And when I say fired up, I mean Fired UP. If you have ever tried Fire Cider, there is no question as to whether or not it's a sinus clearing experience. With the ingredients involved in this concoction, the list alone might make you begin to sweat, but with that in mind, grab your big girl/boy panties and let's get ready to turn up the volume on fighting off the Fall and Winter yuck and prepare to spend your time enjoying the change of season. One of my least favorite things on the planet would have to be the overuse of hand sanitizer. Seems to me that when I was growing up, people seemed to be sick far less often with the common cold and flu like illnesses, and I certainly don't recall there being a pump full of hand sanitizer at every turn. Hell, I just now realized that there were sanitizing wipes at the local supermarket to wipe down your buggy. I guess it's safe to say that I am not a germophobe. No bad juju to those who are, but I think I missed a good chance at being either a pirate or a devoted member of the Amish community. I typically walk around barefooted inside and out, when I stay in a hotel, I don't break out the black light, and when I am out and about, I don't use hand sanitizer because I wash my hands regularly and I like to think that most people aren't walking around wiping fecal matter on things. Moving on. Another reason I don't stress about germs is that I take added precautions to boost my immune system in several different ways. Let's be honest, I'm not 100% clean in my eating habits, so I take time to make immune boosting concoctions so that when that Moon Pie is knocking at my door, I can shove that bad boy right in my pie hole (no pun intended) and not feel one ounce of guilt. So, what I have to share today, is the hot, spicy, immune boosting Fire Cider and a super easy recipe to follow. Before I take you to the holy land of wellness shots, let me tell you a quick run down of how it actually works. Horseradish is one of the main ingredients which is where some of that heat comes from. This tough root has antibacterial properties making it a key player in the fight against illness. It's a natural diuretic, which aids in perspiration, helping you to sweat out a fever and also is a natural expectorant, so anytime you have a congestion issue, horseradish is kicking ass and taking names. Next up is ginger. Ginger is tasty in pretty much anything in my opinion, but in Fire Cider, the benefits are threefold. It helps to ease nausea and vomiting, warms the tummy, making it effective against chills, and like horseradish, it's an expectorate for any type of congestion in the body. Another important ingredient is Cayenne which gives your circulation a little jump start and is also a natural anti-inflammatory. Some credit cayenne as being an effective remedy against the dreaded migraine, although I haven't been one to suffer what I would consider a migraine and thus can't speak to the effectiveness. Lastly, I want to mention Garlic. Most of you have probably heard some of the benefits of garlic. It's an antimicrobial as well as antibacterial, making it useful in the treatment of strep throat as well as ear infections among other infections. Along with the ingredients, I have previously listed, you will find a yummy list of beneficial spices, local organic honey, and of course the base ingredient of Apple Cider Vinegar. I was surprised to find that our local Kroger actually carries turmeric root, so feel free to substitute the powder for the real deal if you choose, but you may want to wear gloves, as turmeric in any form, stains like crazy. To give you all of this information and not make mention that seeing a doctor when you are feeling under the weather is important and invaluable would, in my opinion, be a short sighted thing to do. As I have said many times before, I am not a doctor, and when it comes to children especially, I consult the pros if I feel it's necessary. As an adult, I feel as though I have a bit more control considering I am more in tune with what my body is telling me it needs. Now that I have gone over the main ingredient list, let's get on with the fun part. I have a bizarre love of chopping, grating, slicing, and mincing ingredients and dumping them into a container, so this is right up my alley.
- 1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped horseradish
- 1 medium organic onion, chopped
- 10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
- 2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
- Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
- Several sprigs of fresh organic rosemary
- 1 tbsp organic turmeric
- 1/4 tsp organic cayenne powder
- organic apple cider vinegar
- raw local honey to taste
- 1/4 cup star anise
Once you have all of your ingredients chopped, grated, measured and ready to go EXCEPT THE HONEY (that happens at the end), find a container suitable to hold it all. I chose a 1-gallon glass container because I double my recipe and wanted to make sure I picked something large enough to house it all. I added a piece of parchment paper under the lid because much like the hot sauce that we would eat from Skips Soul Food years ago (my locals know which hot sauce I'm referring to), that shit will eat the lid right off. As I said before, Fire Cider has ACV as the base, so this is just to keep rust and corrosion from happening due to the acidity. Now that you have everything prepared, mixed up, this is where patience is key. It will take 4-6 weeks to infuse all of the ingredients into the ACV. Some people suggest waiting 8 weeks, and if you are patient, and no one has a need for it, that may only make the results better, however, be sure to give it at least 4-6 weeks. When it's time to strain the mixture, you can do so into any clean container you wish to store it in. I usually use quart size jars. Add in your honey for flavor purposes and to give it all the beneficial goodness that honey offers. I encourage people to use local honey because of pollen changes from location to location. Over time you can become less sensitive to pollen in your area if you are using honey that has been created by bees that have pollinated in your area. This mixture is shelf stable for 12-18 months. Don't look at me like that! Yes! 12-18 months. It's fermented already for goodness sakes, so put your eyeballs back in your heads and trust me. I do a couple of tablespoons of Fire Cider daily first thing in the morning to kick start system, followed by a glass of water. It's only right considering that after that, I drink entirely too much coffee. Now, drink up! A big thank you to Morel Distribution Co. for the amazing Star Anise. It gives the Fire Cider an amazing taste and when coupled with the other herbs and spices, it's a really nice addition to an old tradition. Live, Love, and Grow Roots.