I use balsamic vinegar a lot these days.
Countless recipes I have call for it, and even when a recipe does not require balsamic vinegar in specific, I still tend to add it as it is super healthy and has a delightful aroma.
Now that you know how often I use it, you can safely assume that I often run out of it as well.
When I am out of this precious ingredient, I feel the urge to go out and buy it immediately, but it is not always possible. For example, the last time it happened, I had guests eagerly awaiting for my famous Cesare salad, and I could not just leave them and run off to buy the balsamic vinegar.
For this reason, I started thinking about finding the best Balsamic vinegar substitute that can help me in such emergency situations.
Of course, I will share the details of my quest to find the best balsamic vinegar substitute with you. I will do more than that too as I will inform you how healthy this “royal” vinegar can be for you.
I have to warn you though that the authentic balsamic vinegar has a “royal” price as well (as much as $400 a bottle for the original, traditional balsamic vinegar), so substituting it can come handy when your wallet gets thin too.
What is Balsamic Vinegar? Balsamic Vinegar Defined
First off, I want to tell you that when talking about balsamic vinegar, I think of the authentic, traditional one- the prized Italian possession with a royalty background as its taste is quite incomparable with the commercial brands that are readily available in most supermarkets and local stores.
Balsamic vinegar is vinegar made from whole pressed Trebbiano white grapes that originated in Italy somewhere around 1000 AD. To make this prized vinegar all the parts of grapes-skin, seeds, stems and juice are used. The unfermented grape juice is poured into barrels and left there to age for months or even years.
The end product should have a distinctive and complex flavor and the tart aftertaste. It is actually a black liquid more similar to wine than vinegar, and just like wine, it gets better with time. The painstakingly laborious and complex procedure make this glimmering vinegar so valuable and precious, and thus expensive as well.
Why is Balsamic Vinegar Good for You? 7 Amazing Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar
Besides the fact that it is a very versatile and useful ingredient that tastes great, balsamic vinegar is also super healthy for you. When you use it in your favorite salad dressings or marinades, it can make you feel and look better.
It is really a low-fat additive great to be used as part of a weight-loss or a heart-healthy diet.
But, let us examine its health benefits step by step:
1. Balsamic vinegar lowers the cholesterol
- The most well-documented health benefit of balsamic vinegar is its influence on high cholesterol levels. If you have such a problem, consuming balsamic vinegar on a daily basis is sure to help you maintain or lower your cholesterol level. The antioxidants balsamic vinegar is rich in thus prevent your arteries from clogging as well.
2. Balsamic vinegar has probiotic properties
- The acetic acid, the main active compound in balsamic vinegar, has strains of probiotic bacteria in it. The probiotics promote active digestion and better the gut health.
3. Balsamic vinegar aids in weight loss
- All the vinegars can help you lose weight, and balsamic vinegar is no exception. The probiotics I have already mentioned help make you feel full for longer. Besides that balsamic vinegar has no fat content. It is not a magic potion that will make you slim overnight but can be helpful when you are already on a weight-loss regime.
4. Balsamic vinegar is anti-glycemic
- When food is anti-glycemic, it helps people with insulin resistance to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Using balsamic vinegar in your meals makes them diabetes-friendly, prevents blood sugar spikes that usually occur after eating.
5. Balsamic vinegar improves blood circulation
- Due to polyphenols that help the cardiovascular system, balsamic vinegar may prevent cardiac diseases.
6. Balsamic vinegar lowers the blood pressure
- Balsamic vinegar health benefits include preventing problems with hypertension. Only 1 to 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar in your salad or marinade, will help your heart stay healthy too.
7. Balsamic vinegar will make your skin healthy and young-looking
- Although its dark color and pungent smell might put you off at first, it is actually very beneficial to apply balsamic vinegar to your face. Namely, due to its antioxidants, antimicrobial compounds, and acetic acid content, balsamic vinegar helps get rid of the acne, make your skin clear and radiant and brightens up your complexion. It is believed to have anti-aging properties as well.
