How To: 8 Edible Reasons to Be Obsessed with Apple Cider Vinegar

8 Edible Reasons to Be Obsessed with Apple Cider Vinegar

When we tell folks how often we use apple cider vinegar, they are baffled and bewildered. "I've had a bottle sitting in my pantry for 10 years," is the response we encounter most. And "I never use it!" Some have never even used apple cider vinegar at all in their lifetime, believe it or not.

From making hair shiny to soothing a sunburn, apple cider vinegar is pretty much liquid magic—but it has even more helpful uses right in your kitchen where it belongs. To help turn you into apple cider vinegar devotees like we are, here are 8 of our favorite edible ways to make use its superpowers.

So dust of that bottle in your pantry, or go out and get one right away!

1. Soothe a Sore Throat

We make a sore-throat soothing elixir with equal parts apple cider vinegar and honey (and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper) mixed in warm water. We started to like the actual taste so much that we often drink it first thing in the morning or mid-afternoon, even when we don't have a scratchy throat to cure.

Image by Lina/Hip2Save

2. Use It as a Substitute for Lemon

Both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are acidic, which is why they make good substitutes for one another in salad dressings. We like to make a simple dressing out of just lemon juice and olive oil, but if we're out of lemons, we can reach for the apple cider vinegar to give our greens the kick we're looking for.

Image by oly5/123RF

3. Use It in Place of Balsamic Vinegar

While we're on the topic of salads, apple cider vinegar can also be used in place of balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegars are rich and fruity with a pleasantly sharp tang to them. That's why the best substitute for them is cider vinegar, with its mild apple taste and similarly spicy nature.

Bonus: apple cider vinegar is generally a lot cheaper, and it won't change the color of whatever you're dressing. So keep those greens green by using apple cider vinegar.

Image via Murray's Cheese

4. Add It to Boiling Water When Making Hard Boiled Eggs

May your hard-boiled eggs crack no longer! Add a spoonful of apple cider vinegar to the water when boiling eggs to prevent those beautiful shells from cracking. However, we recommend this only for fresher eggs, as older eggs already have more alkaline than fresh (for older eggs, use baking soda instead).

This is more than just aesthetics: you don't want the white oozing out of the shell or the water getting in and ruining your hard-boiled handiwork.

Image by czarnybez/123RF

5. Make It the Secret Ingredient in Your Coleslaw

We're releasing our not-so-secret, secret coleslaw ingredient to the world. Apple cider vinegar is perfect in coleslaw, with just a slight apple sweetness and tangy flavor to complement crunchy cabbage and veggies. Want to enhance the apple flavor even more? Put actual apples in your slaw, like Chef Wolfgang Puck does!

Image via Food Network

6. Add It to BBQ Sauce

Adding apple cider vinegar to your barbecue sauce will balance the sticky, sweet flavor and texture of the molasses. Don't believe us? There are a few different old Southern recipes for unbeatable BBQ sauces that will change your mind. Add a little spice and a little heat, and you have the makings of the perfect Eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce for pulled pork.

Image by Andrew Sullivan/The New York Times

7. Marinate Your Meats in It

Marinating your meats in apple cider vinegar can work to tenderize them, as long as you don't add too much vinegar and don't marinate them too long (it's very acidic, so prolonged exposure can break down the fibers in the meat and turn it to mush). Also, don't use vinegar as a marinade for tender seafoods or you'll end up cooking them!

Try adding your spices and herbs to a cup of vinegar then letting the meat rest in the mixture overnight. We're fans of Allrecipes' chicken marinade for a zingy apple cider kick.

Image via Chowhound

8. Use It for Homemade Pickles

White vinegar seems to be the classic go-to for homemade pickles. But what about a brine made with our beloved apple cider vinegar? It adds tang, of course, but also a welcomed bit of sweetness to your pickles. Check out Jessica's article for a good tutorial on home pickling, if you've never pickled anything before.

Image via Martha Stewart

With these suggested uses for apple cider vinegar, we hope that the bottle of vinegar you've had hiding at the back of your cupboard can move to the front and into your cooking.

Do you have any uses for this golden-hued vinegar that we didn't mention? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!

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