Horseradish is a perennial plant of the mustard family, sharing lineage with kale, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, the common radish, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbage. It’s cultivated for its thick, fleshy white roots with a sharp, pungent flavor and used as a spice ingredient in sauces and dressings.  

Horseradish is a powerful keeper of human health, especially on winter days. (Try to take a sniff when you are congested!) Horseradish has been used medicinally for more than 3,000 years. It is a natural antibiotic and also filled with nutrients, phytochemicals, and Vitamin C. Horseradish is used as an active ingredient in several western medicines therapies. It is central to the Passover Seder plate. Horseradish also contains minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Cooking horseradish can strip it of its nutritional value and potency, so it is best used fresh.

Now is the time of the year to harvest horseradish if you happen to grow one in your backyard. If not, there is always next year, or you can purchase one now at the farmer’s market or in a grocery store. If you grow your own horseradish in the summertime, the leaves are a great addition to cucumber pickling and fermenting, preventing the cucumbers from getting mushy after a while.

apples and horseradish in glass jars on a countertop

Freshly Grated Horseradish with Apples

Magda Born


  • Food processor
  • Small jars


  • 4-6 Apples (see sweetness chart below)
  • 2-4 inch Horseradish root washed and peeled
  • Lemons juice to prevent apples from turning dark
  • 2 tbsp Sugar


  • Use your food processor or manual grater on the finest settings.
  • I also use the “chopper” feature to make sure the horseradish is very fine.
  • Select apples from the sweeter side of the spectrum to offset the pungent taste of the horseradish.
  • Using a food processor and hand grater, choose medium to large coarseness setting for the apples.
  • Put the grated apples, horseradish, and 2 tbs of sugar and mix together. You can adjust the ratio of apple to horseradish depending on the spiciness you like. Place in prepared jars right away, or apples will turn dark color. (sprinkling with lemon juice slows the process).
  • Store the jars in the refrigerator if you plan to eat them right away or in the freezer all winter long. It could be served on sandwiches, with meat or on eggs. Our favorite family recipe is a ham hock or baked ham served with horseradish. The horseradish loses some potency over time.
    apples and horseradish in glass jars on a countertop

Library Resources:

Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore by Darra Goldstein; photographs by Stefan Wettainen.

V is for Vegetables: Inspired Recipes & Techniques for Home Cooks from Artichokes to Zucchini by Michael Anthony with Dorothy Kalins; photography by Maura McEvoy; design by Don Morris Design.



Information contained here is not intended to treat or cure any diseases or provide a medical advice.

Magda Born

Community Services Librarian

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66101

913-295-8250 ext 1103