Hungry Like the Wolf: The Many Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

Hungry Like the Wolf: The Many Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

Do you have a bottle of apple cider vinegar sitting at home that you just don’t know what to do with?Lucky for you, there are actually many uses for apple cider vinegar.

Believe it or not, apple cider vinegar is one of the healthiest substances you can digest, whether you’re on a diet or not. According to dietitians, apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss by suppressing your appetite and increasing your metabolism. By consuming just one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with water every morning on an empty stomach over an expanded period of time, your body will be provided with the energy it needs for a full day as well as to lower your cholesterol.

Aside from its health benefits, apple cider vinegar can also be used for several remedies such as clearing a sore throat. But let’s get to it’s most important and practical use — cooking.

If a recipe requires any amount of sherry or cooking wine (excluding red wine), it can be substituted with a smaller dose of apple cider vinegar. This means that if you need to cook down a sauce with 1/2 cup of sherry, you would add about four tablespoons apple cider vinegar as a substitute. The reason for this is because apple cider vinegar is more potent. This is especially advantageous for someone like me who can’t consume alcohol. Either way, it’s useful to keep a handy bottle of apple cider vinegar by my side if alcohol is required for a recipe.

And just like it’s counterpart, regular vinegar, apple cider vinegar can be used as a acid. Acidic foods such as lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk, and lime are use to either provide foods with a citrus flavor or activate leavening agents. For example, buttermilk is used to activate the baking soda and powder in biscuits.

If you run out of buttermilk and don’t have any lemon juice sitting around, simply add apple cider vinegar to regular milk in place of lemon in order to curdle it, and it will serve just like buttermilk. For every one cup of regular milk, add one tablespoon of lemon juice or regular/apple cider vinegar to substitute for buttermilk.

Now that we know about apple cider vinegar’s many uses and benefits, including health, remedies, and cooking substitutions, here’s my own recipe for kung pao sauce. Instead of using red wine like the original recipe calls for, I simply added extra broth, and instead of 1/2 cup of sherry as the recipe called for as well, I used four tablespoons of good old apple cider vinegar.

You’ll be saying goodbye to store-bought or Panda Express Kung Pao sauce once you taste this!

Kung Pao Sauce

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons chile garlic paste (Sambal)
  1. In a sauce over medium heat, add broth and starch, and whisk until there are little to no lumps
  2. Add in all remaining ingredients and stir with a whisk. Turn heat up to medium-high until the mixture is brought up to a boil. Remember to gradually whisk.
  3. Turn heat to low, whisk, and let the sauce simmer for a minute or two or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, which it should be able to do at this point. Serve with chicken or noodles and enjoy.
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Zubair is currently a Sophomore and the first ever Food Columnist of the Niles West News. He enjoys cooking, baking, and taking culinary classes at Sur la Table. Besides his passion for culinary arts, he likes to write for the NWN, watch Food Network, and keep up with politics.


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