Friday, March 2, 2012

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

While making these caprese appetizers for a party, I discovered something wonderful.  First of all,
the appetizers themselves are really good, and easy to make.  You just cut grape or cherry tomatoes in half, top with a piece of basil leaf and a ball of mozzarella then skewer all with a toothpick. 

As if that's not good enough, the kicker is when you drizzle these yummies with a balsamic vinegar reduction.  You just bring balsamic vinegar to a simmer for ten minutes. That's it.  You now have a thick, dark, syrupy sauce to enhance your food. Easy! As Emeril would say….BAM!  

So now I have a new addiction, and for once it's a healthy one!  I've been putting balsamic vinegar reduction on my salads, baked potatoes, grilled mushrooms, roasted veggies, you name it!

Here are some of the health benefits of balsamic vinegar (see source below):  

Weight loss:  "According to Nutrition Data, balsamic vinegar is a source of calcium, iron, manganese and potassium, which improve the body's functioning and weight loss abilities."  

Heart disease and cancer:  "Balsamic vinegar contains polyphenols, antioxidants that can protect the body from heart disease and cancer."

Antioxidents:  "The grapes that are used to make balsamic vinegar also contain antioxidants that fight against cell damage, improve the body's immune system and make blood platelets more flexible, thus preventing heart or circulation problems."  

Digestion:  "The vinegar boosts the activity of pepsin, an enzyme that breaks protein down into smaller amino acids that can be more easily absorbed by the body. Pepsin helps to improve the body's metabolism as well." 

Diabetes:  "Balsamic vinegar can also improve insulin sensitivity for diabetics, allowing for an easier regulation of blood sugar and reducing unpleasant side effects from diabetes."

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