Horseradish may not be a common ingredient in your families dinner repetoire, but perhaps it should be. Since it is in season now, I wanted to make some homemade fermented horseradish to have on hand. Let me tell you, the fresh homemade version is far more pungent and flavorful than the prepared horseradish you find at the store. It’s likely far fresher since horseradish mellows over time. Thus making it more potent and offering better medicinal value as well.
It’s interesting to me that horseradish is in season the time of year most people end up getting colds. Since horseradish is medicinally known as an expectorant, it’s kind of Mother Nature to provide us with a natural remedy this time of year. My new favorite way to open up stuffed up sinuses is simply opening my jar of horseradish and taking a big whiff. And, if that doesn’t do the trick I take a spoonful and that burns my sinuses open right quick. Use horseradish for a variety of ailments, including coughs, congestion, clogged sinuses or sinus infection, asthma, as a diurectic and even as a poultice for pain relief or deep chest congestion. It helps to thin out thick mucous so the body can expel. Just remember it is possible to go overboard and not everyone will tolerate horseradish as well as the next person. So be sure to listen to your body!
Dr. Christopher recommends horseradish as a reliable remedy for sinus infections. Start with 1/4 teaspoon of the freshly grated root (or this recipe) and hold it in your mouth until all the taste is gone. It will immediately start cutting the mucous loose from the sinuses to drain down the throat. This will relieve the pressure in your sinuses and help clear infection. Additionally, horseradish has been shown in laboratory tests to be antibiotic, active against a variety of bacteria, so this can benefit a sinus infection. It has high sulfur content, which may also contribute to its antibiotic properties. (Source and read more on the medicinal properties of horseradish).
The vitamin C content of horseradish is exceptionally high, so adding plenty of horseradish in the diet is a good way of increasing your vitamin C intake. Not to mention that fermenting it helps to increase that vitamin C and make it even more useful and available. A spoonful a day, just may keep the doctor away.
Preparing horseradish takes a bit of care and swiftness. This is not for the faint of heart. Consider wearing goggles and opening up all the windows. After you make your first small batch to try, consider making a large batch at one time to avoid the eye burning experience and only do it once in awhile. Believe me, you will cry! Consider this fair warning…
Horseradish makes a nice compliment to many foods, namely meats. I love it with my eggs, steak, roast, seafood and more! I love this homemade fermented horseradish SO much I look for new ways to try it daily if possible. One of my favorite ways to use it is mixed with mustard to dip my grass fed beef hot dogs in. YUM! Of course with ketchup and lemon for shrimp cocktail is great too! And then there is just with lemon juice for some raw oysters! (Now I’m wanting to go get some oysters). Mix some horseradish into homemade vinaigrette for a spicy salad dressing. The sky is the limit folks! What ways do you use horseradish to liven up your cooking?
- 1 large horseradish root, washed, peeled and grated about 10 inches long
- Himalayan pink salt
- 2% brine - (19 grams of salt per quart of water) .5 liter anaerobic ferment vessel
- You will be using your food processor to grate the horseradish root.
- Peel the root with a vegetable peeler and chop into pieces that will fit into the opening of the food processor.
- Get your jar set out and ready and make a quart batch of 2% brine up in advance.
- Start to process the root in the food processor, use goggles if you have them. Pulse until it is grated finely.
- Quickly, scrape out the horseradish into a 4-cup pyrex measuring cup to measure.
- Add 5 grams of himalayan pink salt per 4 cups of grated horseradish. You would need quite a bit of horseradish to make 4 cups and you'd need a 1 liter anaerobic vessel. I used 2 cups and a .5 liter vessel for my batch.
- *Note: This is the time when those goggle will really come in handy. Stir well.
- Add the horseradish salt mixture into your jar. I used a .5 liter jar. It will depend on how much mixture you get.
- Press the mixture down and top with a small amount of 2% brine to cover and place a glass weight or bowl on top. Make up a quart of the brine. You won't use it all for this, but can save it for other brine ferments and also use it to top this one up from time to time.
- Clamp down the lid, add the airlock, make sure it has water up to the line.
- Place it in your cupboard to ferment for 3-5 days.
- Remove airlock, add a plug or swap with a Fido Lid and place in the refrigerator.
- Consider getting a 250 ml liter Fido jar to transfer to when the jar gets close to half empty.
- *Note: If you have a fine grain salt like Himalayan pink salt or real salt, it’s about 5 grams per teaspoon to make the 2% brine, 19 grams per quart, so just shy or 4 tsp. of salt.
As you use up your horseradish you may find you’ll need to add a touch of the 2% brine to keep it from drying out. Try to always keep it covered with brine. It may be a good idea to add a bit of brine after each use. So long as you keep it from drying out, this horseradish will keep a long time. However, the flavor will mellow over time. To get the most flavor out of it, use it within the first 2 months.
Need a handy brine chart? Use this brine chart from Lisa’s Counter Culture.
Also, when your jar starts to get low, you will want to switch it to a smaller vessel to keep oxygen out. I found the cheapest place to get Fido jars is Fido jars through Sur La Table. Since I used a .5 liter vessel, I then switched it to a 250 ml vessel. Both size jars cost less than $10.
I highly recommend purchasing a bunch of Fido jars in a variety of sizes. You can swap out the lids once active fermentation is over. That way you only need to invest in a handful of anaerobic jars, such as the Probiotic Jar. I personally use 1 liter and 3-liter jars the most. I like the 1.5 or 2 liters in the summer for smaller brine veggie ferments. I use a 5-liter jar for my krauts. I use the .5 liter for things like mayo, horseradish or fruit butters. If you spend $60 or more at Sur La Table, you get free shipping. Their jar prices beat Amazon by far. I also have a hard time finding the jars locally and don’t always have the time to hunt for them. Sur La Table makes it so easy to get these jars and they pack them so well and ship within 2 days!
New to anaerobic fermentation? Here are the jars I recommend – The Probiotic Jar.
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