Fire Cider Recipes

It's A Medicinal Tonic. It's A Cocktail Mixer. It's Both…and More!

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Whole Grains and Fire Cider- A Whole Lotta Goodness!

One of our customers recently posted to our Facebook page about using Fire Cider as a dressing on rice.  What an awesome idea!  I love sushi rice, with its tangy, faintly sweet mixture of sugar and brown rice vinegar.  Adding Fire Cider to cooked brown rice or other cooked whole grains creates a similar effect but with a bit more heat and more complex flavors, if I do say so myself : – )

So, the next time you cook up a big batch of your favorite whole grains, mix in a few tablespoons of Fire Cider plus some butter, olive oil or ghee and a little salt.   And be sure to check out the information below from the nutrition school I attended, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition on the importance of whole grains along with a handy chart for cooking whatever grain your heart desires.  Happy, healthy home cooking everyone!

A rainbow of whole grain nutrition, make it  even better with the addition of Fire Cider!

A rainbow of whole grain nutrition, make it even better with the addition of Fire Cider!

Great Grains

By Joshua Rosenthal, Founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Whole grains have been a central element of the human diet since early civilization. Humans ceased being hunter-gatherers and settled down into farming communities when they were able to cultivate grain crops. People living in these communities—on all continents—had lean, strong bodies. In the Americas, corn was the staple grain. In India and Asia, it was rice. In Africa, people ate sorghum. In the Middle East, they made pita bread, tabouli and couscous. In Europe, corn, millet, wheat, rice, pasta, dark breads and even beer were considered health-providing foods. In Scotland, oats were a staple food. In Russia, they ate buckwheat or kasha. Very few people were overweight.

Whole grains are an excellent source of nutrition, as they contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fiber, vitamin E and B-complex vitamins. Because the body absorbs grain slowly, they provide sustained and high-quality energy.

The quickest way to create great grains is to experiment and find what works for you. Here are basic directions.

  1. Measure the grain, check for bugs or unwanted material, and rinse in cold water, using a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Optional: soak grains for one to eight hours to soften, increase digestibility and eliminate phytic acid. Drain grains and discard the soaking water.
  3. Add grains to recommended amount of water and bring to a boil.
  4. A pinch of sea salt may be added to grains to help the cooking process, with the exception of kamut, amaranth and spelt (salt interferes with their cooking time).
  5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for the suggested amount of time.  

1 cup grains

water

cooking time

Common grains:
Brown rice

2 cups

 45-60 minutes

Buckwheat (aka kasha)*

2 cups

20-30  minutes

Oats (whole groats)

3 cups

75-90 minutes

Oatmeal (rolled oats)

2 cups

20-30 minutes

Alternative grains:
Amaranth

3 cups

30 minutes

Barley (pearled)

2-3 cups

60 minutes

Barley (hulled)

2-3 cups

90 minutes

Bulgur (cracked wheat)

2 cups

20 minutes

Cornmeal (aka polenta)

3 cups

20 minutes

Couscous**

1 cup

5 minutes

Kamut

3 cups

90 minutes

Millet

2 cups

30 minutes

Quinoa                  2 cups

        15-20 minutes

Rye berries

3 cups

2 hours

Spelt

3 cups

2 hours

Wheat berries

3 cups

60 minutes

Wild rice

4 cups

60 minutes

 

All liquid measures and times are approximate. Cooking length depends on how strong the heat is. It’s a good idea, especially for beginners, to lift the lid and check the water level halfway through cooking and toward the end, making sure there is still enough water to not scorch the grains. Be sure to taste the grains to see if they are fully cooked or starting to burn.

Cooking larger grains like brown rice, barley and berries in a pressure cooker speeds up cooking time and creates softer grains.

Cooked grains keep very well. Busy people can prepare larger quantities of grains and simply reheat with a little oil or water later in the week. Also, to keep in mind, roasting grains makes them more alkaline.

