RECIPE: Immune Boosting Fire Cider

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Fire cider is a traditional immune boosting tonic. We have been using for several years to help us get over colds and flus quicker and elevate symptoms. It’s best used alongside echinacea for the full impact. The preparation is fairly simple. It just takes an hour or two to prepare and clean up after if you have a helper.

Fire cider is basically an infused vinegar with anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacteria properties. It also helps with clearing sinuses and improving circulation. 

It’s a folk recipe, so there are a few core ingredients and you can a bunch of different add-ins depending on what you have available. The main ingredients are raw apple cider vinegar and equal parts garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers. 

We like to use jalapenos as our peppers, but you can add any hot pepper you have grown or whatever you can find at the store. 

Ingredients

  • 4 onions
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 1 ginger root
  • 1 turmeric root
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 1 horseradish root
  • 1 gallon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 one gallon flip top jar

Some of the more popular add-ins are turmeric, rosemary, honey, cinnamon sticks, a whole organic lemon, thyme, star anise, or even peppercorns.

Preparation:

If you are buying the horseradish from the grocery store, you’ll want to let it soak in water overnight to rehydrate before making your fire cider.

  1. Peel all of the ingredients and de-seed the peppers.
  2. Horseradish needs to have the peels cut off with a knife since most vegetable peelers won’t be up to the task.
  3. I like to remove the garlic skins by pressing down on a clove with the flat part of a knife. This is where having a helper comes in handy. You can have them removing the garlic skins while you are prepping the next clove.
  4. Blend up the onions and add them to your jar. I’ve found the cutting the top and bottom off the onion, then making a shallow cut on one side makes it super easy to remove the onion skins.
  5. You don’t have to remove the ginger skins unless you don’t like the taste. We usually leave them on.
  6. Next, roughly chop the peppers and put them in your jar. 
  7. Shred the ginger, turmeric and horseradish root in the food processor, then add them to your jar. 
  8. Cover ingredient with apple cider vinegar. You may have to add more as it is settling to make sure it is covered by a few inches of vinegar. You want to use a plastic lid or cover your metal lid with parchment paper on the inside so you don’t get a reaction with the vinegar.
  9. Store in a dark cupboard for a month, shaking or stirring daily, or whenever you think about it. ;)

You will want to have the windows open while you are processing the horseradish because it has a very strong and spicy smell.

We have a blender that we use specifically for making fire cider, since some of the ingredients can end up making your blender taste spicy for a few weeks after processing.

Some people like to strain out the pulp after 4-6 weeks and add in 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup raw honey to make a sweetened version. We like to keep it fermenting, and just add more apple cider vinegar to keep the pulp covered. You can keep the fire cider for several months in the cupboard or keep it in the fridge for even longer. 

We dilute one to three tablespoons of the fire cider in a 4-8 ounces of water and add a dropperful of echinacea when we start feeling under the weather. You can also use it in marinades or salad dressing. Basically, any spicy or savory recipes you would use vinegar in, you can use fire cider.

Have you ever made an infused vinegar or fire cider before?