Fire Cider Recipes

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

Archive for the tag “Health Coach”

Pallet Garden and Hops Update

Our little pallet garden has been growing strong, we’ve picked a bunch of cilantro and made a few salads with all the greens.  The radishes never make it into the house, got to have something to eat while I’m picking food for a meal!

Baby lettuces are delicious!

Baby lettuces are delicious!

Meanwhile, our garden in Richmond has turned into a Comfrey field.  And while Comfery is an amazing medicinal plant, it can not be eaten and it choked out all the rest of our plants!

Dana whacking back the Comfrey, perhaps next year we'll grow vegetables?!

Dana whacking back the Comfrey, perhaps next year we’ll grow vegetables?!

We covered the whole garden up and will see if we can get a fresh start next spring.  What our garden at Green Means Farm lacked in vegetables this year, it made up for in hops, four different varieties, although the Cascades are doing the best by far!

Picking hops really makes me want to drink a beer, they smell so good!

Picking hops really makes me want to drink a beer, they smell so good!

Dana dried them out and has already brewed a 5 gallon batch with some of what we picked.   The brew should be ready by Friday, and we’ll certainly enjoy it after our first day at the Big E!  Dana, Sean, Brian and I hope to see you there, we’ll be on the Rhode Island side of the Massachusetts building all weekend!

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Fire Cider May 2014 Event Schedule

sowa opening day 2014

Our official SoWa market representative, Sean, will be sampling and selling Fire Cider at the SoWa Sunday Market in Boston every Sunday this month from 10 am to 4 pm – May 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th!  Oh, and he’ll be there for the rest of the season too, though October!  Sean- you can even email him- sean@firecider.com- will take special orders for bulk, t-shirts and more, stop by anytime for a free shot of your favorite fiery health tonic!

Brian getting ready for another great Sunday at New Amsterdam Market!

Getting ready for another great Saturday at New Amsterdam Market!

Amy and Dana will be at the first New Amsterdam Market of the season on May 31st, Saturday from 10-5pm!  We are looking forward to seeing you all there!

Blue Russ Health Coach sharing the love!

Blue Russ Health Coach sharing the love!

And, if you want to learn more about living the healthy life from the comfort of your home or office, check out this awesome      FREE 4 Day Women’s Health Summit lead by Holistic Health Coach Blue Russ.

You will learn:

  • woman_beach_armsTechniques to reset your stress response in 1 minute.
  • How to look and feel great in your skin
  • Natural PMS relief
  • The relationship between your feet and digestion
  • Natural approaches to fertility and a healthy pregnancy
  • How to enjoy (instead of dread) menopause
  • How to create your own natural medicine cabinet
  • And much, much more!
  • Sign up HERE!

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!

Grilled Chili Shrimp

Here’s the next spicy, healthy recipe from Chef Joe Dewey.  It is pretty similar to Nina’s recipe, which she sent us after meeting team Fire Cider at the Big E this year.   Nina marinated and grilled the shrimp and then made fire cider shrimp tacos! According to Nina “they were SO good!” Here is the Chef Dewey’s version of a chili shrimp marinade plus Nina’s taco serving suggestion:

 Organic Ingredients:
  • 2 red chili peppers chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Fire Cider
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled
  • 2 limes squeezed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
Looks like dinner to me!

Looks like dinner to me!

Method:
Combine all ingredients as a marinade, add peeled shrimp and let marinate for 2 hours.  Grill 3 minutes per side.  Or saute til cooked through.
Serve cooked shrimp in corn tortillas with a coleslaw made of shredded cabbage, shredded carrot, a little mayo, a squeeze of lime juice, salt, and pepper.
Top with sliced avocado for a healthy delicious meal.

Kickin’ Dippin’ Sauce

This recipe is short and spicy sweet!  This is from a Fire Cider fan I met at the Big E, and it’s my favorite kind of recipe: there’s lots of room to make it your own and it’s super quick to whip up.  Fresh dill is generally available year round and if you like it, consider growing your own on a sunny window sill!

Windowsill Garden in Tea Tins

Ingredients:

2 parts sour cream

1 part mayo

Fire Cider to desired consistency and taste

salt and pepper to taste

lots of fresh dill

dill-icious!

Method:

Finely chop the dill and mix it well with the rest of the ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Enjoy as a snack with fresh veggies, flax crackers or corn chips!

