Apple cider vinegar

Spring Herbal Vinegar with Dandelion, Nettle & Comfrey

For us, the season of Spring is a beautiful and abundant time for making herbal medicine. Herbal vinegars are one of our favourite things to make this time of year and have become a real staple in our kitchen. Infusing herbs in raw apple cider vinegar is such a simple, delicious and effective way of drawing out the potent minerals and vitamins from the plants. Head out into nature and you’ll be sure to find many wild herbs that you can bring back to the kitchen. Often, we can be lured into believing that health has to come from expensive superfoods or supplements, but these wild herbs have many medicinal properties and are completely free to forage (or can be grown easily at home).

Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle

Although this vinegar is rich in nutrients, the main reason we make it again and again is because it tastes so delicious. It’s an amazing ally to have in the kitchen to make tasty salad dressings, blend into dips and sauces, add to soups or stews or even put on roast vegetables for a burst of flavour. Even though this is a recipe, we invite you to be creative and adapt it depending on what you have growing or can forage, what flavours you like or what medicinal qualities you’d like to include (for example, if your family suffers a lot with sore throats then thyme would be an excellent herb to add). We also have a recipe for the well-loved Fire Cider Vinegar that is amazing for fighting viruses. Below we’ve listed some more ideas for herbs/roots/ingredients that work really well:

Spices/etc
Garlic
Onion
Ginger
Orange/Lemon Peel
Cloves
Cardamom
Chilli
Cinnamon

Herbs
Dandelion leaves or root Tarragon
Mint Lemon Balm
Oregano Sage
Fennel Bay Leaves
Stinging Nettle Comfrey Leaf
Rosemary Nasturtium petal
Thyme
Dill
Chives


In our Spring Herbal Vinegar that you see pictured, we used dandelion leaf, nettles, rosemary, comfrey leaf, bay leaf and sage. Our preferred vinegar is raw apple cider vinegar because of the flavour and live cultures it contains, however you can use other varieties like red or white wine vinegar.

Method
1. Using your hands or a pair of scissors, cut or tear your chosen herbs into small pieces and lightly fill a clean jar. You don’t want to overpack the jar. Any ingredients like garlic or ginger should be finely diced.
2. Next, pour the vinegar over the herbs and fill the jar.
3. Using the end of a wooden spoon, push down the herbs and allow any air bubbles to rise to the surface.
4. Screw on the lid of your jar. Vinegar reacts with metal so using a plastic lid is preferred. However, if you don’t have this you can place a piece of baking paper between the jar and the lid (as seen in the photo).
5. Label the jar with the date and leave for 4-6 weeks. We like to leave ours on the kitchen surface and give it a shake every few days with some good intentions!
6. After 4-6 weeks you can strain the vinegar and compost any herbs or plant material. Now the vinegar is ready to be enjoyed!

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What herbs are growing near you this time of year?
Have you ever made a herbal vinegar?

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Cashew Cream Sauce (Oil Free)

Next month we fly to India for a few months of travel, a yoga teacher training course & trekking in Nepal. We’re beyond excited to return to this wild and wonderful part of the world, and intend to share our journey on the blog with you! For now, we’re savouring all of the delicious foods we’ll miss during our time away. Don’t get me wrong, we’re so excited for all the incredible Indian food we’ll enjoy, but we’re making the most of fresh, vibrant food and having access to local organic produce.

This delicious cashew cream has been our go-to sauce the past few months. Soaked cashews become so rich and creamy when blended. We’ve combined them with a few other ingredients to make a really tasty sauce. Apple cider vinegar is a must have product in our kitchen - it has so many great uses! Make sure to get a raw vinegar that still has ‘the mother’ (aka live bacteria) in it. This means that it hasn’t been pasteurised and is therefore great for gut health. The vinegar gives the sauce a subtle tanginess that pairs so well with the nutritional yeast and hints of garlic/mustard powder.

cashew cream dressing
Cashew Cream Dressing

A couple of things I love about this sauce, besides the taste, are how easy it is to prepare and how versatile it is too. We’ve been enjoying it as a side to so many meals, here are some suggestions of recipes it pairs really well with:

