Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Make Vinegar Your Favorite Condiment!


         Last year I went to an oil and vinegar tasting in Napa Valley that changed my life. Who knew that vinegar is good on its own? There is no need to add oil or anything else if you have a high-quality, well-aged vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is made from white grapes that are boiled down to concentrate the sugars then fermented in wooden casks, similar to whisky or wine. Typically, the longer the aging process, the sweeter the vinegar.
        You should look for vinegar where the only ingredient is vinegar. Many cheaper varieties add some form of sugar through fruit concentrates and/or caramel coloring. 1 tbsp of vinegar has anywhere from 0-25 calories/tbsp… the more concentrated the sugar, the more calories it will have. However, the sweeter the vinegar, the better it tastes, and the less you need.
        My Recommendations: Try finding balsamic vinegar that is aged at least 20 years and attempt to use that on salads without oil (you can use avocado to get in your healthy fats & creaminess!). Aged balsamic is more expensive, but it is definitely worth it for the fabulous flavor it brings to food. Add balsamic to eggs, salads, pasta, whatever needs more flavor! Doing this is a great way to add flavor to food without adding fat, salt, or artificial ingredients. You can also experiment with other types of vinegars such as white balsamic, apple-cider, orange-muscat and more! I do not recommend experimenting with vinegar if you have issues with reflux or IBS, as vinegar (acid) will just irritate those conditions.

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