Spring is in full effect and we all want to feel healthier right now. If there were one thing that could help flip the switch, we would all get our hands on it. However, there are many things that can help including, exercise, rest, vitamins, and this drink, in particular, apple cider vinegar.

This simple ingredient is full of powerful health benefits and has a strong taste. Personally, my favorite brand is Bragg's because of its long history as a "health food" that detoxifies and boosts metabolism, and the founders were health advocates long before such a thing was trendy.

Paul Bragg was an alternative health food advocate and fitness enthusiast. who wrote on subjects such as detoxification, dieting, fasting, longevity, and physical culture. Back when he started his apple cider vinegar company people thought he was a quack but it turns out that for hundreds of years apple cider vinegar has been used as a "cleansing" ingredient in foods. and Bragg's current CEO Linda Boardman, explains that the company is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity, as the entire country seeks out health boosters that they can trust to add to their food that will help keep our bodies in peak form right now.

Bragg has a collection of vinaigrettes you can buy from the BRAGG website, however, many of them include honey so if you're a vegan who doesn't eat honey, I recommend making your own dressing using the apple cider vinegar.

How Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Help You Lose Weight

I try to add ACV to almost everything I eat, even if it's a small drop. I like to use it as an olive oil replacement with I sauteed fresh vegetables and make delicious stir-fry for dinner. Not only does it have a tangy flavoring and adds a kick to my meals, but ACV also has many health benefits. The most common use of apple cider vinegar is for weight loss. According to Healthline, studies have shown that vinegar can make us feel fuller faster and eat fewer calories which may result in weight loss. The study of 175 people with obesity showed that "daily apple cider vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat", here are the exact numbers:

The bottom line is that ACV can trick your body into thinking you are full, so you avoid overeating and gaining weight. Add a few tablespoons to your salad dressings, cocktails, pasta sauces, smoothies, baking goods, or simply to your pan when you sautee vegetables or make a breakfast sandwich using JUST eggs. We included three vegan recipes from plant-based chefs that are easy to make and taste even more delicious with ACV.

Healthy Salad with ACV By Hannah Sunderani, @twospoons.ca

Ingredients

For the dough: (makes 2 pizzas)

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (500g) plus more for shaping dough
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water\
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

For the toppings: (for 2 pizzas)

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce leaves separated and torn
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup mint chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup dill chopped

Instructions

To prepare the dough:

  1. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Gradually add 1.5 cups of water while stirring with a wooden spoon.
  3. Stir until well incorporated. Knead dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball.
  4. Add more flour if needed until it's no longer sticky to the touch, or alternatively more water if it's too dry. It should be plush and dough-like. (You might have to add lots more flour - this is normal. I used approx. 1/2 cup more).
  5. Transfer dough to a large clean bowl. Cover with bees wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature, in a draft-free area, until its surface is covered with tiny bubbles and the dough has doubled in size, approx. 6-10 hours.
  6. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and gently shape it into a rough rectangle. Divide into two equal portions and mold portions gently into a ball. Dust dough balls with more flour and cover with bees wrap until ready to use. (Bring dough back to room temperate before baking).
  7. Preheat oven to 240C/475F. Place dough balls each on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle each with 1 tsp oil, turn to coat. Flatten dough with hands, until it covers most of the sheet. You want it to be thin. (If dough springs back, let it rest a few minutes, then try again).
  8. Mix garlic and 4 tbsp olive oil in a bowl and drizzle over the pizza's to cover entire surface, season with salt and pepper. Bake dough until golden and bubbly, approx. 10-12 mins. Let cool slightly before adding toppings.
  9. In a bowl add torn Bibb lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, red onion, mint, cilantro, and dill. Drizzle with apple cider vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil, season with lots of salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Arrange salad on top of pizza crust, slice and serve.

Spiced Vegan Donuts by Lenny, @vegamelon

Ingredients

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup flour use GF if needed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or use agave / other liquid sweeteners
  • Glaze/frosting
  • 1/2 cup plant-based yogurt sweetened to taste -- I used 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp red beet powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C and grease a donut pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and spices, then whisk until combined -- do not overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into the donut pan and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  5. *Optional: while the donuts bake, prepare your frosting and set aside. Once the donuts have cooled down, decorate however you desire.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins by Gina, @healthylittlevittles

Ingredients

  • 1+3/4 cup flour, (I used Bob's Redmill 1:1 gluten-free baking flour)
  • 1 cup blueberries, (I used frozen but I'm sure fresh would work too)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy blueberry yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Crystal sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, pour 3/4 cup almond milk and add the teaspoon of cider vinegar and stir. You'll allow this to sit for about 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the batter.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  4. Melt your butter, then add to the flour mixture along with all the other wet ingredients, including the almond milk mixture.**NOTE: It is important to let the almond milk "curdle" so don't rush it 😉
  5. Mix the batter well, then incorporate the blueberries.**NOTE: your batter will resemble cake batter
  6. Spray a muffin tin with oil, then drop a heaping tablespoon into each cup and top with crystal sugar (opt)
  7. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops of the muffins begin to turn golden brown
  8. Allow the muffins to cool, then eat.**NOTE: the inside of the muffins will still be "gummy" until they are fully cooled, but you can eat them warm if you can't wait!
  9. Store leftover muffins on your counter and cover with a kitchen towel. Eat within a couple of days