Fire Cider Immune Booster Recipe

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates

Fire Cider is part food and part medicine used to boost one’s immune system during cold and flu season, and improves gut digestion and circulation.  It can be taken daily in small doses as a preëmptive or as a first aid with oncoming symptoms.

The fiery ingredients of fire cider are nutritious, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, congestion clearing and it adds heat!  It’s main ingredients are apple cider vinegar, horseradish, ginger, garlic, lemon and oranges.  Honey can be added before taking brew orally.  This recipe was named Fire Cider and made popular by Author Rosemary Gladstar of the California School of Herbal Studies in the 1980’s, however,  early oxymel herbal remedies date back century’s.  Oxymel translates to acid (vinegar) and honey and was formulated to make unpleasant herbal  remedies more palatable.

Ingredients:  (1 gallon jar)

  • 1 cup fresh chopped horseradish
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped turmeric
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced white onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper
  • 2 whole oranges sliced thin (wash well before using)
  • 1 whole lemon sliced thin (wash well before using)
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorn
  • Raw apple cider vinegar to cover ingredients in a 1 gallon jar


Layer raw ingredients in jar, add a glass weight to hold ingredients under the liquid level and cover with raw apple cider vinegar.  Raw apple cider vinegar is started with a mother exactly like in Kombucha.  This means the vinegar may have strands of fine fibrous material.  This is healthy and not unsafe to consume.

If using smaller jar cut ingredients down to size dividing difference in jars.  Cover with lid and set jar aside for 30 days. If using metal lid cover it with parchment paper before covering jar to stop it from rusting.  I use inexpensive lids designed for easy fermenting that has made fermenting fun and simple.

Jostle jar of raw ingredients each day.

After 30 days filter raw ingredients out of liquid and pour liquid into easy bottle for pouring  daily doses or taking by tablespoon.

Shelf Life of Fire Cider

This brew is a fermented pro-biotic that can last 18 months.  Keep refrigerated once opened.

Recommended ways of taking Fire Cider:

Fire Cider brew can be taken in 1 oz. shots usually first thing in the morning or added to hot water and honey for a tea.  It can also be taken by spoon, teaspoon or tablespoon each day.  If run down or feeling cold or flu-like take a couple of tablespoons (1 oz.) 3 to 4 times a day spread out.

More on Fermented Living Foods:  Fermented SalsaFermented Kimchi, Fermented Sauerkraut

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Please note that integrative treatments are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease and is not a substitute for medical care. Please consult an appropriate health care practitioner about any medical concerns that you have

Creating Yogurt at Home is amazingly easy and inexpensive!

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

I was reminded of home-made yogurt when my neighbour served me with some of his this week.  He has made yogurt for years and he mentioned he adds dry milk  to thicken it into a Greek style.  It had a nicer taste than any commercially sold and now I can’t stop thinking about it.

Inspiration to now dust off the thermometer and gather up the milk and yogurt.  Two ingredients!  That all it takes to make yogurt.  Milk and a few tablespoons of yogurt to use as a culture.






  • 4 cups of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of yogurt

Heat four cups of milk slowly to 185 degrees and then cool to 115 degrees.  Once cooled whisk in four tablespoons of yogurt evenly into the warm milk.  The yogurt acts as a culture to create a custard like solid.

Once mixed together place somewhere warm to sit for 6 to 8 hours.  This could be in a warm oven that has been turned off and oven light left on.  If left in cooler space it will take longer for the liquid to become custard like.  I have read up to 24 hours.

Kefir is the stage that is pre-custard like when the yogurt culture is active however before  it has begun to  solidify.  This means you can’t spoil a batch.  It simply means you have kefir!

3rd (Sacral) Chakra Food

Yogurt is one of the milk products I enjoy and have continued with in my diet.  It is a fermented food which means it is a natural probiotic.  A good quality of yogurt can be beneficial for optimal gut health however many commercial yogurts contain sweeteners, artificial flavours and thickeners or pectin.  The ingredients that do not lead to good gut health!

