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Tart, tangy and tasty!  Apple cider vinegar is no slouch when it comes to flavor intensity, nor does it lack in its status as super food.  This often forgotten condiment is made by the fermentation of apple cider. During the fermentation process the sugar in the cider is broken down by bacteria and yeast into alcohol and then into vinegar. There is a long history of this cider’s use as a folk remedy, and over the centuries it has been used for many purposes; pickling foods, as a cold medication, antiseptic, war cannon coolant, armor polish, and yes, salad dressing base.

In recent years, apple cider vinegar has been hailed as an accessible and affordable healing elixir by many health professionals and natural nutrition experts.  It is often suggested that individuals take the vinegar as part of a daily health regime; ideally 2 teaspoons a day to help the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level, and to kickstart bodily functioning. Says Naturopathic Doctor Meghan Walker,  “apple cider vinegar is an excellent tonifyer for the digestive system. It primes the stomach and upper bowel for optimal digestive function. It is an excellent addition to your pre-meal routine.”

What else does it supposedly do?  Well, some say that this acidic liquid can help ward off bad breath (halitosis) when used as a mouth gargle.  Just add 1 tablespoon to a cup of water and swish away.  Got a stinky bod too?  Swipe your under arms with a tissue bathed in slightly diluted vinegar to kill off the bacteria that causes BO, or if it’s your tootsies that have a stench, try soaking them in a warm water-vinegar bath to soothe and un-stink them.

As for some additional health perks, it is believed that apple cider vinegar may help control high blood sugar levels and reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels to boot.  Another common belief is that it may also assist in weight loss.  Some theorize that it helps to speed up the metabolism, while others suggest that helps burn calories.  Either way, it can’t hurt to try adding more of this delicious drink (vinegar & water) to your diet, right?  You can do so simply, by taking it as a shot or two in the morning, mixing it with water as a day-long sipper, or adding it to your favorite recipes.   Apple cider vinegar’s bright, crisp taste work well in soups, slaws, braised dishes, and roast veggies. You can also switch it up and combine the vinegar with the natural sweet taste of agave syrup, dried dates, or maple syrup in a variety of other culinary creations; the sweet-savory combo is a delight!  If you are not feeling the creative energy flow, why not just try it in a simple salad recipe like this Mesquite Avocado Kale Salad .

So what to look for when buying?  Well make sure your cider’s got mother; sediment floating around in it.  You want to ensure that the product you buy is unpasturized (not distilled or treated) as this type of processing will remove many of the beneficial nutrients from it.  The following brands fit the bill.  Time to get cidered!

1. Bragg Organic Vinegar Apple Cider


This vinegar is unfiltered, unheated and unpasteurized, with 5% acidity.  All this goodness is made from delicious, healthy, organically grown apples.