Warming Apple Cider Tonic with Turmeric

This warming apple cider tonic with turmeric is filled with nourishing ingredients like anti-inflammatory ginger and turmeric as well as mineral-rich molasses but takes just 10 minutes to make from scratch! All you need is a high-speed blender and a few pantry items. It’s soothing, cinnamon-scented and just the thing when you feel the need for comfort.

Maybe it’s because I live in an old drafty house, but I love a warm drink almost as much as I love a warm bath. So I wanted to create a homemade hot apple cider that was as nutrient-dense as any of my favourite wellness tonics. This warming apple cider tonic is perfect for sipping on a cold evening or anytime you need a little energy boost. Most apple cider tonic recipes use ACV, but this one is made from whole foods so you’ll get even more nourishment. 

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar: The Actual Science

I know the internet loves its ACV…but I’m telling you, we’re making a instagrammable Swiss Alps mountain out of a dank backyard mole hill. Let’s look at what the actual science has to say, shall we?

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Blood Sugar Balancing?

A few main factors help with blood sugar balancing: eating well-balanced meals with lower glycemic food choices such as beans and whole grains, getting active, and a few little hacks to slow down the rate at which your stomach empties a meal.

Here is where the kernel of truth about ACV and diabetes comes in. Fat, protein, fibre and acid all help to slow the rise of blood sugar in a single meal. Which means it’s not just apple cider vinegar, but ALL vinegar. Even boring old white vinegar. And lemon juice too. So yes, cooking with a bit of acid helps…and makes the meal more delicious. But it’s not a magic pill to lower blood sugars the whole day no matter what you eat.

One 2015 trial suggests that having 2 tbsp of ACV improved post-meal insulin sensitivity. A 2019 open label trial suggested that 2 tbsp ACV + medication improved BMI and fasting blood sugar slightly but it’s not a great trial because they didn’t compare the effect against medication alone. Note that there are very few human trials here – and the effect is due to acetic acid which is found in ALL vinegars, not just ACV. And the effect is likely not big enough to mitigate a high refined carb intake. In 2017 a review of the few very small studies available confirmed that there does seem to be a small but significant improvement in blood sugars so sure, enjoy that ACV in a meal. 

But if you have actual blood sugar issues? Keep those carbs whole, like veggies, beans and intact whole grains and be sure to move your body.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Weight Loss?

I know we all want the dietary version of a magic eraser so that we can eat anything and still lose weight. But it’s just not reality. Does ACV help? One 2018 RCT of 39 people with obesity found that adding 2 tbsp of ACV daily to a reduced calorie diet + exercise enhanced weight loss. It’s just one small trial…hardly enough to convince a dietitian…but it was positive. Note that there is NO suggestion that ACV helps unless YOU do the work: participants also changed how they ate and exercised. So move your body daily and eat plenty of whole plant foods. 

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Probiotic?

It is highly unlikely that this is true. I found a single study talking about types of bacteria in ACV but not amount. If you take a tbsp of ACV, the amount of live bacteria and prebiotic pectin would likely be WAY too tiny to do anything. The only fermented food that reliably has a large count of bacteria is kefir but generally speaking, while beneficial, fermented foods do not have enough bacteria to stand in for a clinical strength probiotic.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Bloating

Bloat is insanely complex – and we have no data to guide us here. There are many reasons why you may be bloated, particularly if you’re on a plant-based diet. But many bloating culprits also have nothing to do with food (hello, stress and hard pants!). 

Anecdotally, something acidic tends to ‘settle’ the stomach. Think of all those sour cravings when you’ve got pregnancy nausea. So it likely has nothing to do with ACV and is more about the acid…which you could get from another vinegar or lemon. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Heads up, there is also zero evidence that ACV improves IBS or inflammation…but yes, all acetic acid is by its nature antimicrobial. Generally, ACV is safe…but not for your tooth enamel, and it might make your ulcer or diabetic gastroparesis worse. It can even lower your potassium levels if you overdo it! So, save the ACV for your yummy salads and sip on this whole food apple cider tonic instead.

All the benefits of this homemade hot apple cider tonic

  • Apples are high in fibre, and contain fermentable pectin fibre which helps to boost the microbiome
  • Carrots are rich in carotenoids which support the skin and immune system
  • Ginger and turmeric are wonderful medicinal plant foods packed with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals! Ginger also helps to improve stomach emptying and nausea making it great for when your tummy is a bit upset.
  • Cinnamon supports healthy blood sugars while adding a sweet taste
  • Blackstrap molasses contains calcium and iron and is a great mineral boost on a plant-based diet.

How to get turmeric stains out of your blender

I’m not gonna lie: the combination of heat, long blend time and acid mean that the turmeric might stain your blender jar. But it doesn’t wreck it! 100% worth it, in my opinion. But if you want them gone, don’t scratch your jar with abrasive cleansers!

Instead, clean your jar with a bit of soap and the self-clean setting then try this hack: just put your jar and lid outside in the sun! Sunlight completely neutralizes the colour compound in turmeric, it just takes a little time.

apple cider tonic in white mug with hand

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Warming Apple Cider Tonic with Turmeric

Looking for a soothing, anti-inflammatory tonic? This warming apple cider tonic takes just 10 minutes to make from scratch in the blender. It’s cozy, cinnamon scented and packed with benefits too.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time5 mins

Course: Drinks

Cuisine: American

Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Keyword: apple cider, Ginger, tonic, Turmeric, warm drink

Dietary Preference: dairy free, egg free, Gluten-Free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Servings: 4 servings

Author: Desiree Nielsen, RD

Ingredients

  • 2 medium apples, quartered and cored I like a sweet-tart variety like gala or pink lady
  • 1 large carrot scrubbed
  • 1 small lemon ends trimmed, skin on and quartered
  • 2 inch piece ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric or 2 inch piece fresh turmeric
  • 3 cups water

Instructions

  • All all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend, using the soup setting. If machine doesn’t have soup setting, blend on high until thoroughly liquified about 2-3 minutes and then gently heat on the stove over medium medium. Taste and adjust sweetness as necessary.

Notes

If you prefer a lighter textured tonic, you can strain out the pulp but I prefer to enjoy all that wonderful fibre to give my microbiome a boost! 
You can also totally opt to drink this unsweetened if you wish.