Another consideration is what are the cows are being fed that produce the milk the commercial yogurt is made with?

Curious baby cows check out grass labyrinth

Are they free range cows eating grass in the meadows over the summer and home-grown hay  like the ones grazing at the Farm of our recent August retreat or are they eating a GMO diet (Genetically Modified)?  This a huge consideration in my mind and one I seriously considered when I had my own babies.




A good quality yogurt is high in protein and has the same nutrients as milk; calcium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin A.  Yogurt also has a cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid.

When making your own yogurt you can choose a variety of milks or mild substitutes to experiment with such as *nut and rice milks.  Being curious about creating your own can be an adventure and bring some fun back into the kitchen.  Seasonal whole foods and  sweeteners can be added to your yogurt like fresh or frozen berries, fruits, nuts, honey or molasses and yes even grains!  I drizzle plant and flower infused honey I have created through Spring and Summer.  Fall into a  loving relationship with your food again or find out where to buy food that has been lovingly made!

In my opinion gut health is the building block to good health and could be one of the first considerations during any illness from colds and flues to more serious diagnosis.

*Nut milks require so many ingredients that I have chosen not to pursue this myself. I like the ease of two ingredients and eating simpler foods.

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Infusing Garlic Cloves with Apple Cider Vinegar

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles


Here are some pictures demonstrating how simple it is to infuse garlic and apple cider vinegar.  These are easy to create and a tasty addition to garnish, salads and main dishes.  The only ingredients are cloves of garlic and apple cider vinegar.


Peel the cloves of garlic being careful to not scare or cut into them.  While you are doing this heat apple cider vinegar without letting it boil.  Add cloves to your jar and cover.  Add lids and put aside to sit and infuse.

If you are concerned about measurements you can pour apple cider vinegar into the empty jars to find out the right amount before adding garlic cloves.  The garlic needs to be covered and the vinegar should almost reach the top of your jar.


I noticed that during the infusion process the garlic cloves temporarily turn green.  This is a natural occurring event and part of the infusion process.  It is recommended to leave for 15 to 20 days.  The shorter the time the stronger the flavour.  If you prefer a milder flavour leave to infuse longer.

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Here are the lids I purchased to make fermentation easier.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.

Living Foods: Fermented Salsa

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

Cutting up the ingredients for this recipe invited anticipation.  It smelled refreshing especially

Fermented Salsa

with the cilantro.  It called for letting this salsa sit to ferment for two or three days.  With our current heat wave I lasted two days before opening!  I tried it with a piece of cod.  This was a nice combination and they paired well together.

I would however let the salsa sit for an extra day in my future batches.  It had a mild flavour and I am imagining with some extra time it would develop a stronger flavour.

The other interesting consideration is that the recipes are American and call for one gallon mason jars.  Not a big commodity in Canada.  This means adjusting the recipes to fit our jars.  The one I used to test this recipe out was a 750 ml which would need 5 jars to make up the gallon.  I adjusted the amounts to fit the 750 ml size jar I was using.  (1 gallon equals 3785.41 ml)

The great thing about playing with this recipe is that I was able to add more ingredients to the leftovers to make a black bean salad.

This recipe for Fermented Salsa will become a familiar one in our kitchen.


  • 1 large Tomato
    • I used my favourite which is Roma.  They didn’t have much flavour so I will go with a local brand that is riper in future.
  • 1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper chopped
  • 1/2 medium Green Pepper chopped
  • Lime & Lemon juice to taste
  • Large Clove of Garlic Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Option:  1/4 teaspoon Whey (I just may have a use for some whey off my home-made yogurt!)


  1. Chop all ingredients and mix together with salt, whey, lemon and lime juices in a mixing bowl.  The salt will mix together with the juices from the veggies to create its own brine.
  2. Let sit in bowl covered for up to 20 minutes to let juices create brine.
  3. Add to jar ensuring that the *juice is higher than the veggies.
  • If you are using a regular mason jar and lid remember that you will have to release the air each day which is essentially burping the jar.
  • Glass Weights can be used to make sure veggies stay lower than the juice inside the jar.

