My Herbs Blog
Making Horseradish from Fresh Roots
Horseradish seems like a fall and spring food, but we enjoy it all year round! Every spring when the green leaves come back to life, and we are busy picking dandelions, it is time to make fresh horseradish. My children love to eat Lamb at Passover, with horseradish and dandelion salad. It is not only traditional, but also a cleansing and uplifting start to the new season.
I usually make a quart of horseradish early in the spring, and it carries us through the summer. Now it is fall, and before the leaves die back and the roots freeze. I make another batch of horseradish to carry us through the winter months until Spring comes again. Horseradish is useful for more than just roast beef. I love it on potatoes, eggs, and roasted vegetables. It makes a great condiment for sandwiches, and I even scoop a spoonful on to my soups.
If I experience congestion, I may just open a jar and take a deep breath. Be careful if you are not use to this, it can really give you a "start" if you have little experience with this plant. Like all the plants, I have found that small, and slow introductions are best. When you are comfortable, you may find yourself really immersing yourself in a particular plant. That may also be for a season. This particular year, I spent a lot of time with horseradish. I even soaked horseradish in white wine, to make a tincture of sorts, but when you do this, the result is not as medicinal and a much lighter extract. However, the plant energy has still been extracted and makes a very pungent, strong tasting wine. I would sip a few thimblefuls in the evening to help open my head.
The last thing I want to caution you about, but not scare in anyway is in regards to the sensation that horseradish can cause in your head if you take a big bite. You may be familiar with this if you have ever eaten Wasabi. These particular roots can send a semi-painful, yet delightful sensation through your head upon the moment of eating. This area can be different for every person, and I think coincides with places of congestion. Once you have taken a delicious bite, and the sensation passes, you will find a whole new openness in your head and breathing, well worth the heat!
Wasabi or Japanese horseradish is a plant of the family Brassicaceae, which also includes horseradish and mustard in other genera. A paste made from its ground rhizomes is used as a pungent condiment for sushi and other foods.
My instructions for making Horseradish:
Start with a few good sized roots, freshly dug. If you do not grow your own, you can actually order roots, or buy at a local market. Wash thoroughly and slice off the skin; or peel off the brown skin. When that has been completed, cut the root into 1 inch sized pieces and place in a good blender. I use a Ninja and it works well. Place all your cut up pieces in the blender. I personally would not blend more than a cup at a time, because it can be hard on the machine. After putting a cup of cut up pieces in the blender, you will pour Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother just to cover the roots. Then pulse. Pulse. Pulse. Then blend until creamy and smoothish. You want chopped up little pieces, and almost a paste.
WARNING! When you take the lid off the blender, you may be tempted to take a deep breath. If you have really good roots, it may feel like a punch in the face. Take the lid off, and step back a minute before taking a deep breath. But you will want to breathe in your fresh horseradish; it is part of the ritual of making your own. Hope you enjoy! 😊
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