*The texture of grains can be changed by boiling the water before adding the grains. This will keep the grains separated and prevent a mushy consistency. This is the only way to cook kasha. Do not add kasha to cold water, as it will not cook properly. For a softer, more porridge-like consistency, boil the grain and liquid together.

**Technically not a grain, but a small pasta product.

Spicy Limeade Cocktail or Mocktail

Our friend Stephanie sent us this recipe after she attended the demo Brian hosted last Friday at Provisions.  If you haven’t been to this relatively new store on Crafts Ave. in downtown Northampton, you are in for a treat!  We think Stephanie’s cocktail is just perfect for celebrating the beginning of Spring, how ’bout you?

It's green so it must be good for you, right?!

It’s green so it must be good for me, right?!

Spicy Limeade Cocktail

  • 2 oz of vodka (I used Absolute)
  • 1 oz of Fire Cider
  • 5 oz of limeade (I used Simply Limeade brand. If you’re really motivated you could make your own by creating a simple syrup, then adding it once cooled to fresh-squeezed lime juice.)

Combine all ingredients, shake or stir, and serve on the rocks. Add a sprig of fresh cilantro if you like.

Note: I really didn’t measure–I just made it to taste. But I would say this is probably a good starting point.

Variations:

  • For a refreshing drink, anytime, just omit the vodka and add a few ounces of soda water instead.
  • Substitute 2 oz of your favorite tequila in place of the vodka.

Happy Springtime!

Happy Friday:The Scorched Earth!

Happy Friday!

Here’s our signature Fire Cider Cocktail brought to you by Brian…

Scorched Earth, simple and refreshingly good!

Scorched Earth, simple and refreshingly good!

The Scorched Earth

1 oz Fire Cider

2 oz Citron Vodka

Shaken with ice and served in a rocks glass with fresh ice or strained into a chilled martini glass.  Can also be made as a shooter.  Garnish with lemon peel or lemon wedge.

Hot n Sour Soup

The perfect meal to warm you up on this snowy March day!

The perfect meal to warm you up on this snowy March day!

This recipe is by Jim Huebner:

My favorite Chinese dish. This is a slightly simplified version in that I only use Shiitakes instead of a mixture of Shiitakes and Tree Ears. I also omit the traditional bamboo shoots and Tiger Lily stems for simplicity – and I don’t think the taste suffers a bit since it is based primarily on pepper and vinegar! This is a filling dish with a lot of flavor.

Place 5-10 dried Shiitakes (aka black mushrooms) in very hot or boiling water and set aside for a ½ hour or more.
Take the mushrooms from the liquid, remove the stems if you have not already done so and slice into bite-sized pieces; reserve the soaking liquid.

Slice ¼ pound or more of boneless pork (or chicken or omit for a vegetarian soup) into matchstick size pieces (easier if partially frozen); stir-fry in a tablespoon of cooking oil in a deep pot large enough for the finished soup until browned; add a tablespoon of tamari.

Add the sliced mushrooms and stir-fry until starting to brown; add another tablespoon of tamari. Then add 4 cups chicken (or vegetable  or mushroom) stock and/or the mushroom soaking liquid and bring to a simmer.
Salt and/or add additional tamari to taste, add 2 tablespoons of Fire Cider or more to taste, then blend in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in water.

When the broth has thickened, add a half package of firm tofu cut into ¼” x ¼” strips. Add 2 tablespoons sesame oil and a teaspoon of white pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Turn off the heat and slowly add 2 well-beaten eggs into the broth while stirring so that shreds, rather than clumps of egg form. Cover and let sit for a few minutes.

Serve with chopped chives or scallions and a sprinkling of ground coriander seeds.

Yield: The above is generous for two as a main course and should easily serve four. The recipe can be doubled or expanded.

Variations: if you want to use tree ears and Tiger Lily stems, soak them along with the Shiitakes and slice/shred them before browning, use fewer Shiitakes. If using bamboo shoots, brown them along with the mushrooms.

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