Fire Cider Recipes

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

Archive for the category “Medicinal Use”

Wicked Simple Sauerruben Recipe

Lacto-fermented veggies are very easy to make, full of good for you probiotics and are a nice balance to the rich, warm foods we have begun eating for the fall and winter.  Sauerruben is made just like sauerkraut, only instead of shredded cabbage you’ll be thinly slicing baby turnips. This method is a very easy way to preserve the end of harvest bounty by making it even more nutritious and flavorful.  The sauerruben will last for months in the fridge, if you don’t eat it all in the first few weeks!

Ingredients:

-Salt, 2 tsp per pound of veggies.

-Turnips, sliced or shredded. After much experimenting, I prefer sliced when using smaller, tender turnips. The turnips in this picture are delicious sweet, tender Hakurei turnips from our friends at Woven Roots Farm in Lee, MA.

Options per Quart mason jar-
1-2 clove garlic

and/or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

and/or 1/2 tsp caraway seeds

Or get cray-zay and spice it up with everything!

 

Clean bottles filled with water make great weights to keep the veggies under their brine.

Clean bottles filled with water make great weights to keep the veggies under their brine.

Method:

-Weigh your sliced turnips and measure out 2 teaspoons of salt for each 1 pound of turnips.

-Add sliced turnips into jar, sprinkling salt as you go. The salt draws the water out of the turnips creating the brine it will ferment in. Weight top, mashing the veggies a bit to compact them and encourage the brine to form.  We used empty, cleaned beer bottles filled with water to weight the turnips and keep them under the brine.

-Keep the veggies submerged under the brine or risk nasty things happening. Add a little water if you don’t get enough liquid from the veggies.

-Store them at room temp somewhere where possible overflowing brine won’t cause problems, like a counter top with a pan under the jars to catch spills.

-Wait a few days, admiring the lovely bubbling. Taste every now and then.

-Put in the fridge to stop further souring, or keep them out for maximum sour awesomeness.

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Cool Drinks for Hot Summer Days

Drinking vinegar for its myriad health benefits goes back to ancient Greece, no wait, even further, to 5000 BCE when Babylonians were using date palms to make vinegar.  Warriors throughout history have used vinegar mixed with water for strength and energy. Vinegar drinks and vinegar tonics infused with herbs, roots, flowers, you name it, have been around for many centuries.  In New England farmers have been making a drink called ‘switchel’ to keep them hydrated and ward off heat stroke during the long, hot summer days:

“They drank a quenching beverage that functioned much like modern Gatorade: switchel, also called switzel or haymaker’s punch. It contained water, a sweetener—either molasses, maple syrup, honey or brown sugar—ginger, and cider vinegar. All the ingredients (except water) happen to be sources of potassium—an electrolyte. Molasses is especially high in potassium.” Read the rest of this article HERE!

Apple Cider Vinegar is an incredibly medicinal food since it contains several different beneficial acids plus beta-carotene, amino acid, bone building minerals, enzymes, magnesium, potassium, pectin and tannins.  No wonder humans have been using this super food since we figured out how to preserve apples in the form of vinegar!

Here are my three favorite vinegar drinks, aka, switchels, to help keep you cool and healthy this summer:

Dana’s Pomegranate Switchel

Ingredients to make one cup of Switchel concentrate:

  • ¼ cup of Fire Cider
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh ginger juice
  • 3 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey

Shake well to combine all ingredients.

Serve about 2-4 ounces of concentrate over ice, top with soda water to make a pint.

Store leftover Switchel mix in the refrigerator.

Citrus Switchel

Makes 2 servings-

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or Fire Cider
  • juice from 1/2 a grapefruit
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons, or more to taste, raw, local wildflower honey
  • Soda water or plain water
  • 2 lime wedges

Combine the first 3 ingredients and makes sure to dissolve al the honey.  Fill two pint glasses with ice and split the switchel mix between the glasses.  Top with soda water and garnish with a lime wedge.

