Tag Archives: drinks

Four Reasons I’m Obsessed With Apple Cider Vinegar

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Every so often, I’m reminded of just how accessible – and cheap – some really useful products can be. Recently, I’ve seen a lot about Apple Cider Vinegar being more useful than I usually give it credit for. Not only is it great in foods, but it also has several applications as a beauty aid and household cleaner. Here are four reasons I’m currently obsessed with Apple Cider Vinegar.

1. Delicious, Healthy Beverages
Earlier this year, I saw a drink in Whole Foods called “Switchel.” It looked good, but not four-bucks-for-a-bottle good. The other night, I ran across a recipe for it online, tried making some, and HOLY COW. Mixed with seltzer, it’s like amazing sour-sweet ginger ale. Check out this recipe. I’ve been making a small batch every night and bringing it to work with me. It’s a nice wake-up bevvy for when I’m trying not to OD on caffeine!

2. Hair Conditioner
Long ago, my sister hooked me up with some samples of Paul Mitchell shampoo. Loved it. Couldn’t afford to buy it for myself, so started getting the store version at Harmon Face Value in Chelsea (the discount branch of Bed Bath & Beyond, for those who haven’t been). When I moved, I had to stop buying it there – but I found a version in the “Generic” line at Sally’s Beauty Supply. Sadly, the Sally’s version seems to irritate my scalp. I figured this out the other night and, since my back was killing me and I didn’t want to drive an hour round trip to the nearest salon store (I told you I lived in the country now), I started googling basic hair cleansers. Guess what. Apple Cider Vinegar, while not a substitute for shampoo, was listed as a conditioner that stripped out chemicals and helped restore a healthy shine to one’s hair. I tried it out and was impressed with the results, then tried it again a couple days later (with a different shampoo) and was delighted.

3. Toner/Astringent
Even though I’m not an adolescent any more (sob!) there are still times when my skin acts up, and the other night I started to feel one of those awful under-the-skin zits that aches and hurts and is impossible to squeeze or pick out (yes, I’m being a bit graphic, it’s fine). On a whim, I googled Apple Cider Vinegar and zits, and — you guessed it — swabbing a bit on the irritated skin would supposedly help clear up my complexion. I’ve been doing that for three days now, and not only does the underskin zit seem to be subsiding, but the vinegar helped keep the spot from getting irritated and soothed the pain enough that I didn’t have the impulse to pick at it.

4. Bug Traps
Last summer, I had a fruit fly problem. I took to Twitter to ask for suggestions in how to get rid of the little buggers, and was told apple cider vinegar might be the way to go. I followed my friend’s instructions: set out a dish, fill it with ACV, and stretch some plastic over the top, secured with a rubber band to keep it sealed. Then, I took a toothpick and poked holes in the stretched plastic wrap. Leaving the dish out for a week, I noticed the fruit flies would crawl inside – then presumably be unable to get out. The number of fruit flies floating in the dish crept up and up, until finally my fruit fly problem was taken care of. Success!

So there you have it. Whether aiding digestion, making my hair shiny and gorgeous, clearing up skin issues without harsh chemicals or keeping fruit flies out of my kitchen – not to mention all the other uses I saw for it online – Apple Cider Vinegar is my new go-to cure-all.

 

 

Green Tea Pop (Soda)

By The original uploader was Deathtiny42 at French Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

By The original uploader was Deathtiny42 at French Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Green Tea is super healthy for you, which is great if you’re someone who likes green tea. I am not. Hot, cold, as a flavor in ice cream – so far, I haven’t been able to find a delivery method for green tea that I like. I’ve been more or less at peace with that, though erring slightly on the side of less.

However.

The other day I was passing an overpriced yuppie tea store where they serve samples outside, and one of the samples was something the saleswoman said they called “tea pop.” Just like the name suggests, they took tea and steeped it in seltzer, then served it up for consumption. They had used some super-fancy, flowery fruit infusion: hibiscus, rose petals, guava, etc. – you know the type – but when I got home, I thought…I should try this with green tea.

Several months ago my dad bought me a huge box of green tea (still not sure why, but it’s been in my cupboard and I hate to let things go to waste), and I also have the remnants of blueberry-acai flavored green tea from a discount store up there. Here’s what I did:

1. Grabbed a bottle of seltzer.
2. Took the cap off.
3. Jammed 3 tea bags – 2 regular green tea, one blueberry-acai green tea – down the neck of the bottle.
4. Dumped some honey into the bottle and turned it over a few times (didn’t shake it, because, well, seltzer).
5. Stuck it in the fridge.

The tea actually steeped pretty quickly in the cold seltzer, which surprised me a little, but maybe it’s something to do with the bubbles. All I know is that within an hour or so I had a really lovely refreshing drink that carried all the benefits of green tea, and for some reason having it as a fizzy drink totally made the difference!

The cost was less than the cost of a bottle of diet coke, too – $.79 for the seltzer and the cost of three cut-rate teabags.  The only problem I’ve discovered is that now I have to buy three times as much seltzer as usual; a small price to pay, in my opinion.

So if you’re not a fan, but looking for a way to make green tea palatable, try this out and let me know what you think!