How to Replace Balsamic Vinegar? 7 Super-Easy Balsamic Vinegar Substitute Suggestions
Out of balsamic vinegar? Do not panic; there are many interesting ways to substitute it in your salads and meals, especially if your expectations are not too high.
Do not expect the same taste and aroma, but you can get real close to it.
For a temporary solution or an emergency aid you can use one of the seven super-easy balsamic vinegar substitute suggestions:
1. Cider and sugar
- This is one of the easiest solutions – simply mix one tablespoon of apple cider and one half of a spoon of sugar to substitute one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
- Extra Advice: Mix the ingredients with care as to make sure that you have diluted all that sugar crystals. Only in that way, will you be sure that you have a perfect salad dressing!
2. Red wine vinegar and sugar
- Similarly to the first solution, you will need one tablespoon of red wine vinegar and half a spoon of sugar in place of one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
- Extra Advice: Choosing brown sugar over white one will not only be a healthier option but also give the balsamic vinegar substitute the oaky taste of the real thing.
3. Fruity vinegar and sugar
- One tablespoon of a fruity vinegar mixed with half a tablespoon of brown sugar equates one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar as well.
- Extra Advice: If you need balsamic vinegar to serve it with fish, you can create a substitute by using fruity vinegar you have and honey!
4. Non-fruity Vinegar and Sugar
This white acidic liquid is one of the essential items in any kitchen used equally for cooking and life hacks, am I correct? There are more than 100 uses of vinegar that can help you in your home, and thus every self-respecting housewife must have it in her pantry.
Now I am going to teach you how to use this kind of vinegar to make a balsamic vinegar substitute:
You will need:
- Five cups of any non-fruity vinegar
- One cup of sugar
- Small pot
- Brown rice vinegar/ Chinese black vinegar
The preparation process:
- Mix sugar and vinegar in a small pot
- Set your stove top to low heat and cook the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Add brown rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar to match the dark color of the balsamic vinegar.
- Let it cool and use it as you would use balsamic vinegar.
5. Balsamic Vinaigrette
- If you have a little bit of balsamic vinegar left, but you need more of it for your salad dressing, you can use the small amount you have and make a balsamic vinaigrette. The only ingredient you will have to add to your balsamic vinegar in order to create its vinaigrette counterpart is olive oil. The ratio is 3-to-1 (3 parts oil and 1 part balsamic vinegar).
6. Malt vinegar
- Malt vinegar is a very good substitute for the balsamic vinegar due to its intense taste. While balsamic vinegar has an oaky taste, malt vinegar features a taste similar to a barley beer. You will need to add some sugar to it to replicate the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar, so make sure to dissolve it well.
7. Soy sauce, lemon juice, and molasses
- Although it has the most ingredients, this recipe is easy to follow and remember. You will need to mix equal parts of soy sauce, lemon juice, and molasses syrup. In order to replace two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, you must use one tablespoon of soy sauce, one tablespoon of syrup and one more tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
- If you find this ratio too sweet or too sour for your taste you can adjust it to your taste by adding more lemon juice or syrup.
- Extra Advice: You can replace molasses with brown sugar syrup or brown rice syrup as well.
Also check out my Dijon Mustard substitutes as well!
Balsamic vinegar is a delicate condiment with a heavenly satisfying taste, and if you have not used it yet it is high time you start!
Making balsamic vinegar a part of your daily diet will better your health and looks.
The only problem is that once you fall in love with it as much as I have, you will not be able to imagine your meals without it. This is where the balsamic vinegar substitute can come in very handy so do jot down my seven super-easy suggestions and have them at your hand.
To be honest, you will never be able to substitute the unique taste of the balsamic vinegar 100%, but in case of emergency, these substitutes can save the day!
Maybe some of you have some better tricks up your sleeve? If you do, please share it with me! 🙂