Balsamic vinaigrette is a type of salad dressing that contains Balsamic vinegar. It has numerous functions ranging from health, skincare, and food preparation. Balsamic vinaigrette is a healthier dressing than most of the other dressings. Many people attribute weight loss and glowing complexion to Balsamic vinaigrette, and this draws us to the question: is Balsamic vinaigrette vegan?
So, is Balsamic Vinaigrette vegan? The Balsamic vinaigrette made from the traditional kind of Balsamic vinegar is vegan. Certainly, there are different types of balsamic vinegar.
The main types include:
- Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP
- Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia DOP
- Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP
The first two has the ‘Tradizionale’ to mean traditional, made by reducing grapes for several years. This type is costly. The third type, on the other hand, is not a traditional Balsamic vinegar. It takes less than three years to make it and contains other ingredients that reduce its purity.
You can easily differentiate the two by reading through the ingredients. If you happen to see something like colouring, thickness, and caramel as part of the ingredients, you can conclude that the vinegar is not traditional.
The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, on the other hand, constitutes of cooked grape for a period of about 10- 12 years. Another thing, the difference in the prices is evident enough. The traditional balsamic vinegar is quite expensive, well something you do not expect to find at your local grocery store. The other type is relatively cheap.
Is Balsamic Vinaigrette Good for Vegans?
Balsamic vinaigrette made from the Traditional balsamic vinegar is suitable for vegans. This is because it has vegan and gluten-free components s ingredients.
The manufacture of the two types of balsamic vinegar is very different. The authentic balsamic vinegar is a product of fermented grape juice and kept for many years.
On the other hand, the imitation type of balsamic vinegar is from red wine. In an attempt to give it the same taste as the original, the manufacturers may add other flavourings. Some of these flavourings may include gelatin, which is non-vegan.
However, it is not necessarily a must that all the imitation types of Balsamic vinegar are not vegan-friendly. It all depends on the brands that manufacture the vinegar.
It is, therefore, necessary for the vegans to check on the ingredients first before purchase. Ensure that gelatin and other non-vegan products are not part of the vinegar’s ingredients. The origin could also help identify the type of vinegar. Real traditional Balsamic vinegar traces its origin to Italy.
Provided that the Balsamic vinaigrette is a product of the authentic balsamic vinegar or has vegan-friendly ingredients, it is suitable for the vegans. Balsamic vinaigrette is useful to vegans in promoting good health.
Balsamic Vinaigrette in Promoting Good Health
Balsamic vinaigrette has more health benefits than other salads. It is helpful in;
- Weight loss
Balsamic vinegar and vinaigrette contain antioxidants that help reduce cholesterol levels in the human body. This, in turn, leads to weight loss since the antioxidants block the toxic cells that increase the levels of cholesterol.
he vinegar also contains probiotics that suppress appetite and hunger pangs. You, therefore, consume less as the vinegar makes you feel full for long periods.
Balsamic vinegar, unlike other flavourings, is low fat with little natural sugar. This enables in weight maintenance.
Weight loss and reduced levels of cholesterol reduce the risks of stroke and heart-related diseases.
The Acetic acid found in Balsamic vinegar is responsible for enhancing metabolism hence promoting good health of the digestive tract.
Balsamic vinegar also contains gut biome- a healthy bacteria that ensure healthy digestion.
The regular consumption of Balsamic vinaigrette helps to regulate blood pressure, thus minimizing the risk of hypertension.
- Blood Sugar Regulation
Balsamic vinaigrette is diabetes-friendly. Balsamic vinegar is known to regulate blood sugar by causing a sugar plateau. Taking balsamic vinaigrette is, therefore, beneficial for people with insulin resistance.
The acetic acid, antioxidants, and antimicrobial compounds found in Balsamic vinegar improve your skin tone and the complexion. Regular consumption of Balsamic vinaigrette enhances the health of your skin. You can, however, not apply it directly to your skin due to its dark colour and pungent smell.
- Blood Circulation
Balsamic vinegar is a product of grapes, which are known to prevent platelet aggregation. This, in turn, protect s you from suffering from cardiac diseases.
