Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In the Mood for...Infused Vinegars

I bought some fresh organic cranberries and decided that I wanted to prepare a cranberry infused vinegar. So I filled a glass jar with roughly 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries, 2 tbsp of cane sugar (honey would have been better though) and covered with organic apple cider vinegar...Rendez-vous in 6 weeks for the result.

Cranberries are a natural source of vitamin C, much needed during Fall & Winter months. Vitamin C helps prevent & heal colds as well as affections of the upper respiratory tract, UTIs, it's energizing and it also helps the body absorb iron in food (vitamin C and iron work sinergetically; if your body lacks one, it probably lacks the other too).

I also had a pomegranate that started looking tired so I figured I would make a pomegranate vinegar like the luxurious ones you can find in fancy grocery stores. I opened the pomegranate and poured the seeds in a glass jar, added some leftover honey, some pomegranate concentrate and covered with organic balsamic vinegar. This vinegar was a little acidic so I think it can only improve itself, especially combined with honey. I'm not quite sure how it's gonna come out, but I'm hoping for a flavorful and syrupy vinegar...Yet I have no control over natural alchemy!

Then I strained a thyme infused vinegar (fresh thyme sprigs in organic apple cider vinegar) that I had almost forgotten about (it's been infusing for months!). And I decided to use part of it to make a thyme honegar with wild tasting forest honey (by mixing equal parts of infused vinegar and honey). I like adding a couple teaspoons or so to water, it makes a refreshing and flavorful drink...Plus thyme is one of my favorite herbs & a friend of the lungs (another useful ally during the cold months)!


Sarah said...

Hi Alchmille

I'm running two infused vinegar workshops on 6th&13th December, so you post is very timely. I'm confused why you add honey to the original infusion? I appreciate you add honey to an elixir, but I make all my vinegars as I do my tinctures with just the fresh or dried plant material and cider vinegar. That way I can alter the amount of honey I use when making an oxymel drink (vinegar and honey) afterwards depending on the flavour of the infused vinegar.

Alchemille said...

Honegars are a mix of equal parts infused apple cider vinegar and honey (after a few minutes, you get a syrupy texture).
Oxymel drinks require hot water (at least that's how I do). Honegars can be used in room temperature water (them make refreshing flavored drinks) or in salad dressings (though I haven't tried yet).
It's just another use for infused vinegars. I got the idea from Gina MacGarry's book "Brighid's Healing".



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