Is Balsamic Vinegar Vegan? (Types Explained)
A high in demand question of whether balsamic vinegar vegan or not has taken over among consumers. Balsamic vinegar, over the past decade, has become a darling to the culinary world. But what exactly is it? Why has it turned out to be more popular than any other vinegar? How does the balsamic vinegar differ from the balsamic vinaigrette?
Balsamic vinaigrette consists of balsamic vinegar. It isn’t just a dressing. There is much more to it. It is also used for health as well as skincare. This too is something that is getting popular over time due to the benefits it possesses. With increasing popularity, another question pops into people’s minds. Is vinaigrette vegan? There are varieties of balsamic vinegar, and some may or may not be vegan. This guide is the key to all your questions.
What is Balsamic Vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar evolves from northern Italy. It is made by boiling the juice until it gets a syrup-like consistency. Now, since its flavors and the aroma are all concentrated, it looks dark. Later, it follows a slow fermentation process and is stored in wooden barrels where it ages while turning to alcohol.
This dark, sweet, and syrup-like consistency is something a pure balsamic vinegar would sound like. In most of the supermarkets, it’s not very sweet, light-colored, and it has a much thinner consistency as it is observed that not every balsamic vinegar follows a traditional way to be manufactured. Whatever the type, they’re typically used to enhance the flavor of salad dressings, marinades and a bunch of sauces.
Owing to Balsamic Vinegar’s prevalence is modern cuisines, it is imperative for you to know what goes into making it and if or not you can consume it based on your lifestyle choices. We’ve compiled a number of other guides scrutinizing the vegan status of daily-use items and condiments like Olive oil, Maple Syrup, Soy sauce and Teriyaki sauce among others.
Is Balsamic Vinegar Vegan?
Yes, Balsamic Vinegar is vegan. As I mentioned earlier, some balsamic vinegar is manufactured following a specific traditional method. If this traditional method is followed, then the vinegar is vegan since it’s made from grape juice and is left to age for years. The other type is made from cheap stuff and does not take more than a few months to get completed.
Types of Balsamic Vinegar
Basically, balsamic vinegar can be of two types. Some can be vegan, and some may not be. One would be the traditional one and can also be called Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP. The other one is the non-traditional one and also called Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP.
The traditional one is vegan but you cannot expect the other one to be pure vegan. Once you go shopping, you need to look for the ingredients at the back and check for ingredients like caramel, coloring, and thickeners. If you find them present, it’s not the traditional one. They may not be vegan. Here caramel is the ingredient that can also be prepared from dairy and milk, which may or may not be vegan. If you are looking for vegan milk , check our detailed guide on the best vegan milk alternatives.
The non-traditional ones do not take more than 2-3 years to be completed, unlike the traditional ones, which takes ages to be absolutely prepared. The added ingredients to the vinegar also infringe on its purity.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Health Benefits
The vegan Balsamic vinaigrette is not only famous for its taste but also its incredible health benefits. Those health benefits are as follows:
- Weight loss- To reduce the cholesterol levels, it is enriched with antioxidants. These antioxidants help in the blockage of toxic cells, which are expected to increase cholesterol levels. With the presence of antibiotics, your hunger pangs get reduced as well, thus leading to weight loss.
- Digestion- Acetic acid present in the vegan balsamic vinaigrette enhances the metabolism which promotes the digestive tract and keeps digestion in check.
- Hypertension- Regular consumption can help to regulate blood pressure and prevents hypertension
- Blood Sugar Regulation- This diabetes-friendly balsamic vinaigrette helps in the regulation of blood sugar. Hence, for insulin-resistant people, consuming balsamic vinaigrette can be a beneficial factor.
- Skin Care- The presence of components like antimicrobial compounds and antioxidants, can give you a glowing skin tone and a great complexion. With regular consumption, your skin health would improve gradually.
- Blood Circulation- Grapes prevent platelet aggregation which prevents the occurrence of cardiac diseases. Since balsamic vinegar’s key ingredient is grapes, it will prevent any cardiac-related issues.
- Healing Wounds- It constitutes antibacterial as well as antiviral properties which allows the wounds to heal quickly. Once you start consuming it regularly, you will start feeling the differences.
- Immunity Booster- The presence of polyphenols acts as an immunity booster, which can prevent the occurrence of various other diseases, including cancer. Boosting immunity is one of the best benefits of balsamic vinaigrette, as good immunity is the key to your health.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Side Effects
Having read the health benefits of the Balsamic Vinaigrette, it is important to know about some of the side effects it may have. The following are some of the side effects that may occur in some people.
- Inflammation- Consuming Balsamic Vinaigrette may cause inflammation in the esophagus at times. This occurs when you consume it raw.
- Sore Throat- Sore throat is also another side effect of consuming raw Balsamic Vinaigrette. However, it is not as prevalent among the consumers when it is taken in adequate amounts and diluted.
- Affects Teeth- Consuming Balsamic Vinaigrette, like any other vinaigrette, affects your teeth because of its low pH value. The pH of the Balsamic Vinaigrette is usually around 4.0, which is way less than the neutral 7.0, and so it can be actually harmful. This is why it is important to consume the vinaigrette in diluted amounts.
- Irritation in Bladder- The Balsamic Vinaigrette may irritate the bladder if one has any UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) or has a soft stomach. People with such problems are advised not to consume Balsamic Vinaigrette as this may further alleviate the infection and slower the healing process.
Prepare Vegan Balsamic Vinaigrette
Vegan Balsamic Vinegar is available in the markets manufactured by various brands. However, this is one product that can be prepared at home with ease. And to add to that, even the ingredients required may be available at your already! Let us look at the recipe for making the Balsamic Vinaigrette at home.
The ingredients that you need-
- Balsamic Vinegar (¼ cup)
- Fine sea salt (½ teaspoon )
- Honey (2 tablespoons)
- Dijon mustard (1 tablespoon) (Check vegan status)
- Freshly crushed and finely ground Black Pepper (½ teaspoon)
- Garlic & Clove, minced (1 large)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (¾ cup)
Now when you have collected all the needed ingredients, more than half of your work is done. Because the process left is minute. Now take a mixing bowl, preferably small, and whisk all the ingredients together. You may leave the oil for later. Whisking the sea salt, honey, mustard, black pepper, garlic, clove, and vinegar may take some time as the ingredients are raw with each having different textures.
Once you have whisked it all, add oil. Keep whisking for a few minutes. You might see the emulsification process happening so which will be indicative of the completion. Your Balsamic Vinegar is ready.
You can store it in a jar but make sure that it is airtight. It must be refrigerated while storing to ensure usage for a longer time period. Before serving, don’t forget to shake well. Hope you enjoy your homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Balsamic Vinegar, with all the benefits that one gets from consuming it, has been the elephant in the room for all foodies, vegan or not, alike. Be it skincare, or taste enhancement of delicacies, or using it as just dressing, this vinegar does not fail. The question of whether or not the Balsamic Vinegar is vegan has been pondered upon for quite some time now.
Balsamic Vinegar can be vegan. So all the vegans do not have anything to worry about! It has many health benefits, such as better skin, weight loss, and blood sugar regulation. However, there sure may occur side effects if precautions aren’t taken while consuming it. Therefore, you need to stay cautious while consuming it regularly.
My life literally revolves around optimum health and sustainable living by being a devotional vegan. My mission is to create a community of like minded vegans to go forth in creating a better and brighter world for humans, animals and the planet. Just like Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Gandhi