DIY Kid Activities: Herb Vinegars

Herb infused vinegars add extra zest to your salad dressing! (herbalgardens.com)

Herb infused vinegars add extra zest to your salad dressing! (herbalgardens.com)

We love growing fresh herbs in the garden at HealthBarn USA.  They smell delicious and add tons of flavor and nutrition to the food we make with them.  A few weeks ago I wrote about how we like to make herb-infused oils, but we’re also big fans of herb-infused vinegars!  The addition of fresh herbs to vinegar is great for adding an extra pop of flavor to your average vinaigrette.  We always get fancy jars for the kids when we make this at HealthBarn USA—they make for great gifts and a beautiful presentation at the table.  Get creative with your choice of herbs; anything goes, so try out different combinations of herbs that you like.  You might even try adding crushed whole garlic cloves or peppercorns for an extra kick.

Time: 30 minutes, plus a week of “standing” time.

Materials:

  • 1 cup fresh herbs
  • 2 cups vinegar of your choice
  • Non-aluminum saucepan
  • Strainer
  • Sterilized glass jars (preferably without metal lids, although metal lids can be used if you first cover the mouth of the jar with plastic wrap)

Adult Prep: Monitor the use of the stove and help with pouring hot vinegar.

Kids’ Activity:

  1. Wash and dry fresh herbs, then crumple or chop lightly to release their full flavor.
  2. Place herbs in sterilized jars.
  3. Heat vinegar in a non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat to 160 degrees.  The vinegar should be just bubbling but not boiling.
  4. Remove from heat and pour hot vinegar into prepared jars, keeping herbs submerged. Allow jars to cool completely, cover, and keep in refrigerator for at least one week for a “standing” period, during which time the flavor of the herbs will become infused in the vinegar.  The longer the standing period, the more intense the flavor.
  5. After the standing period, strain the vinegar into another sanitized jar, or wash and reuse the jars used for standing.  You can add sprigs of fresh herbs to the strained vinegar, though this would be mostly for decoration.
  6. Seal the jars with tight-fitting lids and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use the vinegar.

– Stacey Antine, MS, RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA

A healthy lifestyle isn’t all about food: keeping kids active and fostering their creativity is essential for healthy development, too!  In this blog, I’ll be sharing weekly activity ideas for families to do together.

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