Food Is Medicine: 21 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Can Change Your Life

Apple cider vinegar (or ACV for short) is known as a superfood with incredible healing properties! 

For centuries, people have been using vinegar as a natural remedy to fight off infections, treat fevers and improve digestion. Nowadays, the acidic liquid that many enjoy on salads is used for just about anything and everything.

Along with improving health, many men and women use ACV for beauty reasons. Did you know it can be used as a natural hair conditioner? How about soothing a sunburn?

Some people even ditch chemical-laden cleaning products and use ACV to wash their windows and countertops.

So what makes ACV so powerful? Well, it’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and enzymes! There’s a catch, though. Not all apple cider vinegar is created equal. If you want to reap the greatest benefits, there are a few things you’ll want to look for when picking out the perfect bottle. I’ll tell you what those things are in just a minute. But first, let’s take a look at 21 healing benefits of apple cider vinegar.

The Health Benefits

Beauty and “Other” Benefits

How To Pick Out The Perfect Apple Cider Vinegar

When you’re walking down the aisles of your grocery store in search of the perfect bottle of apple cider vinegar, don’t judge a book by its cover. Rather than looking for crystal clear vinegar, you’ll want to choose one that looks murky. Organic, unfiltered, unprocessed vinegar has a cloudy look to it.

When you look through the murky vinegar, you’ll even notice a cobweb-like substance floating in it. This is actually desired. It’s called the “mother,” which means it still contains the beneficial compounds (including probiotics).

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Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

What do you do when you can’t decide between cinnamon rolls and pancakes for breakfast? Cinnamon roll pancakes!

This genius breakfast recipe combines the quickness and ease of pancakes with the scrumptious sugar n’ spice of cinnamon rolls to make all of your brunch dreams come true.

No one can say no to cinnamon rolls–except when you look at the average homemade cinnamon roll recipe and see that it requires waiting for the dough to rise, rolling it up, waiting for it to rise again–not to mention bake time! At that rate, it’ll be lunch by the time those rolls come out of the oven.

Well, this recipe for cinnamon roll pancakes solves that problem by adding a buttery cinnamon and brown sugar swirl to your favorite pancake batter (and yes, you can use mix to save even more time). They cook up in minutes, and the icing on the (pan)cake is a rich cream cheese glaze that you drizzle over the top.

We’d better start counting sheep, because we’re not going to be able to sleep a wink with the anticipation of having these cinnamon roll pancakes for breakfast!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Serves 8 – 10
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

Pancake batter:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Filling:

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk
Preparation
  1. Make the pancake batter: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla, extract and mix until the batter is fully blended.
  2. Make the cinnamon swirl filling: in a small bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. Transfer the mixture to a quart-sized resealable plastic bag and set it aside.
  3. Make the cream cheese glaze: In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and continue to beat until it’s fully mixed and no lumps remain. Add enough milk to thin the glaze to your desired consistency, and set it aside.
  4. Preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium-low heat. Spray the preheated griddle with pan spray, and wipe away any excess. Pour ½ cup of the pancake batter onto the prepared griddle.
  5. Twist the top of the bag containing the cinnamon filling to force the filling into one corner of the bag and remove any trapped air. Then snip the corner of the bag to create a small hole, and squeeze the bag to pipe a swirl of the cinnamon filling onto the center of each pancake.
  6. When the batter begins to bubble, the pancake is ready to be flipped. Flip the pancake and cook it for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the bottom side is golden brown. Keep the pancakes warm in a low oven or on a plate covered with aluminum foil while preparing the remaining pancakes.
  7. Drizzle the cream cheese glaze over the warm pancakes and serve.

Are you on Team Pancakes or Team Cinnamon Rolls? Don’t choose sides–make this your new favorite breakfast recipe!

No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Yes, you read that headline correctly— today, we’re making No-Cook Tomato Sauce! The first time we saw this idea, we were skeptical, too, but then we actually gave it a try. And friends? This sauce is the easiest, freshest pasta sauce we’ve ever had.