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Here are the lids I purchased to make fermentation easier.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.

Healthy & Hydrating Living Drink – Beet Kvass

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

A local #yyj grocer recently had a sale on Kombucha products that included one  with natural beet flavouring.  The beets created a strong earthy taste.  This sale coincided with the hottest summer weather in our area and this beet flavoured Kombucha turned out to be a refreshing  drink during the hottest heat of the day.

Beet Kvass

A recipe for Beet Kvass came up when searching for a recipe to ferment beets.  Reading it I learned one of its benefits is that it is more hydrating than water.  Beets are high in betacyanin that can  increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood.  I read that Beet Kvass can balance out electrolytes like any sports drink without the preservatives and sugars.  Curiosity led to exploring this and now there is Beet Kvass fermenting on the kitchen counter!

Unfortunately the recipe I followed did not mention to leave the skins on the beets.  This delicate bacteria is necessary to improve the fermenting process.




The ingredients are simple.

  • Beets (unpeeled) – 3 or 4
  • Salt – 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • Water

The fermentation process is simple:

  1. Wash and cut beets into 1/2 inch chunks unpeeled.
  2. Add to gallon jug
  3. Add water leaving 1/2 inch at top
  4. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  5. Seal the jar and set aside

The recipe I am trying suggests to let it ferment for 2 to 3 days however this is with special fermenting lids.  Other recipes using traditional mason jar lids are suggesting 1 and 1/2 weeks.  I will begin with the 2 to 3 days and adjust future batches depending upon the outcome (remembering to leave the skins intact).

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Here are the lids I purchased to make fermentation easier.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.

Living Foods: Fermenting Kimchi made easy

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles



The batch of Kimchi was ready to test out today!  It has a fabulous flavour that may be milder than most.  I imagine fermenting it longer would increase the tang of it.  However I was too excited to try it.  It fermented for two weeks.

Previously I didn’t embraced Kimchi recipes due to the  intimidating process described in the recipes passed on to me.  I came across this simple recipe when looking for simple sauerkraut recipes that seem like it was worth trying out.


  • 3 cups Napa cabbage shredded
  • 3/4 cups of shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup minced onion combined with chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 large minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (I have been using pink Himalayan Sea Salt)
  • 2 tablespoons of juice from fresh lemon

I had these ingredients handy yet found I didn’t stick to the recipe due to volume.  The recipe called for four cups of shredded cabbage however that was too much for the container I intended to use.  I adjusted the recipe which seems to have not mattered with the end product.

Add ingredients into bowl and mix well with salt.  Let ingredients sit and rest in salt for up to 30 minutes to let juice form that will become the brine for the Kimchi.  Use potato masher and press ingredients to release more brine before pushing down into a mason jar.  I used a wide mouth 750 ml mason jar.  With kitchen tools on hand these ingredients where added to the jar was pressed  down until the brine covered it.   Some add weights to the jar to keep the ingredients under the brine however I didn’t find it necessary for this batch.

*I did use special lids for the mason jars that have made this simple.

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*Here are the lids I purchased.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.


Simply Sauerkraut

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

Home made sauerkraut


After only 12 days of fermenting green cabbage here is this wonderful tasting mild sauerkraut with a nice taste and colour.

I am familiar with a stronger tasting sauerkraut yet now recognize that a milder flavour has more appeal.  If I had left it to ferment longer I imagine the taste would be stronger.

Now I am excited to try fermenting another batch experimenting with another favourite flavour.  Today I intend to add some fresh ginger together with the cabbage to explore the two flavours together.

Until that’s ready though I am enjoying adding this sauerkraut to foods that wouldn’t be the same without it now.  Not a regular connoisseur of smokies I now find them irresistible with the combination.

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Here are the lids I purchased.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.