Guest Blog Post by Wellness Coach and Reiki Master Stacy Strain

A few weeks ago, on our Facebook page, we asked you to send in blog submissions.  Here’s our first guest blogger, Stacy, a Wellness Coach from The Berkshires!
stacy stain
“I am a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Reiki Master and a lover of wholesome delicious food. I am passionate about using “food as medicine” to heal skin ailments such as acne & eczema, relieving stress and anxiety and increasing energy. Being a sufferer of skin problems most of my life, I have learned that food is one of the biggest reasons (along with stress) for most of my breakouts. I am happy to have made a positive lifestyle change and to have helped heal myself. I am truly grateful for all I have learned and am honored to help others help themselves with all I know. I look forward to exploring new and amazing things each and every day. Helping others is an absolute pleasure of mine and I am truly grateful!
On my journey to find all things yummy and healthy, Fire Cider came into my life a few years ago. My husband and I first tried it at our local “Third Thursday” where I saw a friend from high school (Amy) giving out samples. I was so excited to see her and thrilled to try her new product. My husband was the first to try it and I’ll admit, I was a bit wary about trying the cider due to his first initial facial expression: he had a little pucker going on with his lips and a slight squinted eye! However, right after the whole facial thing happened he said, “Wow, that’s really good!”
So I tried it for myself and felt the exact same way. How amazing, not only does it taste good, it has wonderful health benefits too.
Well, from then on, we were hooked, it’s pretty addicting.  I love to use Fire Cider as a salad dressing. I take fresh organic mesclun greens, an array of veggies (whatever looks good at the farmers market) some freshly cracked pepper, about a shot of fire cider, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a small wedge of lemon and about a tablespoon or so of organic unfiltered extra virgin olive oil. (I also have recently been using organic flax seed oil instead of the olive oil.) I like to add some sprouted green sunflower seeds on top for some added crunch. You could use whatever nut or seed you’d like, the options are endless.
That being said, a straight shot of fire cider is still my favorite!!”
Thank you Stacy for your salad and dressing recipe and for sharing your story!  If you want to get in touch with Stacy, her website is www.sstrain.com or send her an email slstrain@hotmail.com

Extra Tangy Lemonade

“When I add a spoon of honey to my tea, I give thanks to a dozen bees for the work of their whole lives.  When my finger sweeps the final drop of sweetness from the jar, I know we’ve enjoyed the nectar from over a million flowers.  This is what honey is: the souls of flowers, a food to please the gods.  Honeyeaters know that to have a joyful heart one must live life like the bees, sipping the sweet nectar from each moment as it blooms.  And Life, like the world of Honey, has its enchantments and stings…”

– Ingrid Goff-Maidoff  ‘The Honey Sutras”

Lemonade is better sweetened with honey and spiced up with Fire Cider!

Lemonade is better sweetened with honey and spiced up with Fire Cider!

Extra Tangy Lemonade

Recipe by Amy-  for more of Amy’s recipes check out her blog TheCandidaDiaries.wordpress.com

This recipe requires fresh squeezed lemon juice from at least one lemon. For a pint sized drink I like to use 3-4 whole lemons- we regularly have a lot of left over lemons from making a batch of Fire Cider.  So, naturally, we make Fire Cider Lemonade!

Mix the lemon juice in a pint glass with a splash of Fire Cider and raw honey to taste, top with soda water or spring water and stay cool (and hydrated) this summer.

Liquid Diet: Introducing Fire Cider, a Health Tonic That Tastes Great with Booze

Here’s a recent story on Fire Cider as written by Chris Hughes of Boston Magazine:

“Welcome to Liquid Diet, where Christopher Hughes finds the extraordinary stories behind the people and places that quench the thirst of the Boston area.

fire cider3 bottles

As a wine drinker, my first inclination when confronted with a liquid is always to smell what’s in the glass. Sometimes this serves me well (coffee, bourbon, beer) and other times, not so much (fish sauce, suspicious Tupperware at the back of the fridge, eggnog). When I first leaned over a shot of Fire Cider, I instinctively reared back. The pungent aroma of vinegar, raw onion, and spicy horseradish has the sinus-clearing effect of a Neti Pot. But then I tasted it, and the viscous combination of raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey, lemon, orange, and Habanero pepper—as well as the savory elements from the onion and horseradish—had an alluring balance of tang, fire, and sharp citrus notes. I immediately went back for seconds.

