Monday, January 20, 2014

Fire Cider

Fire cider is a delicious health tonic made with fresh horseradish root, ginger, garlic, raw onion, and turmeric (among other things) that is infused in a base of raw apple cider vinegar and sweetened with raw honey.  Containing roots, fruits and herbs that have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, this delicious concoction can help boost the immune system, stimulate digestion and improve circulation.

Most people reach for fire cider at the first sign of a cold or flu, hoping to kick the immune system into full gear. Speaking from experience, I've definitely put the breaks on a cold with this stuff, along with plenty of rest, liquids and clean eating. 

I've gotten into the habit of making a large batch in October, so I'm well prepared when heading into cold and flu season. It's worth nothing that making fire cider takes a little advance planning. Whereas it only takes 10 minutes to prepare all of your ingredients, you must wait at least two months for all of those herbs, roots and fruits to fully infuse the apple cider vinegar.  Once the 60 day wait is up, you simply strain the liquid into a large mason jar and add raw honey. 

You can take fire cider by the spoonful (I try to take 1 T. every day, or 1 T. every three hours if I'm feeling under the weather), or by adding to some hot water (with or without some whiskey) to make a hot toddy. Although I've never cooked with it, I've read that you can use it anywhere you want a little added heat.. fried rice, salad dressing, stir-fry... or even throwing a shot into to your next Bloody Mary!

Fire Cider
(Makes approximately 5 c. )

1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 c. grated ginger
1/2 c. grated horseradish root
1/2 seeded habanero, chopped
2-3 sprigs rosemary
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 orange, zest and juice
1/2 c. finely chopped turmeric root
1 liter apple cider vinegar
raw honey, to taste (I used 6 T.)

Divide the garlic, onion, ginger, garlic, horseradish, habanero, rosemary, lemon and orange juice and zest, and turmeric between two quart sized mason jars. Divide the apple cider vinegar between the two jars. Cover with lids, give it a good shake and place in a cool dry area, giving it a shake once a week.
After two months, strain the liquid into a large pitcher and stir in the honey.  Transfer to glass jars and store in the fridge for up to two months.

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