By Destiny Hagest, Lehman’s Hardware
A few falls ago, one of my husband’s coworkers invited us to come out with buckets to pick apples from the trees in his overwhelmed backyard. We came home happy with three five-gallon buckets full. Then came the endless task of processing them, and figuring out what the heck we were going to do when we got sick of apple pies.
Aside from bourbon apple pork chops, apple muffins, and EVERYTHING ELSE we wound up making, I had a massive pile of apple peels, and I decided I wanted to do something more than feed them to my chickens this year (sorry chickens, that’s what you get for trying to eat my wedding ring).
Turning to the internet for inspiration, I quickly discovered that making apple cider vinegar required little else but clean water, apple scraps, and a bit of patience, so I set to work.
By that Christmas season, I had about 64 ounces of the stuff — pure, homemade apple cider vinegar, just ever so slightly sweet, and all the more satisfying because I had made it myself.
You guys, this isn’t a complicated process, it takes SO little effort (well, aside from all that cursed peeling), and you get one of my favorite beneficial kitchen staples ever out of the deal. Learn about the health benefits and other creative ways you can use apple cider vinegar.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
There are so many fantastic health benefits to apple cider vinegar.*
It can slow premature aging.
- Thanks to the natural antioxidants in apple cider vinegar, sipping this little concoction is akin to taking a beauty supplement — it actually helps to fight signs of premature aging caused by free radical damage (think: sunlight).
It helps balance your blood sugar.
- This one is really interesting. Several studies have shown that sipping a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each night can actually lower your blood sugar the next morning!
It’s great for sore throats.
- Thanks to the natural antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar, it makes a great natural sore throat medicine.
It can balance your gut.
- There’s a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut responsible for making digestion run smoothly and helping your body absorb nutrients properly. When you have a bacterial overgrowth, apple cider vinegar can help to balance that.
It can reduce heartburn.
- It sounds crazy, right? The truth is is that apple cider vinegar, when diluted with water, can actually help prevent heartburn. Since acid reflux is caused by a shortage of acid, apple cider vinegar helps to gently restore the balance.
It’s a great source of manganese.
- There isn’t much nutrient-wise to apple cider vinegar, but it does have unusually high levels of the mineral manganese, which is responsible for everything from bone health to regulating our metabolism.