Vinegar has long had a place in history, dating back to 3000 B.C. when it was found in the urns of ancient Egypt. Babylonians used it for both medicinal and cooking purposes. It has long served as a staple in cooking and cleaning and can be found in most kitchens or cupboards.
As the saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar…because vinegar is noted for having a sour taste and pungent aroma. While there are many types of vinegar, all are made by fermentation and leave the trademark sour and bitter taste in the mouth. The most common type is white vinegar, and it is clear in color.
Types of Vinegar
- Distilled white vinegar-the most commonly used vinegar for cooking and cleaning
- Apple cider vinegar-known for health benefits
- Balsamic vinegar-used to enhance flavor in cooking
- White wine vinegar-used for cooking
- Red wine vinegar-used for marinades and cooking
- Rice vinegar-typical in Asian cuisine
- Malt vinegar-a commonly used condiment in parts of the country
- Red rice vinegar-used in cooking
Uses for Vinegar
Vinegar is a versatile item and has many uses that span from health benefits to cooking. Below are some of the most common ways vinegar can be used. This list is just the tip of the iceberg, but there are some fun ways to get you started using vinegar in your everyday life:
- Cleaning around the house. It is a natural disinfectant.
- Removing grease
- Eliminating mold and mildew
- Stain remover on fabric furniture and clothing
- Odor remover
- Hair wash and conditioner
- Face toner
- Meat marinade and tenderizer
- Pickling base
- Substitute in cooking for buttermilk, eggs or lemon juice
- Removes wallpaper
- Natural weed killer
- Soothes skin on pets and humans
- Window cleaner
- Extends the life of cut flowers
Is Vinegar Healthy?
Vinegar has been used for health and medicinal benefits for thousands of years. It promotes heart health, lowers cholesterol, aids in blood sugar control, contributes to weight loss, and is a natural antimicrobial. Vinegar is also considered a great source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
Vinegar in the Kitchen
Chinese Chicken Salad
Vinegar’s uniquely sour taste and pungent aroma make a great addition to the chicken in this Asian salad.
- 4 tbsp white vinegar
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 cups Chinese cabbage
- 1 ½ cup red cabbage
- 2 chicken breasts-cooked and shredded
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 bunch of green onion
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup crunchy noodles
- Combine the white vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, oils, and garlic in a bowl. Whisk briskly until well combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the cabbages, shredded chicken, carrots, and green onions.
- Pour the dressing over the salad mix and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Top the salad with the sesame seed and crunchy noodles.
- Dig in!
Pickles are crunchy, sour, and downright delicious. Before you buy a jar, which can have hidden preservatives, consider whipping up your own batch. It is cheap, easy, and great for your gut health!
- 1 lb. cucumbers-Persian or Kirby being the ideal choice
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 large sprigs fresh dill
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- Prepare your cucumbers by trimming ends from cucumbers and slicing them into spears. Cutting will allow for faster picking. Pack the sliced cucumbers into 2 16-oz. Mason jars. Add in the garlic and dill.
- Brine time. Combine the water, vinegar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir until salt is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour over cucumbers, seal jar, and shake. Let the filled jars cool entirely on the counter, then refrigerate until cold.
- Try waiting at least 24 hours before eating the pickles. If that is too hard, they can be eaten after two hours. The general rule of thumb with pickling is the longer you wait, the more flavorful it will be!
With its many uses and low price point (approximately $3.00 a gallon), vinegar has rightfully earned its place as a household staple. From cooking to cleaning and even as a health tool, vinegar is a true jack of all trades.