Thursday, February 13, 2014

Put Out Cold Season with a litte Fire in Your Cider

Actually - it's a little fire in your apple cider vinegar.

For a number of years I've been studying about herbs and their power. About 15 years ago, I came across the well-known recipe from Rosemary Gladstar, a renown herbalist and healer, and in general a very cool lady. To tell you the truth, the recipe didn't sound very yummy, but it did sound mighty powerful to fight colds and sinus problems. So I gave it a shot. The original recipe for fire cider from Rosemary follows. 

  • 1 part Garlic
  • 1 part Horseradish
  • 1 part Onions
  • ½ part Fresh ginger
  • Cayenne to taste (just a few grains will do)
  • Honey to taste
  • Apple Cider Vinegar.
Chop fresh garlic, onions, and grate the horseradish and fresh ginger. The amounts and proportions vary according to your particular taste. You can always adjust the flavors in future batches. Chop enough of the first four ingredients to fill a quart jar approximately half full. Put in wide mouth quart jar and cover with Apple Cider vinegar (keep vinegar about two to three inches above the herbs). Add cayenne to taste (just a small amount or will be too hot!). Let sit at least 4 weeks. Strain well, squishing out all the goodness, and discard spent herbs. Add honey to taste, 1/4 cup at a time (add the honey after you strain the rest of the herbs). Raw honey is best if you have it. Don't use store bought honey unless you are 100% sure it's real honey.

Fire cider should taste hot, spicy and sweet.

You can see Rosemary make her recipe here. Plus she explains the benefits of all the ingredients.

This is the way I first made my fire cider. There are lots of recipes available, and all have their own slight variation.

My recipe has changed over the course of time as well. I like to add a few cinnamon sticks, a handful of dried elderberries, a sliced orange &/or lemon, turmeric (I can never seem to find it fresh so I use a teaspoon of powdered), a dried thai dragon pepper or two, and extra ginger. Sometimes I'll add some astragalus root or licorice root.

Something else I do now - I store the infused fiery apple cider separately and add the honey as needed. One of the reasons I do that is to have the chance to use an assortment of infused honey's, depending on how I'm using my brew.

You'll find a number of ways to use fire cider in our newsletter. However, it's main use in our home is still to help battle those bugs of winter. I particularly use it when my sinuses are acting up.

This wonderful winter tonic is a remedy that was found in many kitchens in years past. With it's many uses, it's something that is easy, healthy and fun to make.

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