Dr. Earl Mindell’s Switchel– from his book ‘Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar‘ which is also where I got some of the information for this blog post.  Makes 2 servings-

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or Fire Cider

1 1/2 tablespoons black strap molasses

2 cups warmed water (to melt the molasses)

Combine and pour over ice.

No Matter The Dis-Ease, Food as Medcine

I wanted to share this story since it’s something that I wasn’t aware of until recently: cancer caused by asbestos exposure and because Heather Von St. James relied on her healthy diet during her treatment and recovery process.  No matter what the disease or imbalance, part of the answer is always food as medicine!  Here’s Heather’s story, I’m happy to help her spread awareness about safely avoiding asbestos exposure:

“During my cancer treatment and beyond I have maintained a balanced healthy diet. Eating nutrient rich greens and lean protein I was able to maintain my weight and energy to fight off infection and recover more quickly. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to remove my lung all affected my ability to eat as I normally did before I was diagnosed, but I could not let the side effects take control over my life. Foods do have healing powers, and adding more fibrous options, fish, and green tea to my diet I believe helped my healing process. I do advise to consult a doctor before making serious changes to any diet to determine if such changes are beneficial for them.

Heather Von St. James

Heather Von St. James

 

n 2005, at the age of 36, and only three months after giving birth to a beautiful daughter Lily Rose, Heather Von St. James was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure. She was exposed to asbestos from her father’s work coat that was routinely covered in the harmful fibers. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, she made it her life’s mission to spread awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos. She carries out her mission to be a beacon of hope for those afflicted with mesothelioma by sharing her story of faith, love and courage as a keynote speaker at conferences, through social media forums, and blogging for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

 

Education is very much the first step in dealing with asbestos issues. Asbestos is not dangerous when it is in tact, but only when it becomes friable, or the fibers are loose, and airborne is when it becomes dangerous. As with lead, the same applies. Encapsulate it, or have it removed by a licensed and bonded abatement company. Do not attempt removal of asbestos on your own. It is dangerous.

 

The symptoms of asbestos exposure have a long latency period and can take years to show up. It can be 30 years before any health problems arise, so it is important to know what you are dealing with. Knowing where asbestos could be in your home is key. A few examples: attic insulation, called vermiculite (it looks like gravel) also spray insulation around boilers and such, tape, drywall, floor tile and adhesive, roofing, siding. Educate yourself before your renovate. Household exposure is a growing danger with people doing their own renovations and unknowingly tearing into asbestos containing walls, etc. One can never be too careful!

 

If you’d like to check out more information about Heather feel free to check out her blog!

Fire Cider, Co-op Grocery Stores and the Dr. Oz Show!

Last Friday I had the opportunity to share my favorite home remedy, Fire Cider, with Dr. Oz, two of the sharks from the show ‘Shark Tank’ as well as the Oz studio audience!   Fire Cider isn’t just the best home remedy I know of, it’s also a great big gateway to using food as medicine.  Why?  I think a big part of what makes Fire Cider so awesome is that it’s accessible: all the ingredients can be found in any grocery store, they are all easily recognizable by most people and they combine to make one powerful tonic with immediate results!  Good foods combine to make better, more medicinally potent foods.  And maybe you’ll start with Fire Cider and branch out into other plant-based remedies, start using more organic, whole foods in your diet or discover the power of co-cooperatively owned and operated grocery stores.  True story: a customer told me she started shopping at her local co-op because they were the only store around that carries Fire Cider.  Now she shops there all the time.  And that’s exactly what I mean when I say Fire Cider can be a catalyst for change.

