Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Very Berry Vinegar (and vinagrette, too)

In case you're not a food label reader, you may not realize that a lot of processed foods have added sugar. When I started the no flour no sugar diet, I had read that there were LOTS of products that have added sugar.

Things you wouldn't even think about having added sugar. Like salad dressings, for instance. Who knows what TYPE of added sugar. When you read the label though, there it is, clear as day.....sugar. Well, just because I'm on a diet, I'm not giving up salad dressing! I can give up processed salad dressings and make something tasty without any added sugar.

Since it's berry season and the grocery store had some great berries, I decided I would start by making a berry vinegar. It's very easy if you'd like to make some.

Wash and cut up (and remove the stems) of about 1-1/2 cups strawberries. Add about 1-1/2 cups of washed blueberries (you could also use any combination of berries you'd like). Add a little bit of water (about 1/2cup) and heat until the berries are soft.

Mash the berries with a potato masher or immersion blender. Measure the berry mixture (I had about 3 cups) and add the same amount of white vinegar.

Cover the container with plastic wrap and let set on the counter for at least 48 hours. The vinegar will absorb the berry flavor. Strain the vinegar and put into a sterilized bottle or mason jar.

To make the vinaigrette (and I apologize, I never measured the EXACT amounts), I mixed the strained berries (best guess, about 1 cup), berry vinegar (1/2 cup?), olive oil (1 cup?), (1/2 tsp.?) fresh ground pepper and (1 tsp.?) sea salt into a sterilized bottle. I keep the vinaigrette in the fridge to keep it fresher, longer. The olive oil does solidify a little, just take it out of the fridge for about 20-30 minutes before ready to serve.

The vinaigrette is wonderful over a salad of mixed greens, berries and a few sliced almonds. I've also used it as a marinade for a turkey breast. SO good! Would probably be AWESOME with pork, too!

Before berry season ends, grab up some berries and whip up some vinegar and vinaigrette, because, really, who needs added sugar?

Happy berry season!


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