My favourite winter fruit… apples!!! (like they say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” 😉). Have you ever paired apple with peanut butter? It’s NEXT LEVEL good 🤤👌🏼. Also, since learning how to remove wax and pesticides from them, I’ve been eating apples a lot more regularly now (I feel better knowing I’m not receiving any of the harmful chemicals often found on them).
Another wonderful thing I’ve come to love about apples is apple cider vinegar. This wonderful elixir is packed full of goodness and there are many (and I mean MANY) uses for it (here are some of the ways I use ACV in my daily life). In fact, I’ve recently made an immunity boosting elixir with it using horseradish, onion, garlic, ginger, and apple cider vinegar to help increase my immunity over the Autumn/Winter time, when it’s common for us to become rundown and ill (and you wouldn’t think from hearing it, but it actually tastes pretty good!).
Apple cider vinegar is made through a fermentation process and is high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
One of the big things I love about making apple cider vinegar myself is that it reduces food waste! How? Well, you can use apple peels and cores to make the apple cider vinegar, along with a few other ingredients. This way you have virtually no waste!
But don’t worry if you don’t have any leftover peels or cores from the apple, you can still make it using whole apples as well! If you only use apples occasionally, you can store the peels and cores in the freezer until you have enough gathered to start a batch.
You first need to let the apples ferment in the sugar water for 3 weeks, then, strain them out and let the liquid ferment again for another 3-4 weeks (it took about 8 weeks for me the first time I made it – but so worth it in the end!!)
Farmer’s markets are a fantastic place to find organically grown apples. Just double check with the farmer. Organic apples are ideal for making apple cider vinegar with, especially if you’re using the peel. If you aren’t able to find organic apples, peel them first. Discard the peel and just use the inside portion.
Unpasteurised, Unfiltered, and with “The Mother”
Quite a lot of the ACV you find available on the market has been heavily filtered and pasteurised. These versions still work well for cleaning but are not ideal for internal uses because most of the health benefits are gone once the “mother” has been filtered out and the vinegar has been pasteurised.
There are a few available that do leave “the mother” intact, so this simply means they’ve kept the beneficial bacteria that develops during the fermentation process in the vinegar. When you make your own ACV, you’ll know for certain that your vinegar retains this beneficial “mother.”
Notes to Keep in Mind
- This recipe uses sugar. The sugar is needed to “feed” the bacteria, but most (if not all) is usually fermented out (similar to the process of making kombucha). Because the sugar is broken down, there really isn’t anything to be concerned about in terms of the effect it will have on blood sugar.
- Ensure all the equipment used is very clean to avoid introducing any new bacteria into the drink other than what naturally occurs during the process.
- White scum will often form on top of the liquid. This is normal, but mould is not and will spoil your ACV. To prevent this from happening, be sure to keep the apples submerged under the water. To help with this, you can use a smaller glass jar (make sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned the outside of it though) and set it on top of the apples to keep them submerged.
- Flies and gnats love ACV so you’ll need to make sure your jar is well covered. But it still needs to be able to breath and release the gasses created from the fermentation process, so avoid using a solid lid. Instead, opt for a cheesecloth or coffee filter as these work well.
- At some point during your ACV making, you’ll most likely notice a SCOBY-like growth start to appear on top of the apple cider vinegar. This is the “mother.” You can leave it floating in your ACV, or remove it if you wish.
If making apple cider vinegar isn’t your thing, you can often find organic ACV with “the mother” in it in grocery stores now. Or alternatively, you can buy it online.
Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe
Some equipment you’ll need on hand first before you start making your ACV include:
- Clean jar – you can use any size jar ( I often use a quart size jar with a wide mouth)
- Organic apple scraps – enough to fill your jar 3/4 of the way
- Organic cane sugar
- Filtered water
- small glass jar (as the weight)
- Cheesecloth or coffee filter
- Rubber band
The following recipe shares how to make apple cider vinegar with the mother. The recipe makes a quart size jar of apple cider vinegar. When the ACV has finished, you can save “the mother” that has floated to the top or even just a small quantity of the finished ACV to start a new batch, which will help it to ferment more quickly.
- organic apple scraps
- 2 tbsp cane sugar
- 2 cups filtered water
- Clean a quart jar thoroughly and let it air dry.
- Fill the jar 3/4 of the way with apple scraps. If you’re using whole apples, roughly chop them up before you pop them into the jar.
- Dissolve the cane sugar into the cup of water.
- Pour the sugar water over the apples until they are completely submerged. Add a little additional water if needed to ensure the apples are completely covered.
- Weigh down the apples with the small glass jar. Any apples that are exposed to the air may become mouldy.
- Cover with the cheesecloth or coffee filter and secure with the rubber band.
- Store in a dark place at room temperature.
- Leave it for around 3 weeks. Check on it every few days to make sure the apples are staying under the water and to ensure no mould is growing.
- After 3 weeks, strain the apple pieces out and return the liquid to the jar. Compost the scraps.
- Re-cover and put the jar back in a dark spot for another 3-4 weeks, stirring every few days.
- When the ACV has reached the “tartness” you like, put a lid on it or transfer it to a different jar with a lid, then it’s ready to start using!
Apple cider vinegar recipe tutorial
* * *
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products.
What are some things you use apple cider vinegar for?
Wells, Katie. (March 25, 2019). How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar at Home. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/124169/apple-cider-vinegar/