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Core topic: find out how to flip apple peelings into wholesome vinegar

If anything grows well in our climate, it’s apples, and this year we’ve got a bumper crop. Even in a regular year, there is an abundance of windfall apples littering urban parks, gardens and orchards, and they’re ideal for making cider and/or vinegar. To get hold of some, find a local community orchard using the Orchard Network map on ptes.org, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species website.

Apple cider vinegar is an elixir with many proven health benefits. Its popularity has made it expensive to buy, but it costs pennies to make. No exact quantity of ingredients is needed to make it – you can use whole apples cut into pieces, or just the skins and cores of unsprayed apples (save them up in the freezer until you’ve collected enough) – once you’ve got at least 200g apple pieces, you’re good to go.

Raw apple cider vinegar

Making your own vinegar is a rewarding endeavour: just a scrumping outing and a few minutes’ work can produce enough to last you a year. If using the skin and core of apples, use organic or unsprayed ones to avoid fungicides and pesticides, which can otherwise become concentrated in the vinegar.

200g or more apples, unsprayed or organic
400ml
water per 200g apples
2 tsp sugar per 200g apples
15ml raw cider vinegar per 500ml of total mixture

For every 200g apples, measure out 400ml water and two heaped teaspoons of sugar and stir until dissolved.

Pour over the fruit in a measuring jug (if the apples aren’t covered, add more water), then calculate the total quantity in millimetres. Stir in 15ml raw cider vinegar per 500ml of vinegar mix, then pour into a sterilised jar.

Weigh down the apples so they stay submerged, cover the jar with a clean cloth and store out of direct sunlight for three weeks, stirring each morning for the first four days. After three weeks, strain the mixture and the “mother” – the jelly-like substance which will have formed among the apples – into sterilised bottles, then seal and leave for another four weeks before using.


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