A big part of what inspires Brian, Dana and I is how Fire Cider works on a personal, local and national level.  I think it’s pretty to clear to most of us that our food system is broken and totally unsustainable.  And it seems to me that healing our food system and turning it into something that’s health building, good for mother earth and sustainable into the future is up to us as individuals and is the responsibility of all of us who work in the natural foods industry.  Since we started our business of getting Fire Cider to as many people as possible we have been working closely with locally owned retail stores and specifically with NCGA Co-Ops aka community owned grocery stores.  When you shop at a co-op your money stays in your local community, it supports the store so that it can offer low prices for high quality food that directly meets the needs of the community the store serves.  Your food dollars go towards supporting local agriculture, high quality foods and well-paying jobs for your friends and neighbors.

When you shop at a conventional chain grocery store, most of the money you spend goes to the corporate headquarters.   The majority of these chain grocers offer conventional food and ‘food products’ most of which contains one or all of the following: herbicides, pesticides, hormone disruptors, genetically modified organisms, refined sugars and carbohydrates.  No one would choose to put that kind of poison into their body and a co-op grocery offers a whole community the power to choose.  Owned and operated on a local level,  a co-op grocery store puts food choices directly into the hands of its community.   We are proud of the mutually supportive relationships we have formed over the past 3 years with retail shops and co-ops all over the country.  By working together we can all help each other succeed.  Everything is connected: what you buy and where you shop are powerful ways to make your voice heard! When you look at things in this way, Fire Cider is so much more than a product we sell, it’s a ripple effect that can positively effect our local community, our amazing customers and business owners across the county who are committed to making important changes in our food system.

I love handing out samples of Fire Cider, we’ve handed out over a quarter of a million samples in the past 3 years, and it’s amazing to watch the paradigm shift that happens when someone tries Fire Cider for the first time.  These simple, everyday foods, have a potent and immediate positive effect, food becomes medicine for the first time and a whole new door of possibility opens!  It happened for me years ago and I’m so happy to be able to share my passion with anyone and everyone willing to give Fire Cider a try.  And that’s the long version of why I jumped at the chance to go on national television and tell all of Dr. Oz’s viewers why Fire Cider is my go-to, all time favorite remedy.  Fire Cider has a long history, stretching back as far as ancient Greece and we are proud to be bringing our version of this old-time combination of cider vinegar and honey to folks who have never heard of it or even thought of their food as their best health care.  Brian, Dana and I are committed to spreading the word about food as medicine and contributing all that we can to making our food system healthy and wholesome for all.  Here’s a short clip from the show, the link to the full show is below!

Watch the full clip here on the Dr. Oz website!

 

Fire and Fog

Here’s a fizzy sweet-tart,  non-alcoholic cider cocktail sent to us by  Alissa Anderson, owner of  www.foggy-notion.com in San Francisco where she offers an array of body care products, accessories, supplements, cool waxed canvas bags and Fire Cider, of course!
275 6th Ave. #101 San Francisco, CA 94118 415. 683. 5654

275 6th Ave. #101
San Francisco, CA 94118
415. 683. 5654

Fizzy and tart kombucha combine with the spice of Fire Cider to create a delicious, energizing drink without the effects of caffeine or alcohol. Great first thing in the morning or sipping on late at night. Feel free to add tasty spirits like dark aged rum or bourbon!
Ingredients:
1/2 shot of Fire Cider
I shot apple cider (from your local farmers market)
2 shots homemade kombucha or try Katalyst Kombucha!
To serve up:
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with 3 ice cubes, thoroughly shake, and strain into a chilled martini glass with a thin lemon slice garnish.
Or, just pour ingredients into a small glass, add 2-3 ice cubes, and stir.

 

Eating From The Ground Up!

One of the coolest bloggers in the Berkshires has done a great write up on Fire Cider, including a new version of the Hot Toddy recipe and a contest where you can win a Fire Cider Gift Box!  It’s as easy as leaving a comment on her post and you are entered to win!  Here the beginning of Alana’s post, click the link to read the rest on her blog:  EatingFromTheGroundUp.com

“Oh, Fire Cider. Where to begin?

