Even though summer has come to a close, let us celebrate one of the most vibrant summer berries. Known for its bright, seedy bottom and leafy green top, the wonderful strawberry is used in both sweet and savory dishes. Although you may often eat strawberries on yogurt, in pies or in smoothies, this recipe is far more versatile.
Whether you’re drizzling this recipe on grilled peaches or a spinach salad, there’s no doubt that strawberries are the star ingredient. The acidity of the vinegar is balanced by the sweetness of the berry. Here’s a topping that you can heavily drizzle on without any guilt.
Hold onto summer with strawberry vinegar
When you think of vinegar being poured on top of ice cream, you may not be too keen. But don’t be so quick to judge! Combining the vinegar with this sweet, ruby-colored fruit means you create a much healthier alternative to processed dressings and toppings. Plus, it’s delicious.
Being so tasty, it’s hard to believe that this recipe is so great for your health. More specifically, it’s great for your gut. Although you can simply make a strawberry vinegar with white or wine vinegar, I choose apple cider and balsamic vinegar with a hint of raw honey. To better understand the benefits of this concoction, we must first look at its separate ingredients.
Ah, strawberries — so pretty and addictive. Researchers link these plump berries to a wide range of health benefits. They help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, inflammation and overall free radical damage. Within just one cup, you consume less than 50 calories. Yet, you’ll benefit from fiber, protein, vitamin C, manganese, folate, potassium, vitamin A and more.
The use of vinegar spans far beyond our modern world. Enthusiasts believe it was made and utilized thousands of years ago. In fact, ancient Babylonians made vinegar from wine. It was then used to preserve food and act as a medicinal remedy. Today, we still use vinegar to preserve foods, as well as for everyday cooking and cleaning.
Being high in acetic acid, vinegar will help your body absorb key nutrients from the foods you consume. This is especially significant for women who have a hard time getting enough calcium, reducing their risk of brittle bones and the development of osteoporosis. Dark leafy greens are a great source of calcium. When adding a splash of vinegar, you improve absorption.
There are dozens of studies which focus on vinegar’s ability to improve blood sugar levels, as well as insulin sensitivity. For those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes, vinegar can help you reduce your risk of future complications, including nerve damage, blindness and heart disease when combined with a balanced diet.
By inactivating digestive enzymes that break carbohydrates into sugar, vinegar has the ability to slow down absorption. This prevents a spike in blood sugar. Of course, there are a range of varieties to choose from. Which option is best? For this specific recipe, I selected two types and this is why:
- Apple cider vinegar: Whenever you purchase apple cider vinegar, opt for an organic, unfiltered product that contains the “mother.” Essentially, the mother is the beneficial enzyme-rich bacteria for your gut. When you look after your gut health, your body will maintain a greater level of balance. In turn, immune function improves, protecting the nervous system, hormone function and overall positive health.
- Balsamic vinegar: A quality balsamic vinegar offers a flavor that other varieties simply cannot compete with. Complimenting both sweet and savory dishes, balsamic vinegar is made from grapes. It contains resveratrol, a potent antioxidant, to promote weight loss, offer anti-cancer effects and protect heart health.
Once again, raw honey is another ingredient that will promote optimal gut health, offering an incredible source of antioxidants. Raw honey also heals wounds and reduces inflammation. This is due to its high concentration of beneficial enzymes, as well as its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Delicious Strawberry-Infused Vinegar Recipe
This is the perfect dressing and topping to have on hand. Get creative in order to benefit from all of its health-boosting properties.
- 1 cup strawberries, trimmed and cut
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp raw honey
- Food processor (or blender)
- Sieve (optional)
- Cheesecloth (optional)
1. Simply combine strawberries, vinegar, and raw honey in a food processor. Slowly add the vinegar as you pulse.
2. Allow this combination to sit for a minimum of one hour, allowing the flavor of strawberry to infuse the vinegar.
3. After one to two hours, strain the mixture into a glass bottle or jar. A sieve lined with a piece of cheesecloth works a treat.
4. Store in fridge for up to four weeks.
— Krista Hillis