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Balsamic Vinegar

Can anyone give me any information about balsamic vinegar and if it is okay to use in recipes? I am pretty sure it isn't officially raw, but if you are okay with using a bit of un-rawness in your recipes, are there any major downfalls to using balsamic vinegar? Thanks!


  • LilEarthMuffinLilEarthMuffin Raw Newbie

    I was wondering about this myself.

    I often make salad dressings using EVOO and balsamic vinegar but im worried about its acid content and how it could be harming my body.

    Hope someone can answer this question. :)

  • kellyannekellyanne Raw Newbie

    i'm not sure about the raw factor, but vinegar should be avoided at all costs. it's worse than drinking alcohol. it overworks your kidneys. it completely stops digestion. it's super acidic. the list goes on...

    "Vinegar is diluted acetic acid, commonly known to be a poison in its pure form. Acetic acid stimulates the thyroid gland to pull phosphorous from the adrenal glands to negate the effects of acetic acid in the system. Depleted phosphorous results in impaired function of the adrenal glands and thus the entire endocrine system. The outcome of all this can include body odor, pains in the heart, rapid pulse, increased mucous production, and headaches. Repetitive use will also result in hardening of the liver."

  • wow. thanks kelly!

  • beanbean Raw Newbie

    I agree with the bit about all vinegar being acidic- I do have a few things to add to that, though, based on personal experience. I visit a naturopath frequently, and have had quite a few conversations about what vinegar does. I brought this up to her originally because I was having some digestion problems- bloating, constipation, etc. I also used to use balsamic and apple cider vinegar frequently. I mentioned this to her when I was going over my food history (she knows I am a raw vegan, and supports that)- she told me that vinegar is highly acidic, and in some cases does cause digestive problems. Balsamic and apple cider in particular are so acidic they can cause underproduction of stomach acid- I think this has to do with your body trying to balance out ?he acidity... in any case, apparently in some people it gets so out of hand that your digestion gets thrown off, which was what happened to me. I think using those vinegars in moderation would be ok, though she said it was best not to at all. Also, she advised me to start using rice vinegar, which is the mildest kind, saying that it would get me producing more stomach acid, since it was naturally less acidic and would therefore promote digestion. I know rice vinegar is not raw either, but at that point I was bloating everytime I ate something, no matter what it was (and I was close to completely raw, which only a few unraw condiments), I was constipated, gassy, and had shite digestion, based on what came out when I did have bowel movements. When she told me rice vinegar instead of balsamic and apple cider would help, I took her advice and within a week or so was feeling way, way better. I am not sure if this would be the same for everyone, but for me it just about solved the digestion thing completely. That said, I did end up incorporating a bit of balsamic in every once in a while- I do love the flavor!- but I try to limit it, and use rice vinegar instead. Hope this helps!

  • sv3sv3 Raw Newbie

    Thanks for your post bean, I use apple cider vinegar almost daily (in my salad dressing) but after reading your comments I'm thinking I should at least switch to rice vinegar.

  • Thanks for all the info!!

  • beanbean Raw Newbie

    You're welcome! And rice vinegar is actually really good in just about everything, it almost gives it a bit of a sweet/sour flavor. Good luck!

  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    Just an FYI: Do watch your labels, folks, when buying rice vinegar. If it says "Seasoned Rice Vinegar" it has sugar added.

  • Exactly! That's why when I make sushi I use normal rice vinegar and add raw agave. Win! : ) Thanks again guys!

  • coconuttycoconutty Raw Newbie

    Wow that is so interesting to read! Especially when I've read so much on how raw apple cider vinegar is good for you! It kind of makes me sad because I looooooove vinegar so much. But I think I'm going to have to experiment and try to cut it way back, if not out of my diet completely, for a while and see what happens. I usually stick to a pretty high raw diet and have noticed over the last year or so that I've been having lots of bloating issues. And it was confusing the heck out of me cause even if I was eating 100% raw I was still bloating. I don't eat fast. I eat slower than anyone around me, I chew my food really thoroughly, but I've never experienced bloating like this before. The only prob is the bloating tho, no gas, no indigestion, nothing. So I am happy to come across this info and see if I can notice any changes!

  • I was told to drink apple cider vinegar for upset stomachs, and while in university I drank gallons of the stuff! It's good for hair for sure...but....is it really that awful for your system? I'll be so sad if it's really bad for you!

    Oh dear...my grandma was always such a fan of the ACV morning drink! Actually, now that I think about it, I did ask my uncle, a GP, about acv, and he said that small doses daily won't harm you, but he did also say that abstaining from it might well be better than relying on it to settle a stomach. He also said, "what doesn't it cure!" in a joking way so that makes me think that it's a lot of hype and little substance...