Let’s start in the Fall of 2011. My friend, Gina, asked me to be a judge at Hancock Shaker Village’s Harvest Festivalfarmers’ market, which basically involved wandering through the shortbread and local honey, trying to take myself very seriously. Sadie helped, trailing along after, whispering about this and that product over my shoulder, peering at my scribbled notes.

I found Amy, Dana and Brian at their little card table, sandwiched on either side by the cloth-wrapped soaps and homemade jams and jellies one usually finds at such a market. I was drawn right to the table for so many reasons–that there were three people under 40 I did not recognize (laugh if you will, but anyone who’s grown up in a small town will understand) and they had this relaxed and glow-y rockstar effect going for them. They were surrounded by little bottles with the most amazing label, and yes, yes, I’m a sucker for a good label. And in the air around their stall, I could pick up notes of ginger, and lemon, and… was that horseradish? Whatever it was, it all came together to create a sort of tractor beam that pulled me in. I was transfixed. Continue reading →

http://www.eatingfromthegroundup.com/2014/02/fire-cider/#more-7004

Fire Soder!

Or,  call it Fire Pop!  I think it depends on what part of the country you’re from.  Lately, it’s been so cold, you know, the Polar Vortex?  I think that’s a terrible misspelling of Global Warming!  Anyway, the extreme weather has us drinking a lot of Fire Soder! to stay hydrated and Fire Tea to stay warm.  Thanks Chef James for naming this recipe,  we can’t wait to see you behind the butcher counter at Berkshire Organics!

Soda water and a repel wolves dose of Fire Cider....

Soda water and a repel wolves dose of Fire Cider for Amy….

All you need…

1 pint of soda water

1 teaspoon to a full shot of Fire Cider, you know how much you need!

Combine and Drink up!

...Fire Soder!

…Fire Soder! kinda looks like orange soder.  The similarities end there.

You can make the same drink, only hot, using 2 mugs, 16 oz of boiling water and as much Fire Cider as you like for an immune boosting eye opener to share with whomever is coughing and sniffling near you, you’re welcome!  They will probably thank you.  Perhaps add a heaping teaspoon of fresh grated ginger root or ginger tea, now you’re on to something.  To your health!

Dana’s Pork or Chicken Stock Recipe

The secret to amazing pork stock?  The answer is trotters, aka pigs feet!  The same goes for chicken stock, it’s best with chicken feet.  Now don’t get all ewwww about it, the feet are perfectly clean.  You eat animals, they have feet, it’s really not a big deal. When we kill animals for food we should use every bit, nose to tail, because all those bits in between are full of health building essentials!  The reasons this specific part of the animal is so great for making stock are threefold:

1. Trotters especially are known for their gelatin, so when you simmer them for hours, they make a naturally thick, deeply flavorful stock that is soothing to the digestive system, full of cartilage repairing collagen and deep immune support.

2. They are cheap and plentiful.  For every hog that’s butchered, there go 4 more trotters.  Your local butcher or farmer can hook you up with feet for cheap, just ask!

3. Waste not, want not: chicken feet and trotters can certainly be deep fried into one of the best bar snacks you’ll ever eat but I’d argue that making stock from the bones and feet of an animal is the best and easiest way to use them.  And you’ll be sure you are making the most out of the food you raise or buy.

Bone Broth or Stock is relatively easy to make in large amounts, it just takes some time.  I eat a bowl of broth a day during the winter months, dressing it up with a shot of Fire Cider, kelp, mushrooms and chickpea miso.  Or making traditional chicken soup.  You can also add frozen cubes of stock concentrate to all kinds of recipes to add deep nutrition and lots of flavor.  I recommend a bowl a day to stay warm and healthy til Spring.  Here’s the basic recipe and method my husband Dana uses-

Simple whole foods waiting to be transformed into liquid gold!

Simple whole foods waiting to be transformed into liquid gold!

