This time of year, the weather bounces around from cold, to balmy, to chilly, and back to cold again which makes it difficult for our bodies to adjust to the climate. I don't know about you, but the constantly changing weather, for me, usually leads to sniffles and a sore throat. That, left to it's own devices, will sometimes lead to the dreaded "F" word (flu, y'all).
I'm not a big fan of taking cold medicine because I don't like that lethargic, fuzzy state that it leaves me in. Plus, it's so much easier to preemptively fight a cold before it even hits.
So I was ecstatic when I learned about fire cider and how easy it is to make (not to mention that it tastes delicious too). And all of the ingredients can be found at your local grocer or natural food store.
Fire Cider has been a popular herbal folk remedy for years. The combination of apple cider vinegar infused with herbs is a tasty and easy way to boost the immune system, stimulate digestion, and warm you up on chilly days.
This is a folk preparation, so the ingredients can change depending on when you make it and what's growing around you. You can also adapt it based on food allergies. For instance, I have an allergy to citric acid, so I avoid adding things like peppers and citrus fruits which are common in fire cider recipes. Instead, I opt for other herbs that are also good sources of vitamin C (like horseradish, galangal root, onion, and garlic).
The base ingredients for this recipe are apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, and turmeric, but there are plenty of other herbs that can be added. Just look around your garden for inspiration.
Fire Cider can be taken many ways: straight by the spoonful, added to your stir fry, or drizzled on a salad with olive oil. I love to add a little to my Topo Chico (sparkling water for non-Texas folks).
This recipe takes at least 4 weeks to cure, so be sure to start your first batch early in the season. a January batch will be great for late Winter/early Springtime.
Fire Cider Recipe
1/2 medium onion (peeled and diced)
2-3 oz fresh horseradish (chopped or sliced)
1 bulb of garlic (peeled and separated)
1-2" piece of ginger (sliced)
1-2" of turmeric (sliced)
1/4tsp reishi mushroom powder (optional)
1/2 tsp ashwagandha powder (optional)
1/2 tsp echinacea powder (optional)
Apple cider vinegar
Combine all of your herbs in a quart size jar, and pour enough apple cider vinegar over them to cover the herbs completely. place a piece of parchment paper between the top of the jar and the lid (to protect the vinegar from contacting the lid and leaching out any chemicals from the metal or plastic). Be sure to label your fire cider with ingredients and the date that you made it (you will thank yourself later).
Wait. Give your fire cider 4-6 weeks before straining. I like to keep mine on the counter so that I don't forget about it. Some folks like to bury theirs, and dig it up after a month. Once you've strained your cider, add honey to taste. Another method, that I personally use, is to strain the apple cider vinegar out, and set it aside. Then I cover the ACV soaked herbs in honey, and let that sit for another week or two. Then, I strain the honey out, and combine it with the vinegar.