sipping vinegar

Fancy Ferments: 11 Elegant Herbs & Spices

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than my Essential Sauerkraut, made with nothing more than cabbage and sea salt. But when you eat as many fermented foods as I do, or feel like you’re falling into a food rut, I encourage you to elevate your recipes with my list of elegant herbs and spices. 

A hint of lavender, dash of lemongrass, pinch of peppercorns or kick of cardamom, can transform even the simplest jar of pickles. What makes these ingredients so special is that they’re not often used in everyday cooking, and usually of superior quality. It’s like popping into a gourmet shop for artisanal cheese or Belgium chocolate; it’s a fun and sophisticated way to divert from your regular routine. 

And let’s not forget about aesthetics. Adding beautiful colors to your ferments will make them look gorgeous in the jar and on your plate. Just think about how stunning your rice bowls will look (and taste) topped with a fancy ferment. Not only will you want to eat more of these gut-boosting bacteria, you’ll probably want to share your bliss. 

In fact, beautiful ferments make a great homemade gift for all the (health) foodies in your life! With the holidays just around the corner, make up a few batches. Then, transfer them to mini Mason jars, label each one and add a ribbon or bow. Nice and simple… just how I like it! 

Whether you’re making sipping vinegars, traditional pickles, or sauerkraut, try one, two or all of my... 

Elegant Herbs & Spices:

  1. Kefir lime leaves
  2. Pink peppercorns
  3. Cardamom pods
  4. Fennel pollen
  5. Lilac
  6. Lemongrass
  7. Lavender
  8. Lemon or orange peels
  9. Juniper berries
  10. Sumac
  11. Saffron

Not sure how to incorporate herbs and spices into my fermentation recipes? Contact me and I’ll help you out. Or, if you have a favourite, let me know in the comments below. I’ll work on a special recipe and feature it on my blog. 

Summer Sipping Vinegars

You’ve probably heard by now that apple cider vinegar (ACV) is really good for you. It helps detoxify your body and clear out toxins. But for many, its tangy taste can be a little hard to get down. Good thing there’s is a new drink in town, called Sipping Vinegar! Well, it’s actually not so new. People have been drinking it for centuries, but it’s all the rage right now. 

My first vinegar-based recipe was called the Flu Shot a.k.a. Fire Cider. This was made from a combination of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, fresh herbs, turmeric, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, horseradish and more… I’d let this infuse for about 6 weeks and take a tablespoon or two to keep cold and flu germs away. 

So when I came across the idea of Sipping Vinegars, I knew they were for me. I’m all about the powerful health benefits and immunity boost. I also knew I could have some fun in the kitchen, because the flavours are vibrant, fresh and exciting. 

For the base, you can use any type of vinegar from ACV to balsamic to champagne. The creativity comes with the plentiful array of summer fruits and herbs you can add. For example: strawberry and basil, blueberry and thyme, raspberry and mint or ginger and cilantro. The list can go on and on.

To make Sipping Vinegars, I refer to the recipes featured on Ellen Ford’s DIY Network blog. They’re quite simple and quick to make—and as you know, I love simple! 

Summer Sipping Vinegars

Basic Formula:

1 cup vinegar
1 cup fruit
¼ cup herbs
½ cup sugar

Recipes:

For recipes and flavour combinations, check out Ellen Ford’s blog, “How to Make Drinking Vinegar.” (We have our eye on the Cherry & Sage in Champagne Vinegar.) Give one a try and enjoy a delicious, non-alcoholic sip all summer long! 

Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below. Or, post a pic on Instagram. Tag us with the hashtag #summersips.