Here at Eat Like A Bear!, I love apple cider vinegar for weight loss because it does help us fell more satiated with our meals. We will simply feel fuller faster. It also helps us reduce our insulin resistance, thereby supporting the goals of weight loss with intermittent fasting and a low carb/keto diet. What makes this project extra fun is that it is simply a fun little kitchen craft project. You’re infusing apple cider vinegar with all of the great flavors of the world!
Start your project with ingredients that you love and you will never go wrong. In fact, you have a great and inexpensive opportunity to play with new flavor combinations and develop your own custom blends. You can make use of herbs, spices, and fruits that might otherwise spoil. There is no end to the flavors that you can make and to the creative adventure that you can have.
Welcome to your new hobby!
When making infused apple cider vinegar, these are some principles I live by:
For all of your creations, simply add them to a mason jar: fruit, herbs, spices, etc. Cover them with apple cider vinegar. Place a plastic lid on the jar and swish it around. Store the concoction in a cool, dark place (your pantry) for a few weeks or for months. The fruit, herbs, and spices will pickle. You can use them in salads and sauces. The liquid is a fantastically delicious apple cider vinegar.
I discussed rosemary apple cider vinegar in a LIVE video on Facebook (added just below). In the video I made a simple rosemary apple cider vinegar, simply with added rosemary. I then used it in a basic vinaigrette salad dressing and offered that having an infused vinegar makes seasoned salad dressings so easy. If this is your primary use for the vinegar and you like garlic as well, you might add garlic. You could add onion. As I describe above, you can make any flavor you desire. There is just a trade-off between having a flavor that is more basic and versatile (simply rosemary or rosemary garlic) versus having a more specific gourmet blend. Really, just have a great time making them. You can make a bunch of small jars with different combinations if you want quantity but also some flavor variations.
As for the rosemary, I do recommend removing the leaf from the stem as I show in the video. Typically herbalists will put about two ounces of rosemary leaf in a quart of apple cider vinegar — that’s 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh rosemary, give or take. If you are using dried rosemary, you would cut that quantity in half. In my kitchen, I tend toward the upper end of that rosemary quantity. The vinegar just ends up stronger in flavor and I can always dilute it if it is too strong. Here in California, rosemary is so widely available that it is basically free. There is no reason not to go big with it.
This is actually a very important question and, whatever you do, don’t buy your apple cider vinegar in those plastic gallons at discount stores. I suppose you could use that ACV for cleaning but for drinking, you want a real apple cider vinegar that is actually fermented, with a “mother.” The “mother” is just the culture that was used to make the vinegar. Real apple cider vinegar with the mother is sold in quart-sized glass jars and tends to have some cloudy sediment in the bottom. Don’t let the sediment deter you. That is the mama! Shake your vinegar occasionally to mix it up. If the sediment really gets to you, don’t shake the jar at all, just let the ACV sit and leave the sediment in the bottle when you hit the bottom.
Some of these brands also sell their vinegar in gallon plastic jars but they do say on their label that they are brewed “with a mother.” That’s the key, not the glass per se (though I buy apple cider vinegar in glass, like this one from my Amazon partner).
I have great plans to make a bunch of these recipes for you but this is one of these fun projects where you should just use what is on hand in your kitchen, experimenting to your heart’s content. That said, here are some combinations to get you going:
Can there be too much of a good thing? In the apple cider vinegar world, “too much” may really be “too strong.” Don’t drink it straight — as an actual shot. It can affect your tooth enamel and your esophagus. Drink it diluted. It is acetic acid, after all. I typically grab a 4-ounce glass, add a tablespoon of ACV, top it off water water, and drink it. You might want a bigger glass — even mine is a pretty strong concoction. After your swig, re-fill your glass with water, swish the water around in your mouth, and swallow or spit. This will clean the acidic ACV off your tooth enamel.
A: These options work really well from a flavor point of view but they might be too high in carbohydrates depending on your own weight loss goals.
A: Absolutely! Stevia and monkfruit are my sweeteners of choice since they do not have the impact on blood sugar that other sweeteners do. They also do help that ACV go down a little easier.
A: For best weight loss results, take it 10 minutes or so before your meal. It will help satiate you much more quickly. As I am fixing my meal, I mix up my diluted little drink, drink it, rinse my mouth out, and finish up the meal preparation.
A: The poor, poor ACV that doesn’t have a mama! LOL. OK, really, no. This guy needs its mama. I don’t know what that stuff is that gets sold for a buck in a plastic jug but that’s not the stuff you want.
A: ACV is an acid and it is very strong if you drink it straight. I doubt many people would do this more than once but if you’re all hard core and do it, it could just affect the delicate tissues in your mouth and esophagus. I dilute my tablespoon in four ounces of water and that’s pretty strong as it is. I’d consider that a minimum and, then as I have mentioned, I would follow that with some plain water, swishing it around in your mouth a bit more just to clean the apple cider vinegar off your teeth.
A: Yes, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps us feel fuller sooner as we eat. We take in fewer calories as a result. In the final 10 minutes of your meal prep, take a tablespoon of ACV, diluted in a small glass of water. Try it and see if it helps you feel fuller faster.
A: Yes, consume a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before a meal, diluted in a small glass of water. Follow a low-carb Bearish diet.
A: Yes! Isn’t ACV just GREAT? It will help lower your bad cholesterol levels and raise your good ones. Have a tablespoon daily.
A: Yes, ACV will also help lower your blood pressure. Take it daily. The great news is that as you lose weight, your blood pressure problems are likely to disappear entirely. Apple cider vinegar will help you in two ways then: It can help reduce your appetite and help you lose weight and it will help control your blood pressure in the short term. Apple cider vinegar is a great tool for weight loss.
This is a basic concept for customized apple cider vinegar shots.
In a quart jar, layer fruit with herbs and/or spices.
Cover in 3 cups of apple cider vinegar (or to the neck of the jar).
Cover the jar with a tight-fitting plastic lid.
Give the mixture a swish and place it in a cool, dark pantry for two weeks or for months.
When you're ready for the vinegar, strain out the solids retaining the liquid as the vinegar. Use the fruit, herbs, and spices in salads.
Find out more about what I ate (keto diet foods) and when I ate (intermittent fasting) to lose 150 pounds (dang!). I lost 100 of those pounds in only 8 months, relying on keto salads. (See meal ideas here.) It’s all in the Eat Like a Bear! book, right here.
Amanda Rose, Ph.D. lives in the Giant Sequoia National Monument with her husband and two sons. She founded the Eat Like A Bear website to support the awesomely inspiring community on Facebook, Eat Like A Bear!