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Don't Be Salty this Year; Give the Gift of Vinegar!

Welcome back to this safe blog space of positivity in a world consumed by viruses, politics, and general chaos. It's here where I like to share with you my thoughts about all things food, nutrition, and inspiration.

Since beginning to cook at age 14, I have always had an open mind to trying new flavors. Now that I am older and more health conscious, I have found a few seasoning hacks that add lots of flavor without the calories. I love this one so much that I am going to purchase some as Christmas gifts!

Who doesn't love going to that restaurant that has crusty bread already at the table to dip in a seasoned olive oil? I know I do, but as we all know, eating olive oil as a condiment sure adds up the calories. I present to you a variety of vinegars, some already additionally infused to whatever seasoning of your liking. The large bottle in the back of this picture is a Neapolitan Herb balsamic vinegar that is an excellent substitution to eat in place of an herby olive oil. Many of these balsamic vinegars make a fantastic salad dressing, even without adding oil (I personally prefer Black Mission Fig mixed with either Strawberry or Pomegranate). Which one would you like on a caprese salad?

Rice wine vinegar is wonderful to use in many Asian dishes. Malt vinegar is a great way to add flavor to a coleslaw or bean salad. Just as you'd prepare a dish and serve with either white wine or red wine, why not think about adding them to a dish? Red wine vinegar is wonderful to add to the pan of some sauteed mushrooms and onions. White wine vinegar can be used unlike many of these other vinegars to "brighten" a dish rather than add depth and complexity.

There's no reason to be scared of using a spice or something like these vinegars... Cooking is art! It's OK to experiment or make a mistake. Each mistake that we make while cooking is a new lesson that we can either avoid in the future, or meet head-on with a new solution. Having a variety of "colors" in your pantry to add to your daily canvas only makes creating your art more fun!

If you are new to using vinegars in your cooking, I suggest to visit a specialized vinegar store to try out their various flavors. They will have various sizes available, so no need to invest in large bottle of a mystery flavor that you find at the local grocery store. If you find one you really like, buy one for a friend and share the vinegar love this holiday season. Let's get the United States adding more flavor without the calories using vinegars!

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