  • Balsamic vinegars also have caramel added to create the color... Thanks Bean for sharing re: rice vinegar.

    It's more work, but you can also create pretty tasty dressings for salads by blending some soaked seeds (eg sunflower or sesame) or tahini with herbs and/or spices and water. You can onion/garlic and lemon juice to compensate for the astringent/bitter flavor of vinegar... If you have a good combo of herbs & spices you won't need vinegar or oil, as the seeds add fat. For example if you add cilantro, turmeric, garam masala, chili flakes/cayenne pepper you get Asian flavor dressing... If you need to make it thicker or add lighter flavour, try adding tomato, apple or cucumber, or avocado if you want it creamier... There are better recipe ideas in the recipes section for curries or dressings... Try searching for dressing + what ever herbs you have available + what spices you like.

  • WHITE vinegar is generally diluted acetic acid. One can find naturally brewed white vinegar (in Canada, as Presidents' choice 'The Natural'), but for me it's more of a consumer choice than a food one.

    If one has a balanced pH already, vinegar will turn the body more BASIC...or rather, get the body to overcompensate.

    Vinegar is one of the most potent tonics one can use to bring the body to a place where it heals itself naturally and conducts impulses.

    I'm not vegan and don't follow a raw diet so Basalmic vinegar is about the only thing I put on salads. Yum.

  • Veganly FitVeganly Fit Raw Newbie

    Hello everyone!

    After doing a 12 day detox (Matser Cleanse), I've been drawn to stay fully raw (vegan obviously!).
    It's been such a powerful journey, and speaking of vinegars...it's been advised to me to stay away from it to continue to detoxify my body, after the process. I didn't think it was so harmful (rice or ac vinegars included), but when you come off a detox, and reintroduce foods, then you are much more in tune with what works or not. And vinegars didn't work for me anymore ! 
    It's a bit of a struggle as I was a heavy vinegar user, but my will to detox and stay at my highest health potential has been stronger.
    I've been making my own dressings based on fresh herbs, and vegetables. And if I run out of ingredients, just lots of lemon juice!
    I even make some with other citrus, and sub-acidic fruits, and it's been satisfying my cravings for heavy dressing on my salad (I like it soaked!).
    Hope this helps :-)
    Example of dressings that i really enjoyed so far: fennel/celery/cilantro/turmeric; red bell pepper/cucumber/cilantro/basil; strawberry/cilantro/turmeric/lemon; orange/ tomato/ cilantro/ fresh onion.

  • Harmony1Harmony1 Raw Superstar

    I've had a hard time letting go of my Braggs and vinegar. I'm going to try the rice vinegar and see if I can at least lower the amount of damage. Thanks for the info!

    Audrey, congrats on the detox! Your dressings sound yummy. 

  • ocpaul20ocpaul20 Raw Newbie

    Sorry to be the one, but I have to point out that the Chinese have vinegar with almost every meal and put it in their cooking, so I cannot imagine 1.3 billion people having digestive problems. I am sure it is used all over asia too so I feel there must be more to these stories than just vinegar being acidic and upsetting the normal balance of the stomach. I mean lemon juice is acidic and many other citrus fruits are acidic - are they not good for us too? Are we leaving our common sense at the front door when we read these articles?

    ACV has been used by herbalists for ages as a digestive system enhancer, I am sure they would not recommend it if it was going to be a problem for those with digestion issues.

    I feel there are many reasons for bloating, gas and pain in the gut, so I dont think we can blame a particular pH for it all. I mean, in some people maybe it is a reaction to GMO food for example.



    Energy Healer
  • ClaireTClaireT Raw Master

    I think if we have too much vinegar there could be digestion problems (too much of anything can be bad). But in moderation, I don't see a problem, especially if it is mixed with foods that will help to even out the overall ph of the meal. I hope I'm not oversimplifying it. 

  • TammiTrueTammiTrue Raw Master

    This thread got me thinking. Is there a raw version of vinegar?

  • Energy HealerEnergy Healer Raw Newbie

    The raw version of vinegar that I use is Bragg's raw apple cider vinegar. You want the unpasteurized with the mother. I use raw ACV especially when I have a low immune system. It alkalizes the system. 2 capfuls in a cup of hot water with 2 droppers of stevia. Also you can add 3 cups to your bath water if you are trying to head off the flu or something...

    Raw ACV is acidic but it alkalizes the entire system. I like Mercola's info on it as he includes his sources of research. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/06/02/apple-cider-vinegar-hype.aspx

  • TammiTrueTammiTrue Raw Master

    I forgot about the Bragg's vinegar! It's on my shopping list now smile

    Is it drying if you use it in a bath?

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