Plus, it involves an unexpected tool that makes the process of whipping it up kind of fun: a cheese grater. Yes, a cheese grater. Just let us show you how it’s done, then keep reading for the step-by-step instructions. You won’t regret it, we promise.

NO-COOK TOMATO SAUCE

Serves 2 to 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, washed and dried
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
DIRECTIONS
  1. Cut each tomato in half.
  2. Using a box grater placed over a bowl, place the tomatoes, cut-side down, over the large holes of the grater. Grate each tomato until only the skin is left. Discard the skins and remove the grater from the bowl.
  3. Season the grated tomato with salt and pepper.
  4. Add olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil to the tomato sauce.
  5. Stir the ingredients to combine into a sauce.
  6. Serve tossed in hot pasta. Garnish with additional basil, if desired.

See? How fabulous is that? While we’ll never get tired of more traditional, cooked pasta sauces – remember our Creamy Chicken Bacon Pasta, One-Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta and Italian Drunken Pasta? – it’s so good to have such an easy, fresh alternative!

Now what do YOU think? Have you ever seen anything like this no-cook sauce before? Will you be giving it a try? Tell us if you decide to be brave and try it and let us know how it turns out for you!

Green eggs and ham with avocado

Try eggs with kale, ham and avocado for a healthy, high protein start to the day.

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 4tbsp skimmed milk
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 160g chopped kale (stalks removed), spinach or rocket
  • 4 slices wholegrain bread
  • 100g lean shaved ham
  • 2 small avocados, flesh sliced

Method

  1. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl, season with black pepper and set aside.
  2. Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and set over a medium heat. Sauté the garlic and kale, spinach or rocket for 2–3 min until just wilted. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Toast the bread. Meanwhile, add the egg mixture to the hot pan and stir gently with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook, stirring, until the eggs are almost set, then lightly fold in the greens.
  4. Divide the toast among 4 serving plates, then top with the ham and green eggs. Serve each portion with half a sliced avocado on the side, sprinkled with black pepper.

Punjabi orange pickle

Homemade gifts make the perfect personal touch at Christmas. This Punjabi orange pickle looks professional and tastes delicious.

Ingredients

    • 6 large oranges
    • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
    • 600ml distilled malt vinegar
    • 3 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 50g fresh ginger, finely grated
    • 1tbsp black mustard seeds
    • 3 large star anise
    • 25 green cardamom pods, cracked open
    • 350g caster sugar
    • 100g light soft brown sugar
    • 1tsp salt

You’ll also need

  • 5 x 250g jam jars with vinegar-proof lids, sterilised (see tip)
  • Waxed discs, fabric discs, string or ribbon and labels, to decorate

Method

    1. Slice the top and bottom off each orange and discard. Stand the oranges on a board and, working from top to bottom, slice off the peel in strips, making sure you remove all the white pith. Set the peel aside.
    2. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, cut the oranges into segments by slicing as close to the membranes as you can, then sliding them out on to a board. Set aside. Squeeze as much juice as you can from the remaining pulp and discard any pips.
    3. Cut the peel into chunky slices, then put them in a large, deep pan with the onions and vinegar and strain over the orange juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover and simmer for 30 min until the peel is soft.
    4. Cut the orange segments into chunks. Remove the pan lid and stir the oranges into the mixture with the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 1 hr 30 min, stirring regularly and more frequently as the mixture thickens towards the end of cooking. It should have the consistency of jam (it will thicken a little more as it cools).
    5. Spoon the pickle into warm, sterilised jars, then cover with a waxed disc and the lid. Decorate with fabric tied on with string or ribbon, then write the instructions (see instruction label) on a label and secure.

Tip: Sterilise glass containers by washing them in very hot soapy water, then rinse in hot running water and drain. Put in an oven preheated to 140°C/fan 120°C/gas 1 until completely dry.

Instruction label: This pickle goes perfectly with cold ham or turkey, or serve it with curry instead of mango chutney. Keeps for 12 months.