Lots of apples falling to the ground?? MAKE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!! You can't believe how easy this is to make and of course the health benefits derived from the healthy bacteria found in apple cider vinegar could fill a book. So go pick those windfall apples off the ground or go buy some organic apples at the farmers market- you can even use the core! These are two recipes below- try both if you wish:

1) Make juice or cider from unspoiled apples (no bruised parts)
2) Pour the juice into a very clean wide-mouthed jar and cover with multiple layers of cheese cloth and a fasten with a rubber band (so it breathes and no fruit flies can enter)
3) Keep in a warm room (60-80 degrees F) away from sunlight
4) Stir daily, eventually the solution will become cloudy and a "membrane" will grow on the bottom and possibly even a white film on the top- both are normal and healthy- these are the "mother bacteria"
5) Taste every other day after 3- 4 weeks, if not strong enough let stand longer
6) When it is to your desire then filter with the cheesecloth and store in the refrigerator.
7) For a faster more potent batch take some of the mother from this batch and mix it with the next batch

1) Cut apples in small chunks and remove all bruises and fill up a very clean wide-mouthed jar
2) Make a liquid solution with 1 cup water to 1 Tbs evaporated cane juice (sucanat, panela, turbinado, muscavado) and pour over the top of the apples to the top until all are covered
3) Cover with multiple layers of cheese cloth and a rubber band to allow oxygen to breathe and the fruit flies out.
4) Place in a warm room (60-80 degrees F) away from sunlight for 3-4 weeks until you notice a cloudy substance in the jar (the "mother") (bubbles will indicate fermentation after the first 3-4 days)
5) Strain the mixture with the cheese cloth or coffee filters (you can use some of this soft apple pieces for your next batch as a starter)
6) Return this liquid back into the jar and cover with the cheese cloth and return to the warm room stirring every other day. There will be a white film on the top and that is healthy, any other color (black, brown, grey, green, blue) is not healthy- throw away.
7) After four more weeks see if it is to your liking or if you want to let it stand longer for more acidity.
8) store in refrigerator as long as you desire- it does not spoil

Those concerned about the added sugar please do not be. The sugars will be converted first to alcohol (yes it will be a hard cider so refrain from drinking it all before it becomes vinegar :)) and then over time the bacteria will convert the alcohol to acid. For a more mild vinegar bottle it earlier, for a more pungent allow it to sit longer.

As a tonic take a tablespoon directly before meals as a digestive stimulant or even consider an "apple cider vinegar fast" with water and apple cider vinegar and honey for a day. It can also be used topically as an excellent wash for fungus or other skin ailments.