Ingredients for 2 ½ quarts Chicken /Turkey /Pork Stock:

  • 5 pounds assorted organic, local farm raised chicken parts (2-3 pounds of feet plus backs, necks, legs, and wings), rinsed.  For pork stock, use the bones from your last roast plus several trotters.
  • Handful dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 medium leeks or one onion, chopped into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar, or 1-2 Cups wine/hard cider

Optional, but highly recommended for ultimate, health enhancing stock add:

  • 2-4 tongue-depressor sized pieces Astragalus root (available from mountainroseherbs.com)
  • Small handful dried Reishi and/or Maitake mushroom
  • 1-2 ginseng roots

Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a stockpot large enough to hold them with about 3 inches of room above (an 8-quart pot should do) and add enough water to cover by at least 1 inch (about 3 quarts).
  2. Heat until bubbling, then reduce heat to a bare simmer (bubbles should just gently break the surface). A slow cooker works well for this if you have one. Simmer for 8-48 hours.  I think the longer the better.
  3. Pass stock through a sieve into another bowl or pot, line the sieve with cheesecloth if you want clearer stock.  I never bother.  Discard the solids, I recommend composting them, or feed to your chickens.
  4. You can use the stock for soup right now, yummmm!
  5. If you are planning to store it without reducing it, stick it in the fridge or freezer.  The fat will rise to the top as it cools, and you can remove it, or leave it in. You can also boil the stock uncovered and reduce it by as much as 90%.  This makes for easier storage of large amounts of stock concentrate.
  6. Note: I use ice cube trays to freeze cooled stock.  Then I keep the cubes in a container in the freezer for use whenever I need.  It’s easy to make a cup of hot broth by adding cubes to a mug with boiling water or throw a bunch into soups.  Sometimes I sauté greens until almost done, then add a cube of stock to finish for extra flavor and health benefits.

Guest Blog Post: Health Benefits of Ginger

Here’s one in a series of post’s we’ll be doing on the health benefits of the ingredients we use in Fire Cider®.  Let’s start with one of my favorites, GINGER!

This guest Blog post is by David Novak from Healthline.com:

Ginger is widely used in different culinary cuisines and has numerous therapeutic health qualities. It is a rhizome, or mass of roots, from the plant Zingiber officinale, and with the numerous members of this plant family, all have their own uses as a delicacy, medicine and spice. Ginger can be served in solid form as fresh, dried or powdered, and in liquid form such as juice, extract or oil. It has been found to be highly effective in fighting a variety of diseases and conditions because of its ability to relieve excessive inflammation, which is a notable underlying cause of many illnesses. Here are several areas where ginger has been shown to be very effective:

Diagram of the Ginger Plant.

Diagram of the Ginger Plant.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Ginger has been known to have tremendous anti-inflammatory effects. It contains gingerols, which is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that is believed to reduce pain for people who have arthritis. Ginger also aids in improving the mobility of arthritic patients, particularly those who are suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

In studies conducted in patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, researchers found that 75-percent of arthritis patients and 100 percent of patients suffering with muscular discomfort experienced relief from swelling and pain. Other neurodegenerative diseases can also be aided by ginger’s ability to inhibit the production of nitrous oxide and proinflammatory cytokines.

Cancer

Gingerols, which is the main active component in ginger and responsible for its distinctive taste, can also help in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. In a colorectal cancer research study, mice were injected with cancer cells, and only 4 tumors were found in those treated with gingerol, compared to the 13 tumors found on those without gingerol. An ovarian cancer study and ginger also produced positive results. The cancer cells were exposed to a ginger powder solution, and these cells either died due to apoptosis, in which they commit suicide, or autophagy, where they digested or attack themselves. According to the researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, the ginger solution can also prevent the cancer cells from building up a resistance when it comes to cancer treatment.