Smokey Refried Black Beans
Chickpea Frittata with Sage & Rosemary
Sprouted Chickpea Falafel Burgers

Ingredients
1 cup of cashews, soaked for 2+ hours
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of mustard powder
3/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon of white miso (optional but highly recommended)

Method
1. Soak cashews in water for at least 2 hours.
2. Drain and rinse the cashews and combine together in a blender with all of the other ingredients. Blend until smooth and add more water if you want a thinner consistency.
3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, it should last at least 5 days.

cashew cream dressing

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Fire Cider Vinegar - A Herbal Remedy for Winter

Happy New Year everyone! We hope 2017 is full of health & happiness for you all. On a personal note, we're both feeling really excited for the year ahead. New plans, ventures & ideas are making us feel inspired and ready for this new cycle. This hopefully means even more creativity in the kitchen & the garden! 

We've loved experimenting with herbal recipes during the past few months. I'm talking herbal oils, honeys, vinegars & infusions...there's so many delicious possibilities. This fire cider vinegar is well-known in the herbal community, and it's a wonderful remedy for all the viruses & colds that are circulating at the moment. Full of immune boosting & anti-microbial properties from the apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion & turmeric, a tablespoon of this mixed with raw honey is an amazing way to fight off illness. It's also a delicious addition to soups, stews & dressings.

Fire Cider Cold Flu Herbal Remedy

The key to the this recipe is chopping everything up as finely as possible. The apple cider vinegar will slowly draw out all the healing properties from your ingredients & herbs - leaving you with a potent, medicinal vinegar at the end of the process. Feel free to adapt the ingredients to suit your taste buds! 

Fire Cider (Adapted from Rosemary Gladstar)
Ingredients:
1 medium sized glass jar
1 onion, chopped finely
3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
4 tablespoons of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of grated turmeric root (or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder)
A small handful of rosemary
A small handful of thyme
4 whole peppercorns
Raw apple cider vinegar (with mother), to fill the jar
optional extras - a small chilli for extra spice, horseradish, orange peel, parsley etc

Method
1. Fill a sterilised jar with all your ingredients and add enough apple cider vinegar to cover. 
2. If your jar has a metal lid, place a square of baking paper between the jar/lid. This will protect the metal from being eroded by the strong vinegar. 
3. Place on a windowsill or a warm spot and let it sit for around 3-4 weeks. We shake our mixture every now and then, & check how the smell develops over time. 
4. Before it's ready to use, you'll need to strain the vinegar and discard the herbs (hopefully onto a compost bin!)
5. Enjoy, heal & store your vinegar in a cupboard (where it should last for a long time)

Fire Cider Cold Flu Herbal Remedy

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What natural remedies do you use during cold/flu season?

Mexican Style Roasted Tomato Salsa

After a couple of blissful months travelling, February finally brought us our fair share of generic life problems and 5.30am wake ups. But amongst all the chaos we finally have our own place to call home in Cali, Colombia! Including our own little kitchen for creating recipes (...and for dancing around in our underwear, obviously)

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This tomato salsa is the perfect addition to any Mexican-style meal and always makes an appearance at our table! It's the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, while the charred ingredients give it a delicious, smokey flavour. It's also ridiculously easy to make and has no artificial ingredients (like so many store bought condiments).

We love ours with home-made refried beans and tacos. But it's also a great as a leftover...we stir it into soups, serve it with crispy fishcakes or mix it into a salad for instant freshness.

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Ingredients (Makes 1 small jar- enough for 4 people)

2 large, ripe tomatoes
1 Jalapeño 
2 cloves of garlic (keep the skins on for roasting!)
1/2 Lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
1 teaspoon of panela (or honey/coconut sugar)
1 tbsp water

1. In a heavy-bottom frying pan, dry roast the tomatoes, garlic and jalapeño until charred. (See the first photo for an idea of how they should look!). Keep turning the tomatoes to get them charred on all sides.

It's likely the garlic/jalapeño will be charred before the tomatoes, so just remove them from the pan and put to one side when ready.

2. Place the tomatoes, garlic and jalapeño in a blender or food processor. Add the juice of half a lime, a teaspoon of panela, a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

3. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

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