Looking for a delicious, inexpensive way to boost your mineral intake? Try making some herbal vinegars.
While minerals like calcium are not easily extracted in water, they dissolve quite easily into vinegar.
For centuries, wise women have used apple cider vinegar combined with mineral-rich herbs, in place of calcium supplements to help build stronger bones. (It is said that a tablespoon of herbal infused vinegar has as much calcium as a glass of milk!)
“Adding vinegar to your food actually helps build bones because it frees up minerals from the vegetables you eat. Adding a splash of vinegar to cooked greens is a classic trick of old ladies who want to be spry and flexible when they’re ancient old ladies. In fact, a spoonful of vinegar on your broccoli or kale or dandelion greens increases the calcium you get by one-third.” ~ Susun Weed
I suggest experimenting with different aromatic herbs. Some herbs, like thyme, oregano, rosemary or dill will be delightful in salad dressings and marinades. Others, like nettle, chicory, burdock, dandelion, mustard greens, kale, lambs quarters, etc, will be more nutritive and tonic. My guess is, by experimenting with single herbs at a time you will hit upon your favorites. How will you know? If you’re like me, you’ll crave them! Few things get my mouth watering in the spring like the sour, bitter flavor of dandelion vinegar!
Making Herbal Vinegar
~ Fill a glass jar with your choice of fresh herbs. To get the most nutrients from your herbs, chop them into small pieces first. It is crucial to completely fill your jar with herbs. I like to use single herbs at a time, leaves, roots & flowers. Some people like to combine several herbs.
~ Pour room-temperature apple cider vinegar over the herbs until it is full to the top. Cover your jar with a plastic screw-on lid. Don’t use metal lids because they react to the vinegar in a nasty way! Alternatively, you can use several layers of plastic or wax paper held on with a rubber band, or even a cork if it fits tightly enough. If you use unpasteurized vinegar you may get a film that forms at the top of what is called, ‘the mother’. Simply skim it off when you decant.
~ Label your vinegar with the date and the type of herbs you used.
~ Place jar in a dark place like a kitchen cupboard or pantry shelf for 6 – 8 weeks.
~ Strain out the herbs and bottle your vinegar. (Again, avoid metal lids.)
Some people like to eat the ‘pickled’ herbs rather than discard them. Decide for yourself.
Using Herbal Vinegars
~ Add a splash to cooked greens
~ Use them in your salad dressing
~ Add to cooked beans or stir fry
~ Dilute in a small amount of water and drink them down.
For an herbal vinegar with a real kick try some Fire Cider!