Gastric distress

Ginger also has the innate ability to ease gastric distress and it does more than simply relieving pain. In a study conducted for those suffering from dyspepsia, they were instructed to take ginger capsules, and the study found that ginger was indeed helpful in stimulating the emptying of the stomach without any negative effects. Ginger contains an antispasmodic agent that has been shown to be very beneficial for the digestive tract. It also inhibits H. Pylori, which is a bacterium found in the stomach that causes several types of stomach ulcers.

Toxicity

Ginger has been found effective in preventing toxic effects from a wide array of substances. This includes doxorubicin and excitotoxin monosodium glutamate or MSG. The cancer doxorubicin has been found damaging to the kidneys, however, ginger is found effective in alleviating it. MSG has been widely used as a food additive and although its effects are still controversial, it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. Ginger extract has been shown effective in protecting the nerves against damage caused by MSG.

Nausea, vomiting and motion sickness

Ginger has been found effective in nausea in all kinds of situations. It has been long used for sea sickness and motion sickness prevention. Ginger can also be used effectively for pregnant women, even for those who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, which is an acute form of nausea and vomiting that often requires hospitalization. In a randomized controlled trial published in 2005 by Obstetrics and Gynecology, ginger was found effective in relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The review also confirmed that ginger has no side effects or adverse effect during and after pregnancy.

Dysmenorrhea

Based on a study conducted in young women suffering from menstrual pain, ginger has been found as effective as other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ponstel and ibuprofen. It is one of the safest alternative medicines you can use instead of over-the-counter drugs.

Immune boosting action

Ginger has been found very effective in promoting healthy sweating, which can be helpful for colds and flu. It assists in detoxification by removing toxins thru sweat glands. According to German researchers, sweat carries a potent germ-fighting agent that aids in fighting off infections.

David Novak’s is a nationally syndicated columnist, and his byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world.  He’s an avid health enthusiast, and frequently is featured in regional and national health publications. He is also a weekly writer for Healthline.  To visit his other features, visit http://www.healthline.com/

Fire Cider Stories: Kate’s Morning Ritual

Last week I posted our new t-shirt designs done by Bohemia Printing in Michigan and I asked our Facebook and Twitter fans to send along their favorite recipe or Fire Cider story in exchange for one of our sweet organic cotton shirts!

Now with a bigger Pirate front....

Now with a bigger Pirate front….

A loud and clear message on the back!

And loud and clear message on the back!

Did I mention they are printed using mineral based, earth friendly fabric dye?  How cool is that?!  The shirts will be for sale at all our events through the end of this year:

11/24 and 12/15 New Amsterdam Market 11 am to 4pm in NYC’s Seaport

12/8 Festival Fete Holiday Market at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, RI from 10am to 6pm

12/13 thru 12/15 Crispina’s Holiday Shindy, Pittsfield MA  from  5-8 pm on Friday Dec 13th, Saturday and Sunday 10 am-5 pm

Here’s our favorite response so far from Kate in Rhode Island.  Kate’s t-shirt is on its way to her as a thank you for sharing her story!

Kate says- ‘We love the new T Shirts and we love Fire Cider!  Every morning, my husband, Kieran, and I walk our dog then come home to have breakfast, coffee and our morning ritual toast of a shot of Fire Cider.  And it is a ritual. We actually say a wee toast of thanks for each other, good health, and whatever is on our mind that day.  And we’ve stayed healthy–for ages now, even while coworkers have been stricken all around us! Shot glasses are typically left by the coffee pot to be dealt with later.  Looks very suspicious to the casual observer!  We have sent Fire Cider to our daughter too. She is a brandy-new 22 year-old teacher, trying to stay healthy and strong while working in a germy, challenging-tough-love-city middle school in North Las Vegas for the next two years.  We sent it with love, and now she’s hooked.  The Irish say “Guinness for Strength”, but Fire Cider works too! Thank you for making a wonderful product.  Congratulations on your growing success!’

Morning shots?  Sure thing, as long as it's shots of Fire Cider!

Morning shots? Sure thing, as long as it’s shots of Fire Cider!

Happy Wednesday friends, cheers to your health!

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