Fire Cider: All Natural Herbal Preventative
Fire cider? Yes. Listen, we didn’t name it, nor did we make it up. It’s an old folk remedy that goes back many generations; your grandmother probably knows what it is. Fire cider is a combination of immune boosting herbs, roots, and peels steeped in vinegar. It’s reported to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongesting, and circulation-boosting as well. Seriously? Yes. The ingredient list includes horseradish, hot peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, and apple cider vinegar. All things that are good for you, but put together, yield a powerful kick.
Fire Cider can be taken hot or cold, straight up or mixed in foods or drinks, or even made into a slushie. You can adjust the recipe as you see fit for your own tastes. No horseradish? Increase the ginger and add tumeric. Extra herbs on hand? Have a particular favorite? Try rosemary and, of course, mint and lemongrass. You can do what you like, just keep the same balance.
½ cup fresh grated ginger root
½ cup fresh grated horseradish root
1 chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 hot peppers – jalapeño, serrano, or something equally hot
1 lemon, squeezed and then quartered, including the peel
a few branches of rosemary
1 small tumeric root, grated or sliced
a handful of mint, try lemon or grapefruit mint if you have it
a handful of lemongrass leaves, chopped
apple cider vinegar (find raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is best)
local honey (raw is best)
→ Wash, peel, chop, and crush all of your ingredients, except the honey and vinegar. Place everything in a quart jar. Pour the vinegar over the items until the jar is full; approximately 2 cups of vinegar, more or less.
Important: Place a piece of wax paper over the top of the jar, between the glass rim of the jar and the lid, otherwise the vinegar will eat at the lid and turn it to rust. Put the lid on tightly and shake well. Store it in a dark place and shake it daily for about a month.
→ After a month of steeping it’s time to strain your brew. Pour the liquid out of the jar into a funnel lined with cheesecloth. This will catch the solid matter that falls in. For the rest of the wet produce, strain it into the cheesecloth and squeeze that to get the remaining fluids out.
→ When you have just the liquid remaining, add the honey. Start with 1 tablespoon, and adjust from there. You want it palatable but not necessarily sweet. Add honey to taste, more or less depending on preference. Store your Fire Cider in a dark cabinet and take a tablespoon each day to support your immune system, or a few tablespoons if you feel an illness starting.
If taking a straight tablespoon just isn’t working for you, there are other was to ingest your Fire Cider.
→ try sprinkling it on steamed greens as you would lemon juice
→ mix with oil for use as a salad dressing
→ try it hot with honey in a tea.
→ add a tablespoon to a spicy soup
→ How about a slushie? Place a few cups in a glass cake pan and freeze it. After an hour or so, flake it up with a fork. Freeze it again. Do this a few times and you’ll have a great immune boosting granita.
Note: This does not need to be refrigerated; the acidity of the vinegar makes it shelf stable for a long time – but if you’re taking it regularly, you’ll be making another batch soon enough!