March’s “Food in Jars” Mastery challenge was either jellies or shrubs. Now, if you’re like me, you probably thought “I know what a jelly is, but why would I want to eat a low-lying bush”. I quickly discovered through some research that a “shrub” is another word for a drinking vinegar. I was intrigued and decided to explore shrubs a bit more.
March was a particularly busy month for me with a 2-year project at work finishing up, followed by a family trip to Disney, and then two weeks of teaching out of town. I was glad to see that shrubs are quick to make, and even better, they can be made to use up fruits that are going soft.
Organic strawberries were on sale this past month so I decided to make a strawberry balsamic shrub (recipe in the link). I was worried that the balsamic vinegar would overwhelm the strawberries, and was pleased to find that over time, the smell changed from vinegar, to vinegar smelling strawberries. I mixed the finished product with mineral water and found it to be a refreshing drink that wasn’t sweet! Bonus!
Today in the kitchen while I was drinking my shrub and puttering around, I decided to make another shrub. I dug around in the fridge and found a carton of strawberries, 2 kiwis and some mint that were starting to go soft. I chopped them all up, mixed in some Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (the best brand to go with), added coconut sugar and left it lightly covered on the counter. Fingers crossed that it turns out. I realized after that I wasn’t supposed to add the vinegar right away, so only time will tell if it still works out.
As I was putting today’s shrub together, I started thinking about all the health benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) and decided to share this information with you. There are tons of websites promising all kinds of health benefits to ACV, and it turns out that they’re not all wrong. Looking into my main resource, based on Eastern medicine, (“Healing with Whole Foods”), I discovered the following:
- vinegar helps release toxins accumulated from a rich diet
- vinegar can be helpful in reducing weight, edema and excess mucous
- vinegar can help improve mood
- the best types of vinegars to use are organic and naturally brewed, unfiltered and unpateurized – apple cider, brown rice wine, white wine and umeboshi.
Here are some Western medicine based web resources:
Convinced? Want to try to make your own? Here are some resources to check out:
Drop me a line if you make a shrub and let me know how it went!