I love a good balsamic glaze. Maybe on some bruschetta, a salad, a flatbread….you get the idea. For a while, I thought the only way to have a sweet balsamic glaze at home was to buy it from a store and all those store brands seemed to have “caramel color” (like what in the world is that and do I really want to be putting that in my body?) or sugar. So I found a simple way to have homemade balsamic glaze and that is this week’s Tuesday Tip! And don’t worry, it is vegan, paleo, and Whole30 too!
How do you make homemade balsamic glaze? Well first what you want to do is buy a bottle of plain ole balsamic vinegar from the store. For making balsamic glaze, it does not have to be one of these fancy, super aged balsamic vinegars. I typically buy the store’s generic brand, as long as the ingredients are simple and clean. Since we are going to be reducing it and letting a lot of the bitterness of the vinegar evaporate, it does not have to be a vinegar you would love straight out of the bottle.
The basic premise of this is to heat the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on medium heat slowly until it reduces by 25% to 50%. You let it cool and store in the fridge and it thickens up and is much sweeter.
Instructions on how to make homemade balsamic glaze:
- Take your balsamic vinegar (one cup) and pour into a small saucepan.
- Turn on the heat on the stove to medium-low heat and allow the vinegar to get hot enough to be simmering (about 5 minutes for one cup of vinegar).
- Stirring every few minutes, let the vinegar simmer for an additional 20 minutes per one cup of vinegar. Make sure the vinegar is not a boiling, or it will burn. A light simmer is what you want.
- After 20 minutes of a steady, low simmer, the vinegar will have reduced significantly (typically, a little less than half if you started with one cup of vinegar). Let cool.
- Transfer to a bottle and store in the refrigerator. I typically use the same bottle the vinegar came in by emptying the vinegar into the saucepan, reducing it, and transferring it back into the same bottle and label accordingly.
- After it is completely cooled (2-4 hours in the refrigerator), the vinegar will be much thicker and will be ready for adding to your favorite salads, flatbreads, or bruschetta.
Like I mentioned above, I typically do this with an entire bottle of balsamic vinegar and use that bottle to store the glaze in. Just remember if you are working with more than one cup of balsamic vinegar, you will want to increase your simmering time (add about 15-20 minutes more for every additional cup of vinegar you add).
What do you use balsamic glaze for? Well, I use it for lots of stuff:
- Bruschetta (tomato, basil, olive oil, salt, pepper, and mozzarella or goat cheese)
- Margherita pizza
- Any salad dressing–just top your salad with balsamic glaze, olive oil, a little lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Any flatbread that consists of some or all of the following ingredients: prosciutto, figs, arugula, and any cheese.
- On top of salmon or chicken or any cooked vegetables.
I hope y’all find this helpful and a simple way to have balsamic glaze on hand, without all the sugar and food coloring! Bonus, don’t forget it is Whole30, paleo, and vegan!