry them off with newspaper. This will give you sparkling, streak free windows.

Paul and Patricia Bragg, makers of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar have managed to write a whole book about the health benefits of ACV - 'Apple Cider Vinegar - Miracle Health System'

For further reading on the benefits and uses of ACV go here to the Wellness Warrior and here to Sarah Wilson.

And if you are wanting some more salad dressing recipes go here.

Do you already use apple cider vinegar in your kitchen? What's your favorite use? 

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. Look forward to your Monday posts. I've been very interested in whole food, but it all feels very overwhelming with all the products and information out there.

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    1. I agree it can be overwhelming but the key is to remember it is about long term refinement not an overnight overhaul of the foods we eat. Choose one or two sources of information that feel like they move at your pace and try something out each week. I am happy to answer any questions I can along the way. x

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  2. Great new series Nikki! Really looking forward to following along and learning more. I think it will keep me on track too! I've never used ACV for cleaning, already I've learned something new. Happy new year lovely lady x

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    1. Thanks Nat happy new year to you too! Yes the keeping on track has not been easy over the holiday period but I don't get too fussed about it I know once I tire of feeling blah I know what to do to get back on track! Wishing you the best of everything this year x

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  3. I am going to love this series! Kellie xx

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    1. Yay! Love having you follow along Kellie. Happy New Year I hope you are feeling great xx

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  4. Great idea for a series! I also use apple cider vinegar for doing a deep cleanse of my hair, just about 1/4 cup either instead of or after shampoo, it's great if your hairs a bit greasy or if you want to do a deep cleanse before a conditioning treatment (eg coconut oil) ... I didn't know about using it for sushi though, thanks! happy new year! x

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    1. Thanks G what a great tip, I love the whole using real food for beauty thing. Try it out on the sushi rice and see what you think! Happy New Year thanks for stopping by x

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  5. Great series nikki! I love acv, I drink it in water all the time. Didn't know it was good for sushi. Looking fwd to next week's instalment.

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    1. Thanks Liz. Happy New Year. I am hoping that we can all teach each other things through the series, we all tend to use ingredients for different purposes and it is a good way of sharing info. x

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  6. I do like the sound of this series Nikki. After reading your post earlier I headed off shopping and quite by accident found an organic apple cider vinegar with a 'mother' made in my own wee town! I am a big fan of vinegar though not for it's health benefits, i've just always had a taste for it, so I'll see how I go replacing my usual malt and white vinegars (not the balsamic though!) with this stuff. Happy new year to you x

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    1. Love this news Max! That was a very quick turn around for putting step one into action I'm impressed! I hear you on the balsamic. Funny thing is, since I've refined my diet over the years, balsamic is too sweet for my tastebuds these days. I hope you like the ACV. Happy New Year to you too x

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  7. I used to drink ACV in water but fell out of the habbit somehow. It's great for allergy/sinus issues among other beneifts as you mention. I should get back into it! love it for cooking too

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  8. I found you via Natural New Age Mum on facebook and am hooked from your first post!! ACV is a staple in our pantry and we use it for pest control in our garden and have also used it for our older dog who was riddled with arthritis - a capful with every meal provided more relief than any medication our vet prescribed. I am really looking forward to following your series!

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Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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