Don’t have apple cider vinegar handy for the recipe you want to make? Read on to find out what you can use for an apple cider vinegar substitute!
What is apple cider vinegar?
As you can probably guess from the name, apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting crushed apples with yeast and sugar. Much like other vinegar, it’s turned into alcohol and then after a longer period of fermentation, it turns into an acid.
While you might hear the term “apple cider” and assume that this vinegar is on the sweeter side, it’s actually just as sour, tart, and acidic as any other vinegar you’d use. It’s just got the added benefit of a slight apple taste!
What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar has become well known in the alternative medicine world for its suspected health benefits. Some experts say that drinking it every day in tandem with other healthy choices can improve blood sugar control, lower cholesterol, boost weight loss and decrease insulin resistance. It’s thought that these benefits are specific to apple cider vinegar because it comes from fruit.
While we don’t fully know if these benefits are as reliable as some studies will claim, we DO know that apple cider vinegar tastes great in a lot of recipes. It’s a useful addition for adding some acidity and tartness to your dish. You might not get the same health benefits from the alternatives as you would from apple cider vinegar, but sometimes you just need the flavor to complete your recipe.
What is apple cider vinegar used for?
Apple cider vinegar can be used in dressings, vinaigrettes, soups, sauces, hot drinks, and more. It’s a great flavor addition in some of these tofu marinades and is a key ingredient in the dressing for this broccoli salad.
The subtle apple taste can be a good flavor addition when you want it, but sometimes you just don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand. Sometimes it’s out of stock at the grocery store and you have to figure out an alternative! What can you use instead of apple cider vinegar?
Best Apple Cider Vinegar Substitutes
Can I replace apple cider vinegar? Yes! The most common apple cider vinegar substitutes are rice wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, citrus juices, and white vinegar. Read more about each apple cider vinegar replacement below.
1. Rice wine vinegar
Rice wine vinegar is a great option for an apple cider vinegar alternative. You can substitute them 1:1, no need to change a thing. Rice wine vinegar is ever so slightly sweeter than apple cider vinegar, but they’re otherwise very close in flavor.
Rice wine vinegar is made in a similar fashion to apple cider vinegar, but instead of apples being the main ingredient it’s – you guessed it – rice!
It makes a great substitute for apple cider vinegar because they both have very mild flavors. If you think the slight sweetness differential might change how your dish tastes in the end, look further down the list for other options!
2. Sherry vinegar
Sherry vinegar is another one that you can substitute 1:1 for apple cider vinegar. Sherry vinegar is made by fermenting sherry wine into acetic acid. The kinds of grapes used for the sherry will determine the end flavors of the vinegar.
It’s important to keep in mind that sherry vinegar is more acidic than apple cider vinegar. It makes a great replacement, but if the main purpose of the vinegar in your dish is the acidity, you might want to reduce the amount you’re using. Taste to verify!
3. Citrus juices
If you have any citrus fruits laying around waiting to be used, here’s your chance! Lemons and limes have a similar acidity/pH as apple cider vinegar and therefore make a great 1:1 replacement.
Limes have a more distinct flavor than lemons when used in a dish, so if lemon juice is an option for you then you should go with that. It’ll obviously taste more citrusy than if you had used apple cider vinegar, but shouldn’t affect the end result negatively. It’s a great alternative in a pinch!
4. White vinegar
Can you substitute white vinegar for apple cider vinegar? Yes! White vinegar is a decent alternative for apple cider vinegar simply because a lot of people have it in the house. Don’t confuse this with distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar – they’re not the same!
To get the flavor and acidity you’re going for with apple cider vinegar, you should add a little bit of citrus juice to the white vinegar. One of the big benefits of apple cider vinegar is the slightly fruity taste, which you’ll emulate by adding the citrus in to the mix. Otherwise this substitution will be 1:1.