Fire Cider

horseradish, garlic and ginger prep

horseradish, garlic and ginger prep


Fire Cider is an immune-boosting health tonic. It stimulates the fire in your digestion, it is full of antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, it can alleviate sinus congestion, and promote blood circulation.

I have had this tonic before but this was the first time I made it at home. I had the brilliant idea of offering to make it for 7 of my close girlfriends as well (whats a few more onions and horseradish to chop?) Halfway through my prep and my husband and daughters went running out of the house, hands over noses, as if an apocalyptic fog descended upon our living room. I barely saw them leave as I could no longer see through the tears in my own eyes… But an hour later, along with some scented candles and all were happy again.

The gist is this;

fresh horseradish, garlic, onions, ginger, cayenne pepper, fresh hot peppers, fresh turmeric, lemon juice, fresh oranges, and raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother).


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I checked around at different recipes, most all were the same. I ended up adapting my recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs. Use all organic ingredients.

FIRE CIDER

1/2 c grated fresh ginger

1/2 c grated fresh horseradish

10 cloves of garlic, crushed or shopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 inches of fresh turmeric root, chopped

2 fresh jalapeños, chopped

zest and juice from 1 lemon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 Orange, sliced

1 sprig of rosemary, or 1 tsp dried (optional)

1 or 2 drops of oregano oil (optional)

1 bottle of Raw apple cider

1/4 c raw, local honey (to sweeten at the end)

Add all ingredients into a mason-type jar. If using one with a metal lid, then place a small sheet of parchment between the liquid and lid. Stir or shake once every day for 4 to 6 weeks. Store in a dark and cool place. When ready to strain, use cheese cloth and squeeze all the juice out of the ingredients. Add honey until desired sweetness.

Continue to store in a cool and dark place, not in the fridge.

HOW TO TAKE:

  • Take a shot (about 1-2 Tablespoons) straight up.

  • It has been recommended that you can take up to 5 or 6 T per day when fighting a flu

  • Dilute the fire cider tonic with warm water, juice or apple cider.

  • Swap vinegar in a salad dressing for fire cider 

  • Add to fried rice 

  • Drizzle over steamed veggies.

  • Use as a marinade for tofu, meat, etc.

  • Add to soup or chili.

  • Use as a hangover cure.


Foggy Fire Cider ready to shoot back!

Foggy Fire Cider ready to shoot back!

Winter is on it’s way here in Switzerland, but I have Fire Cider to keep me warm.

Stay Healthy Everyone!

Super-mom Smoothie

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A smoothie is something very simple, and probably not worth a recipe. But I must admit, that I have had some really terrible smoothies while living here in CH. Watered down with too much ice, too chunky from apple, too sour from lemon, too milky, etc. In CA a smoothie is treated like a meal in itself, completely balanced with the right amount of fruit or veg, a protein kick, an immune boosting element and a secret ingredient or two that make you genuinely satisfied and full. 

A smoothie is also a great way to get ingredients in your kids quickly. We make a variety here at home in our Vitamaster, but the one below has been on repeat lately.

During the time of my pregnancies, I gave up coffee and most other forms of caffeine. Not because I believed that my babies would pop out with a similar hipster-quality cappuccino addiction (I am looking at you, ViCafe!) I just didn't feel good on it anymore. So I began the journey into adaptogens. Postpartum life also gave me hormonal mood swings and imbalanced adrenals. The addition of Ashwagandha, Reishi, Maca, Cordyceps, and Prash combinations helped me (in moderation). 

I am not going to educate you on how to use adaptogens. There is plenty of information out there on it. Just start small and pay attention to the subtle changes. But do follow my girl Bri @seed.leaf.life  for amazing adaptogenic inspiration. Also Lee From America  has a great beginners guide.

I buy mine from stores in California on my bi-annual trips home to the states. But a great website for those of you in CH is HERE


yogi berries, coconut butter, cocoa nibs.

yogi berries, coconut butter, cocoa nibs.

Collagen Peptides, Reishi, Mangosteen Beauty Tonic, Prash Combination

Collagen Peptides, Reishi, Mangosteen Beauty Tonic, Prash Combination

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SUPER SMOOTHIE

1 banana

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup frozen or fresh wild blueberries

1/2 cup nut milk or yogurt + water combination

1 T coconut butter OR almond butter

1 heaping T cocoa nibs

1 heaping T gogi berries

1/2  scoop Collagen Pepitides

1/2 t prash combination

1/4 t reishi

1/4 t mangostein + hibiscus powder

Blend all together starting on low and moving upwards until completely blended. Add more water or milk if your smoothie is too thick. And I can highly suggest investing in glass or bamboo straws. We have had ours for several years. Easy to clean, fun to use and less to throw away!

 

 

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Enjoy!

En Guete!!!

