This past Spring, I joined Herb Mentor and stayed with them for a few months, learning all I could about the use of herbs. One of the tips I picked up is that you can soak an herb in vinegar and use that in your cooking.
I’m always looking for ways to get medicinal herbs into me in ways that don’t resemble forms of torture. I know some of you laugh, but some of herbs I use are especially difficult to get down and I’m the type that can swallow anything. I am totally not picky when it comes to the taste or texture of what I have to swallow, a skill I learned while I was so ill and going through chelation. I found that some of the less palatable root herbs, like dandelion and burdock root, are easily done in vinegar without it becoming a mind-bending flavor.
So I began using the burdock and dandelion vinegars in all sorts of dishes, including uncooked things like my quick honey mustard dip (recipe below). So far, no one has noticed any change in flavors or made any comments. I now soak all of my apple cider vinegar in burdock or dandelion prior to use.
How to Make an Herbal Vinegar
Place your dandelion root or burdock root loosely in a mason jar, no more than two-thirds full. Cover completely with raw apple cider vinegar and add one-half inch of extra vinegar on top. Cap with a plastic cap or put a piece of wax paper between your metal lid and the jar- exposure of the metal to the vinegar will gradually corrode it. Label the jar with the date and the contents.
The next day, uncap and stir the vinegar, adding more if necessary. The pieces will have swollen and just shaking the jar is usually not enough to dislodge them all. As the roots absorb the vinegar, they sometimes push themselves above the top of the liquid. You want to keep them completely submerged. Just top it off and add an extra quarter-inch of vinegar for good measure. Check the following days and just shake the jar if the vinegar level is high enough.
Your vinegar is ready in six weeks. I set them in an out of the way place in my kitchen. I check on all of my tinctures and vinegars once every few days. I shake them all then make sure the herb material is still under the level of the vinegar/alcohol/glycerin. After six weeks, strain out the root and squeeze. It’s fine to put the spent roots into your compost. Don’t forget to label your vinegar once it’s ready, so you remember which herb you used and when it was made.
Quick Honey Mustard Dip
From the Menu Mailer
Makes ~1/2 cup
2 Tbs mustard of your choice
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs raw honey (or a little honey and stevia to taste)
2 Tbs burdock &/or dandelion-infused apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or a combination
Combine all ingredients with a whisk and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Disclaimer: If you use the link above to join Herb Mentor or purchase products, I receive a small commission.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday.
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