Red vinegar is a versatile staple that no well-stocked pantry should be without. It adds distinctive zest to a favorite recipe and contributes to a healthy diet.
"Red vinegar" is a generic term for any type of vinegar with a natural reddish hue. Each type of red vinegar has its own distinctive flavor depending on the amounts of unfermented sugars, acetic acid and residual flavors of the base ingredient in the final product.
Cooks value red vinegars as flavoring agents, meat tenderizers and natural preservatives. When used in meat marinades, the acidity acts as a natural tenderizer. Red vinegar inhibits the growth of bacteria and molds, so it is a natural preservative and requires no refrigeration.
Red vinegar is naturally low in calories, fat, sodium and carbohydrates. Many red vinegars are also gluten-free. All red vinegars do not have exactly the same ingredients and nutrients, so check the labels.
According to Carol Johnston, professor of nutrition at Arizona State University, the acetic acid in red vinegar controls spikes in blood sugar in diabetics. And, as reported by the National Institutes of Health, studies suggest that dietary vinegar may enhance the body's ability to absorb bone-building calcium.
Do not substitute red vinegar for white distilled vinegar as an ingredient in homemade household detergents and cleansers because it can stain fabrics and porous surfaces.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jessica Spengler
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