One way take your salad to the next level is by experimenting with vinegar. Many salad dressings are loaded with calories. But incorporating vinegar is a healthy way to bump up your salad without the extra calories. This recipe makes enough vinegar so you’ll have extra to decant into a bottle or two to save for later or give away as a simple homemade gift.
Below is a healthy recipe to take your salad dressing to the next level.
· 6 cups distilled white vinegar
· 3 small hot chili peppers, such as serrano, red jalapeño or habanero, halved.
· 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
· 12 sprigs fresh cilantro
· Additional fresh herbs for decoration (optional)
1. Stir this chili-, cilantro- and garlic-infused vinegar into a mixture of chopped fresh tomatoes, onions and fresh cilantro for an instant salsa. Or combine with an equal portion of canola oil and a generous pinch of salt and use as a marinade for steak or chicken
2. Wash 3 pint-size (2-cup) heatproof glass canning jars (or similar containers) and their lids with hot soapy water. Rinse well with hot water. Fill a large, deep pot (such as a water bath canner) about half full with water. Place the jars upright into the pot; add enough additional water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil; boil jars for 10 minutes. Add the lids to the pot, and then remove the pot from the heat. Let the jars and lids stay in the hot water as you prepare the flavoring and vinegar. (Keeping the jars warm minimizes breakage when filling with hot liquid.)
3. Thoroughly rinse chili peppers and cilantro with water. Remove the jars from the water bath with a jar lifter or tongs. Divide garlic, the peppers and cilantro among the jars. Heat vinegar in a large saucepan to a bare simmer (at least 190°F). Carefully divide the vinegar among the prepared jars, leaving at least ¼-inch of space between the top of the jar and the vinegar. Remove lids from the water bath, dry with a clean towel and screw tightly onto the jars.
4. Store the jars in a cool, dark place, undisturbed, for 3 to 4 weeks. Strain vinegar through cheesecloth into another container. Repeat as needed until all the sediment is removed and the vinegar is clear. Discard all solids and pour the strained vinegar back into rinsed jars or divide among sterilized decorative bottles. Decorate with a few well-rinsed fresh sprigs of cilantro, garlic and/or chili pepper, if desired. (Note: Adding a fresh chili pepper to the strained vinegar will intensify the heat level.)
Serving size: 1 tablespoon
Per serving: 3 calories; 0 g fat(0 g sat); 0 g fiber; 0 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 0 mcg folate; 0mg cholesterol; 0 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 0 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 1 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 0 mg sodium; 0 mg potassium