How to Make Fire

I wrote this in April of 2016. I don't know why I never posted it.... I just can't believe how tiny my little squirt was back then. Almost two years already that we have lived in CH. Time flies, when you're building fires and fuelling up on würst regularly. Enjoy the flashback.

- Ash


Now that Spring has arrived to warm our bodies from the winter cold, we spend most of our day in the forests or lakeside in Zurich Oberland (Zurich countryside). My husband grew up in this landscape and valley and knows it well. When we booked our flights from California to Zurich I asked him what he was most excited about showing our daughter in his home country. 

"Building a fire in the forest"

Our daughter is two, mind you.... And I come from a place where building fires outdoors is really never encouraged, and ONLY allowed in serious campground enclosures, on wide beaches away from any and all tree life, and in a permitted outdoor chiminea. Too many people I love have been effected by loss from wild fires in California. The near idea of striking a match in a heavily wooded area brings on anxious discomfort for me. 

In Switzerland though, the art of foraging for sticks and building a fire under a blanket of trees in the midst of your afternoon walk is highly encouraged and practiced. 

As for teaching your budding piro-happy toddler about safe fire practices. Here's a few tips from a Swiss pro;

Begin with a walk.

Begin with a walk.

  1. Begin with a walk in the woods. It's important to build your hunger while searching for the perfect place for a fire.

Prepare your space.

Prepare your space.

2. prepare space

Stick collection

Stick collection

3. Collecting sticks

teepee

teepee

4. Create a teepee

light

light

5. Light

tend.

tend.

6. Tend the flame

stick collection matinence

stick collection matinence

7. stick collection round 2

the wurst placement

the wurst placement

8. Wust placement

cook, hovering over flame until blistered

cook, hovering over flame until blistered

9. cook and eat

walk home

walk home

10. Clean up your fire and walk home

Apricot

"Aprikosen, 7 Juni". -The sign read for over a week.

It's funny how even a word written in a language not your own can still strike a strong cord of an almost edible nostalgia. Have you ever tried a Blenheim apricot? It leaves it's mark.

Stone fruits are a pretty big deal here in Switzerland. Year round, perfectly firm, tart and ripe plums and apricots are sold in the frozen department of the general supermarket for your mid-winter kuchen (cake) cravings. And not a single block of old, over-frozen, post season fruit barely suitable for the occasional smoothie, like I once found in the states. I'm talking about ruby-skinned, perfectly cut in half at their peak, and flash frozen for ease of cake baking. But when they are ripe and ready here, people don't hold back, and they are sold in no less quantity than over 2 kilos.

I was there at apricot man's stand on the 7th of June, ready for my bunddle. 2.5 kilos for 19 francs. That afternoon, my sous chef and I went to work. 

Apricot jam is a no brainer as I think it profiles the golden globes best. Tart and not too sweet. A PB&J is almost exclusively sworn to the raspberry, and a summer pie seems to always be peach territory. I prefer my apricots in a jam for my morning toast with my tea, and in a rustic french-style gallette with ground bitter almonds (apricot kernels). Of which I am currently cracking open and drying out the lot from the leftover 2.5 kilos of fruit. More on that process later.

The apricot jam recipe I love and have put into practice for years is this one by David Lebovitz. This time I added ground cardamom to the mix, because it's great friends with the apricot.

Here is my variation on his recipe:

Apricot Jam with Cardamom

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz. Yeild 3-4 jars

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1kg) fresh apricots
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 3 cups (600g) sugar
  • 1/2 t fresh ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • optional: 1 teaspoon kirsch

1. Cut the apricots in half and extract the pits. If you wish, crack a few open and put a kernel in each jam jar you plan to fill. I highly recommend this as it gives the jam a slightly bitter almond flavor (think marzipan).

2. Place the apricots in a stockpot or Dutch oven, and add the water. Cover the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the apricots are tender and cooked through.

3. Put a small plate in the freezer.

4. Add the sugar to the apricots and cook, uncovered, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. As the mixture thickens and reduces, stir frequently to make sure the jam isn’t burning on the bottom.

5. When the jam looks thick and is looks slightly-jelled, turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the chilled plate. Put back in the freezer for a few minutes, then do the nudge test: If the jam mounds and wrinkles, it’s done. If not, continue to cook, then re-test the jam until it reaches that consistency.

(You can use a candy thermometer if you wish. The finished jam will be about 220ºF, 104ºC.)

6. Once done, stir in the lemon juice and kirsch, if using, and ladle the jam into clean jars. Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to use.

Storage: I find this jam will keep up to one year if refrigerated. If you wish to can it for long-term preservation, you can refer to the USDA Canning Guidelines for techniques.

I also made a version of my Everyday Cake with apricot, sour cream, and spelt flour. A recipe I am still developing in it's variations and will post when I am ready. Now it's just a teaser to help insist that you put apricots in every baked good from now until August. Your welcome. 

 

-Ash