It is about to become an apple extravaganza around here.
Early October is also known as "the time of apples" around our homestead. This is such a fun time because I really get to go all wild and crazy with bubbling and brewing all kinds of neat stuff.
As I prepare for this busy event, I've decided to write a series on preserving apples, filled with facts, recipes and techniques. These are all tried and true to use methods and recipes and we hope they'll inspire you to work with apples in your own kitchen.
One thing is for certain, you can create a LOT of variety in your pantry with the simple apple. You can make everything from juices & wines to vinegars, chutneys and sauces. You can dehydrate, ferment, freeze and preserve them in so many different ways! There's also pie filling and pectin if you are feeling extras ambitions.
I'll admit that our "wind fall" apples aren't the most perfect or gorgeous and most often everything we make is a combination of many different types of apples and we think this makes for a better product. All that diversity - its a good thing.
To begin this series we are going to start with the star of the show, my favourite thing to make of all time: Raw Apple Cider Vinegar!
Fun Fact! Did you know there are over 7500 different varieties of apples grown across the world AND apples are part of the rose family? Ha! I've managed to fit roses into yet another post - one that isn't even about roses!
Let's make our own RAW Apple Cider Vinegar
In fact it is vinegar, not wine, that is God's gift to man; all we can do is hold it a little while at the wine stage. ~ The Guardian
The thing I love to make most of all using apples is RAW apple cider vinegar.
This healthful ferment is incredibly versatile. It can be use for so many things. You can't have enough apple cider vinegar in pantry and somehow the more we make, the more we use.
Raw apple cider vinegar is one of nature’s miracle foods. In addition to it's many culinary uses, there are also countless health and skincare benefits. It contains more than fifty nutrients including iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium & copper. In addition, it contains vitamin C, A, B1, B2, B6 and E. Acetic acid present in the apple cider vinegar causes release of energy from fats and carbohydrates noted which can aide in maintaining a healthy body weight. It raises our the PH level and increases the alkalinity. It's also regarded as an antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-fungal product. source
ACV is often used for things like: heartburn, digestive issues, flu prevention, inflammation, regulate pH balance, ease nausea, detoxes and the list just goes on and on. For those that can't tolerate alcohol it can even be used to make tinctures (although they will be milder and less potent).
There are a lot of ways to make ACV. You can start from the beginning and ferment some chopped up apples (peels and cores included) or you can make raw apple cider with your juicer or cider press and start with that! You can make small amounts in mason jars or you can use big crocks and fermenting pails for big batches.
One thing I can assure you is that it is very simple to make and if you are doubt, start with a small manageable jar and expand from there. It's really empowering to become skilled at making your own healthful ingredients such as ACV.
We tend to do a lot of apple projects at once because some of the steps align similarly. Making apple wine, hard apple cider, soft apple cider and apple cider vinegar all start off sort of the same way with chopping up some apples.
I've already written my favourite way of making apple cider vinegar on steemit so if you want to give it a shot here's the recipe! Get the recipe here!
Recipes That Use Raw Apple Cider Vinegar or Make Other GREAT alternative vinegars
Apples are not the only ingredient you can use to make vinegar so if you don't have any available or want to experiment here are some other super powered, health-full choices for you to explore!
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Recipe
Folk Medicine: Fire Cider Herbal Tonic
Raw Raspberry Vinegar
Rose Infused Vinegar
What Does Your Forest Taste Like? How To Make An Artisanal Herb-Infused Vinegar by @mountanjewel
Artisanal Herb-Infused Vinegar: Acadian Forest Edition
Home Brewed Vinegar: Pear-egar and Quin-egar by @riverflows
You can sometimes find these heavy duty crocks used on-line. We got our on Amazon, it was the best deal we've been able to find for crocks like this. This is an Amazon affiliate link, I receive a tiny commission when purchases are made using this link. I rarely use this link on steemit and promise not to make a big habit of it, and that I'll only ever promote things that we really and truly own and love! These crocks include the weights and lid and I think they are really nifty.
Next in this series
I've got loads of recipes and techniques up my sleeve. What do you want to hear about next? Lacto-fermented apple cider soda? Apple chutney (My favourite!)? Apple wine? Jam? Apple Butter? Dehydrated snacks? All of the above?
What recipes do you make with apples? If you've written an original, tried and tested apple preserving recipe, you are welcome to share it in the comments.
Building a greener, more beautiful world one seed at a time.
Homesteading | Gardening | Frugal Living | Preserving Food| From Scratch
Photo copyright: @walkerland