What is It
Fire Cider is an old folk remedy with many different variations. Perhaps you have known a relative or grandparent who has their own take on the recipe. This is the method I’ve been using as it has been passed around from one friend to the next throughout the years. I personally use it as a preventive measure to boost immune health during the winter season and year round to cultivate a happy microbiome within the intestinal tract. The apple cider vinegar (with the mother) and other fermented ingredients are what boost the healthy microbiome in the gut. That in combination with the other ingredients is what makes this such a phenomenal immune booster. Most of us know that horrible feeling where your body just took that awful turn towards being sick. I have personally had good luck using fire cider for when that feeling starts setting in. (Obviously all of this is my own opinion and not approved by the FDA.)
The following is the recipe I started with. You will find that this is very loose and there is a lot of creative freedom to be had when making your own concoction. When I make my batches, I buy all the ingredients I can and make one big pile of chopped veggies and fill as many jars as I can. Once jarred, Fire Cider needs to steep on a shelf in a dark place for 4 weeks (some people steep as long as 6 months… I steep for 1-2 months on the top shelf in my pantry). If you really get into your fire cider and begin using it daily, remember to start making more before you need it because if you run out you may have to wait for a month or more before the supply is replenished. Once the mixture is finished, use either cheese cloth or some cookware mesh to strain the liquid and remove all of the solids. I also squeeze the solids to extract as much nutrients as possible before throwing it away. I store my finished mixture in the fridge but I know many people that simply leave it in the pantry. You can also save the solid scraps to use in other food recipes like throwing them on top of a salad for added nutrients.
1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 medium organic onion – chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic – chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers – chopped
1/2 organic lemon – you can squeeze it in or slice it
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
1-2 tablespoons of organic turmeric – grated or chopped (turmeric can be expensive and hard to find if not in season)
Fresh ground peppercorns (use pepper to taste, I usually just put in a couple of twists from my grinder)
1/4 tsp organic cayenne pepper (this can vary, if you want it really spicy… just add more)
Organic apple cider vinegar – to fill the jar up to the top (It is important that you buy apple cider vinegar that has the “mother” still in it.)
A Food Chopper makes some of this prep work fly by.
How to use it
Fire Cider is exceptionally strong stuff and depending how much pepper/cayenne you put in, it can pack quite the punch. The easiest way to describe this is kombucha times 100 with a spicy kick. Needless to say, it can take a bit to get used to. When you first start out, try using a spoonful or two once a day. I quickly moved to using a shot glass and now take a shot of the Fire Cider once every morning (twice a day if I feel like I’m getting sick). There are many different ways to use Fire Cider. I use it as is, but I know that many people mix it with their favorite fruit juice. Do keep in mind that Fire Cider is heavy on garlic and onion… I recommend against bringing it to work or using it right before an important face to face meeting. My wife suggests using the shot glass to get it down quickly and plugging your nose. Chase it with some water afterwards and then smile as all the healthy nutrients fill your body.
I started out with this batch of ingredients. I was unable to find any fresh turmeric this time around so I had to settle for the powdered version. I also used pre-made kraut and kimchi to enhance the probiotic content.
Once most of the ingredients are prepared, I am ready to start filling the jars!
I try to evenly distribute all of the ingredients into as many jars as I can. It doesn’t matter too much if they are perfectly even because in the end you end up straining it all out into the same container anyway. I only ended up using 4 jars of apple cider vinegar, this will give you some perspective on how much you might need for your batch size.
Now that the jars are filled I’m going to put them on the top shelf in my pantry and let them steep.
After steeping, strain out the solid contents and the left over liquid will look something like this.