What’s the Deal With Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a flavor enhancer used in recipes that range from salad dressings to sauces. The pungent fermented liquid may also have some interesting health benefits in addition to cooking applications. 

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

Apple cider vinegar is exactly what it sounds like–vinegar, made from the fermented juice or cider of an apple. At first glance, it even looks like apple cider with a medium amber color. But unlike apple cider, the vinegar has a myriad of uses, from taming gut bacteria to brightening up a recipe and because of this, it’s become the darling of the health food world.

Let’s take a closer look and the range of apple cider benefits from culinary to health benefits.

Apple cider vinegar in a glass cup with apples around it

Apple cider vinegar benefits in health

The supposed benefits are seemingly endless. As a fermented product, vinegar is high in acetic acid, which is thought to have health benefits, though this is still unproven by studies. It’s theorized that the chemical bonds in starches and sugars may be disrupted by acetic acid’s presence or that it slows down digestion or transfer from sugar to muscle fiber.

What does apple cider vinegar do to your body?

Some studies suggest that it blocks fat accumulation and can help control blood pressure. Studies show that drinking apple cider vinegar helps in nutrient absorption and it can assist in controlling blood sugar levels. This is true whether you dilute it in a glass of water or mix it in with your salad dressing. Acetic acid may be effective in treating topical ear infections, bacterial vaginosis, head lice, thrush, plantar warts, and nail fungus.

Can I drink apple cider vinegar every day?

Some health advocates will say you should drink it, though drinking any kind of acid can cause permanent damage to your stomach and esophagus. To drink, there are many different recipes and home remedies for tonics, elixirs, and smoothies to get your dose of apple cider vinegar in a more delicious way.

Combining with turmeric, herbs, bitters, sparkling water and orange juice creates a spritzer that’s easy on a post-dinner tummy. When drinking with water, it’s suggested to dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water. Others like to drink it like hot tea, combining ingredients like hot water, lemon juice, ginger, cayenne pepper, and honey.

What does it taste like?

Apple cider vinegar tastes like a mixture of astringent vinegar and apples with the bright, stinging acid flavor common to all types of vinegar. Some people say drinking it with water can make you feel queasy on an empty stomach, so take care to have it along with food.

Glass jar of apple cider vinegar next to a red apple

Cooking with apple cider vinegar

When cooking with apple cider vinegar, it can be widely applied as any vinegar would. Deviled eggs, vinaigrettes, meat and fish marinades, vegan cheese dips (it adds an edge that a sharp cheese would), slow-cooked beans, slaws, pickles, stews, and gluten-free baking.

Not surprisingly, anything that goes well with apples–pork, butternut squash, seeds, cheeses–is going to work well with the vinegar. Anything tangy and/or fatty that could use some brightening will be a good companion, as well.

Popular on Amazon

Here are a few of the most popular Apple Cider Vinegar products listed on Amazon.com

Brands of Apple Cider Vinegar from Bragg, Dynamic Health, and GNC


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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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