- Healing Wounds
The antibacterial and antiviral properties of the Balsamic vinegar are helpful in the fast healing of wounds.
- Boost Immunity
Polyphenols present in Balsamic vinegar help to boost the body’s immunity by preventing damage to the cells. This, in turn, protects the body from diseases such as cancer.
Is Balsamic Vinaigrette Bad for Vegans?
Despite the numerous functions of Balsamic vinegar in the vinaigrette, there are also a few side effects and risks of using it in your food. You must consider the side effects and risks before taking Balsamic vinaigrette.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Side Effects
You may experience soreness on the throat as a result of drinking raw balsamic vinegar. At the same time, it may also cause damage to the esophagus.
- Stomach upset
Large amounts of balsamic vinegar cause irritation to the stomach lining, and you may end up with stomach pains as a result.
- Bladder Irritation
In case you are suffering from Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) or frequent urination, I would highly advise you to avoid taking balsamic vinaigrette. This is because balsamic vinegar irritates the bladder, thereby worsening the situation.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Risks
When taking Balsamic vinaigrette, you need to consider some risks which include;
- Acidity Affects teeth
Balsamic vinegar is more acidic as compared to other types of vinegar. Taking balsamic vinaigrette for an extended period ends up eroding your teeth enamel. More so, the effect increases if you are using the traditional balsamic vinegar as it is put into food directly.
- Lead Concerns
Balsamic vinegar has higher amounts of lead than recommended for consumption. For the traditional vinegar, it has high amounts of lead traces in percentage, which is three times more than the imitation type of balsamic vinegar.
A single tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar taken daily may have a very high amount of lead for the children than the standard amount. High intake in the amount of lead can result in anaemia, kidney failure, and brain damage.
- Higher Calories Intake
Vinegar tends to have low calories; however, the amounts of calories in balsamic vinegar are much higher than that present in other vinegar.
Is Raw Balsamic Vinaigrette Vegan?
Vegans often prefer non-processed foods as part of their diet, which brings the question of whether raw Balsamic vinegar is vegan.
Yes, indeed, raw Balsamic Vinegar is vegan. In fact, most vegans prefer to make the vinaigrette salad dressing without raw vinegar. This is because they believe that foods cooked above 46 C lose their enzymes and other essential compounds that are necessary to the body.
The vegans claim that eating consuming raw vinegar promotes good health, improves digestion, supports weight loss, and improves skin health and complexion.
However, regular intake of raw vinegar can be harmful to your body. Taking large amounts of raw Balsamic vinegar for long may result in the irritation of the stomach lining due to acidity. As a result, you may suffer from stomach ulcers and stomach upset.
At the same time, raw vinegar can cause inflations on the gut and throat, leading to more severe complications.
Raw vinegar is not bad when taken once in a while. However, you should limit the frequency of consuming raw Balsamic vinegar to avoid health complications.
Balsamic Vinaigrette for Vegans
You can prepare a vegan Balsamic Vinaigrette comfortably at your home with readily available ingredients. Here is a sample recipe enough to fit four cups of salad:
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- tbsp. minced shallot
- tbsp. Dijon mustard
- tbsp. salt
- A pinch of black pepper
- 4 tbsp. olive virgin oil
- Add the vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and black pepper in a bowl and mix them using a fork.
- Add oil to the bowl and whisk for another 30 seconds.
- Wait 5-10 minutes for the dressing to separate then mix again.
- Toss with the salad.
Balsamic vinaigrette may be vegan or not depending on the type of Balsamic vinegar you use. When looking to make a balsamic vinaigrette dressing for vegans, use the traditional Balsamic Vinegar. The conventional kind is pure and contains less additive. The non-traditional may contain ingredients such as gelatin, which may not necessarily be vegan.
Balsamic vinaigrette is a much healthier option for salad dressing as it promotes weight loss, helps in digestion, regulates blood sugar, and is anti- glycemic. In my opinion, the health benefits of balsamic vinaigrette are more beneficial than the risks and side effects.
Raw Balsamic vinaigrette is vegan, but you should regulate the intake or raw vinegar since it may result in severe body complications.