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Soups & Salads

Fire Cider Salad

Cold weather doesn’t have to mean heavy, dense meals. This light-and-lively, Immune-Boosting Winter salad is proof.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Here’s an SAT question if there ever was one:

Wine is to grapes as _____is to wine.

The answer—as you might easily have guessed—is vinegar. Much like sugar can convert to alcohol when fermented, wine (or alcohol) can also be fermented into vinegar.

So what makes vinegar so great? Simple. It’s a virtual infusion of healthy minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. In fact, unpasteurized vinegar can contain as many as 50 different beneficial nutrients, including those that come from the original “starting” material (such as apples).

The keyword here is “unpasteurized.” Remember that pasteurization is basically a process that subjects foods to tremendous amounts of heat.

That has the “benefit” of destroying microorganisms, but it’s a dubious benefit when it also destroys the heat-sensitive vitamins and enzymes that make a food good-for-you to begin with. To get the health benefits of vinegar, you should look on the label for key terms such as “unpasteurized,” “unfiltered,” “traditionally brewed,” “traditionally fermented,” or “aged in wood.”

In this recipe, Chef takes the basic, natural, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and turns it into Fire Cider with fresh ginger, horseradish, garlic, Dijon mustard, and the always-stimulating cayenne pepper. These nutrient-rich spices—filled with immune- supporting, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds such as gingerols from the ginger, allicin from the garlic, and glucosinolates from the horseradish—all work together to amplify the rich array of nutrients, enzymes, probiotics, and other phytonutrients in the vinegar base.

Fire cider is a warming and immune-boosting tonic with roots in the American herbalism tradition. And it’s sure to get some admiring attention when you serve it at the holiday table!

Notes from the Clean  Food Coach:

To save some prep time, you can buy a prepared fire cider and whisk it with an equal amount of olive oil plus a dollop of Dijon mustard. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. You can also use the fire cider to liven up a Bloody Mary or other cocktail, or just take a tablespoon neat anytime you’d like a warming lift.




  • 2 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest from ½ lemon
  • 1 Tbs. raw local honey, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground)
  • 2 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • Few pinches each sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • ½ medium red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 firm pear, unpeeled, cored and diced
  • 1/3 cup dried, juice-sweetened cranberries
  • Chopped, lightly toasted walnuts to garnish, optional


  1. In large salad bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until lightly emulsified.
  2. Add salad ingredients from cabbage through cranberries, and toss to combine and thoroughly coat with the dressing. Garnish with prepared walnuts to serve.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 110
  • Carbohydrate Content 21 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 3.5 g
  • Fiber Content 4 g
  • Protein Content 2 g
  • Saturated Fat Content .5 g
  • Sodium Content 55 mg
  • Sugar Content 15 g