It's that time of year - cold and flu season is just around the corner. We all have various natural remedies we rely on to boost immunity to avoid illness. Fire cider is my personal favorite! It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial ingredients so it protects against cold and flu. It is also great to have on hand when you do get sick as it helps you recover faster. I love food-based medicine because it illustrates just how powerful our diet can be in supporting health and keeping disease at bay.
This popular herbal folk remedy is gaining in popularity and can be bought pre-made at the store, but it is so easy and affordable to make at home! It is literally fool-proof and you can be creative with the ingredients, based on what you have in your pantry. It does need to sit for at least 4 weeks before it is ready to ingest....so make it ASAP so you have some on hand if you do get sick!
I also think Fire Cider tastes really good (I love anything pickled!). It is also an excellent addition to a killer Bloody Mary mix (health is all about balance right?)!
I based my recipe off of Mountain Rose Herb's Fire Cider recipe, with a few changes, based on what I had in my kitchen. Tip: Make sure your Apple Cider Vinegar says "with the Mother" on it.
Apple Cider Vinegar (enough to fill up mason jars)
1/2 cup grated fresh ginger root
1/4 cup fresh grated horseradish root
1 small (2 inch) chunk of fresh turmeric, grated
1 onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
2 oranges, quartered and sliced (peel left on)
1 lemon, quartered and sliced (peel left on)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
AFTER CIDER IS FINISHED: up to 1/4 cups raw honey or desired sweetener, to taste. You can use Brown Rice Syrup or Maple Syrup for a completely vegan version.
After all of that chopping, this is the easy part! Just divide ingredients between two 24oz or 32 oz mason jars. I used one of each because that's what I had. No need to measure precisely with the raw ingredients.
Pour apple cider vinegar into jars until all ingredients are covered and vinegar reaches the top.
Cover jar with natural parchment paper or use a plastic lid to avoid any rust where the metal lid touches the vinegar.
Shake well. Store in a cool, dark place. Turn jars daily (if you remember)
In 4-6 weeks, strain out the liquid (using cheesecloth) and discard pulp.
Add honey or sweetener to taste.
Dose: Take 1-2 TBSP daily to keep your immune system strong or 3 times per day as a remedy for cold and flu. Dilute in warm water if needed.