Vinegar adds a fabulous tangy addition to many foods and with all the various types of vinegar, you’re certain to find one you enjoy. Many can be beneficial to your diet and health in a variety of ways, but it can be difficult to know which ones to buy when you’re new to using them. All forms of vinegar are basically a byproduct of fermenting grains, wine or fruit. Vinegar has a slightly sour taste which forms when it produces ethanol (a form of alcohol) that’s non-alcoholic. Condiments like ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, and many salad dressings wouldn’t be the same without that special twist of vinegar added to them.Take these various types of vinegar for a spin in your kitchen and see which ones you like the best.
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Raw Apple Cider
Let’s start with one of my favorite types of vinegar out there: raw apple cider vinegar. The unfiltered variety is the healthiest among most vinegars you’ll find at the store. It’s rich in potassium, vitamin C, and offers especially wonderful cleansing properties to the digestive system, blood, and lymph system. It has a sweet and sour taste with hints of- you guessed it - apples! I find it works well in salad dressings or taken before and after meals diluted in some tea or water. Raw apple cider vinegar is made from fermenting apples and is a good source of prebiotics. Apple cider vinegar has also been said to aid in reducing insulin in the body, along with sugar cravings.
Coconut vinegar is actually healthier than raw apple cider vinegar since it contains more amino acids, Vitamin C, potassium, and raw enzymes. It’s made from raw coconut sap that is fermented. Coconut vinegar is lovely on salads, in various entrees, or used in any salad dressing recipe. Rich in potassium and calorie-free, coconut vinegar is also rich in enzymes and has a slightly sweet taste with a tangy background.
Balsamic vinegar is made from aged, unfermented grape juice and has a dark brown color. With slightly sweet notes (due to the grapes), this is one of the best types of vinegar for adding a punch of flavor to your food. Depending on the age of the vinegar (check labels), the sweetness will vary. The older the variety, the more syrupy it will be.
Red wine vinegar has a sharp taste. It makes an excellent addition to salad dressings, works great as a marinade, or you can use it on top of salad or veggies as a dressing itself. It’s also one of the more affordable vinegars on the market and often available in a variety of flavors.
Made from fermented rice, this vinegar is slightly sweet and makes an excellent addition to a variety of dishes. It’s also fairly affordable and adds a nice splash of flavor to dressings and dips.
Malt is made from fermented barley and malt vinegar is made very similar to most malt beers. This vinegar is a great choice when you want a sweeter, slightly nutty flavor.
Made from light and fresh-tasting champagne, this vinegar is usually used more for color than taste due to its mild flavor, though it does add a lovely touch to fruit salads, veggies, or as a salad dressing. Many people also like to cook with this vinegar since it adds a unique taste.
White wine vinegar is more mellow in taste than red wine vinegar, just like white wine is less stout than red wine. White wine vinegar is used mostly in cooking and is handy when you don’t want your recipes to change color due to the addition of a dark vinegar.
White vinegar, also known as distilled vinegar, is made from corn grain. It’s the classic vinegar you probably grew up knowing as an ingredient to dye Easter eggs with. It’s also used for many cleaning purposes. Due to its especially pungent flavor, it’s not used in many cooking dishes but it is the main vinegar used in most condiments and sauces you buy today at the store since it doesn't change the color of the product. If you see just the term “vinegar” on a label, it’s usually distilled, white vinegar. If not, it will specify what kind it is.
So let’s talk vinegar - you tell me how these various types of vinegar fit into your life. Do you use vinegar in your foods? What’s your favorite condiment made with vinegar? Or, do you use vinegar for cleaning?
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