New England has a long history of combining honey and apple cider vinegar as a natural panacea, but its usage dates as far back as Hippocrates in 400 B.C., when the father of modern medicine prescribed it for a variety of illnesses. Nutritionist Paul Bragg considered it the Holy Grail and credited the elixir with aiding everything from artery plaque to arthritis to athlete’s foot. In one of the more morbid endorsements, Dr. Alexis Carrel, Nobel Laureate in medicine in 1912, kept the cells of a chicken heart alive for 35 years with a steady diet of apple cider vinegar (to give you a point of reference, the average life span of a chicken is 7-8 years). Those thriving chicken heart cells might still be alive today, if Dr. Carrel hadn’t of gotten bored with his own experiment and neglected it.

Fire Cider was officially incorporated in 2011, but founder Dana St. Pierre has been making variations of it since the late 90′s, when a country doctor from Becket, MA told him to drink apple cider vinegar mixed with grated horseradish root to combat severe bronchitis and seasonal allergies. In 2009, when St. Pierre moved back to his childhood home of Pittsfield with his wife Amy Huebner, he was inspired to play around with his original recipe. “That was our first winter back in Berkshire County in ten years, and I was getting sick every six weeks, it seemed like,” says Huebner. “So, [Dana] started making fire cider, which I thought sounded gross— and I’m used to taking weird tinctures and drinking strange teas because I know that food really works with medicine if you’re doing it right. He made up a bunch of different batches and we taste tested them and we decided that this one formula actually tasted good.”

To raise some extra holiday funds, Huebner and St. Pierre whipped up a batch of their new elixir for the Handmade Holiday Festival in downtown Pittsfield, and were shocked by the positive reception. Since then the couple has been traveling to artisan festivals throughout New York and New England, winning over converts and chronicling the more averse reactions into a YouTube video. “Some people really love it the first time they try it,” says Huebner. “Some people feel a bit overwhelmed and get used to it and then they like it. But then there is a small segment of people who say, ‘that’s disgusting! Ew, no.’ They’re almost mad that we asked for them to try it. It’s really fun doing in-person events.”

The Fire Cider website recommends it as a health tonic for a variety of ailments, including heartburn, as a cold and flu fighter, and even as a caffeine substitute. Besides its health benefits, which they emphasize have not been tested by the FDA, Fire Cider has a number of tasty applications in the kitchen, like in their recipes for coleslaw and hot and sour soup.  But it’s even more intriguing as fodder for the mixologist crowd.  The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge uses it in their Hot Toddy. John Byrd from Bathtub Gin in New York uses it like bitters in a cocktail with Applejack, Aperol, and grapefruit juice. And The People’s Pint in Greenfield sell shots of Fire Cider as a Beer back.

Schuyler Hunton at Liberty Hotel’s Alibi Bar recently started experimenting with its peculiar appeal, and is cutting the strong vinegar notes and Habanero heat with plenty of lime juice and a base of Rhum Agricole, a rum made with sugar cane juice instead of molasses. His newest cocktail is a still-unnamed riff on a spicy caipirinha:

Muddle unrefined sugar and lime juice

Add 1 3/4 oz. Rhum Agricole

1/2 oz. lime juice

1/2 oz. simple syrup

1/2 oz. Fire Cider

Shake and pour into a Collins glass 

Top with soda water

If sidling up next to a cure-all at your local pub sounds ridiculous, bear in mind the history of Fernet Branca, which seems to be a veritable skeleton key for that cadre of classic cocktail obsessives. It first became popular during Prohibition since it was imported as a medicinal tonic and avoided the spirits ban. Then it had a mini renaissance in the 1980s as a hangover cure offered by sympathetic bartenders. Now, though, it’s as cozy on the back of the bar as bourbon and Angostura bitters.

Fernet is a herbal digestif that is still regarded more as a tonic for bloating in its home city of Milan. Jeremy Parzen, the author of the fantastic Italian wine blog, Do Bianchi, explained to me that, “Italians see Fernet Branca as something served at the end of a meal to aid in digestion. As an Italian-American, I still view it that way. I can remember being served it at breakfast as a kid.”

All the ingredients in Fire Cider are raw and organic and most of them are sourced locally, like their wildflower honey from Merrimack Valley Apiary. To make large batches, Huebner and St. Pierre use the shared commercial kitchen at the Franklin County CDC, but someday they’re hoping to accrue enough capital to build their own farm where they intend grow everything themselves. But whether you’re using Fire Cider as a cold and flu preventative or as a condiment on your Bloody Mary bar, let me warn you, it’s strangely addictive.”

Look for Fire Cider at City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain and any Harvest Co-op location. 8 oz. bottle, $14

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.

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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