It is peach season in the south. Most people might think peach pie, peach ice cream or even pork chops with peaches but for me, I have a new favorite: peach vinegar. I have always enjoyed the fruit infused aged balsamic vinegars that can be purchased from specialty olive oil store like Williams Sonoma and the Nashville Olive Oil Company I have discovered the ease and intense flavor of making my own fruit vinegar concoctions. With a couple of simple ingredients, you can turn that ripe (or even overripe) bounty into salad dressing and marinade goodness.
No added sugar necessary
One of the drawbacks of the store-bought fruit vinegars is the sugar content. While I’m willing to take in a few carbs through beneficial fruit I don’t want to completely mess up my low-carb meals with the sugar laden aspects of manufactured products. My recipe uses a sugar replacement that emphasizes the fruit without loading up on chemicals. If you can get your hands on some Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet use it but play around with your favorite sweeteners if you like. If you’d rather use honey or maple syrup, go ahead, it works beautifully.
Mix it up: Use other fruit
This recipe calls for peaches but I’ve subbed mango, apple and plum and they all work beautifully. The trick is to boil the concoction and let it sit until room temperature to pull all the flavor out of the fruit. One of the things I love is the beautiful colors that come from fresh fruit. They are gorgeous!
How to use your fruit vinegar
Our two favorite ways to use fruit vinegar are in salad dressings and meat marinades. Fruit vinaigrettes like this Simple Mango Vinaigrette or a Peach & Lemon Balm Vinaigrette brighten a summer salad and blend beautifully with salad greens, goat’s cheese & walnuts. The fall flavors of apple or a sweet deep plum are delicious paired with a salad of spinach, onion, toasted pecans and slivers of cheddar.
My family’s favorite dinner is flank steak marinated in a concoction of mango vinegar, avocado oil, soy sauce & garlic. The touch of sweetness helps the meat to caramelize beautifully and we can’t get enough. The same holds for chicken marinated in peach vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper. It’s so simple and so good!
½ cup THM Gentle Sweet (or sweetener of your choice)
¼ cup Maple Syrup (optional but adds a varied sweetness)
In a large sauce pan add your vinegar and sweetener(s)
Wash you fruit but don’t peel it and cut into slices or chunks (discarding the pits)
Add the fruit to the vinegar and sweetener and bring to a slow boil on medium high heat
Boil gently for 10 minutes
Cover the pot and let the mixture cool completely
Strain the liquids from the solids with a fine mesh strainer into a non-reactive bowl (I use a glass bowl with a lip for pouring)
Transfer vinegar into a glass jar or bottle and refrigerate
I washed the label off the Colavita vinegar bottle for a pretty container for my peach vinegar. I love the top on this container as well as it helps dispense the vinegar without over-pouring. The rest of the vinegar went into a small mason jar for immediate use in a chicken marinade.
I’m on a roll making these and I’d love more ideas! Can you think of other uses for fruit vinegars?