Learn how to make your own homemade version of this healthy folk remedy that aids digestion and helps ward off the flu and the common cold, among other health benefits.
As I began to delve into the world of fermenting for making hot sauces and other recipes from my garden grown fruits and vegetables, I inevitably came across "Fire Cider". If you haven't heard of Fire Cider, it is basically a very tangy tonic of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar infused with healthy root vegetables and other natural ingredients.
It has been long touted as a folk remedy for generations, said to combat the flu and even the common cold among other things, including aiding digestion and boosting the immune system. We became interested in Fire Cider because Patty had developed some stomach ailments related to digestive problems and we were looking for something more natural to help her.
It is typically made with raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar containing "The Mother", which is a collection of proteins and friendly bacteria that assists with digestion. The vineger is infused with onion, ginger, horseradish, peppers, garlic and fruits, though you'll find that some recipes vary in the specific ingredients and ratios. For example, we've found that onions sometimes cause Patty some digestive discomfort, so we've omitted them from our recipe.
Making homemade fire cider is quite simple. In a nutshell, you'll scrub and peel all of your root vegetables, and scrub all of the fruits. Everything gets chopped or diced, then set into a couple of large sealable jars.
Pour raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar over the ingredients and give them a solid shake.
Set it into a cool, dark place and let the vinegar become infused with the ingredients for about a month or so. As mentioned, ingredients can vary, as long as they are healthy and natural, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. With fire cider, you have a natural drink that helps boost the immune system.
I can tell you, it's great stuff on a cold winter day. Take a shot of it and feel the warmth from the spicy chili peppers. If you feel it will be too spicy, you can easily cut back on or omit the peppers, though I would encourage you to keep them for the great Health Benefits of Chili Peppers.
We used a bit of fermented habanero pepper mash with our recipe, though fresh chili peppers are more traditional. We were looking for the additional health benefit of the fermented mash. See How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash for more information on that.
Why Make Fire Cider at Home?
Making fire cider at home not only allows you to control what goes into your end product, but it is WAY cheaper to make at home. When we were looking into fire cider to help with Patty's digestive issue, we were both surprised at how expensive it is to purchase. There are a few products available on the market, and WOW were they pricey. We can make a large batch at home for a fraction of the cost, and we can make it as hot as we want it.
Keep it on hand as a natural health and immunity booster. Take a tablespoon or two per day, or a tangy shot whenever you're in the mood. If you feel your fire cider is too tart, swirl in a bit of honey to sweeten it up.
I hope you enjoy your homemade fire cider, my friends! Shoot over your questions. We're happy to discuss.
Patty's Perspective: The biggest reason I wanted to make this is because of my recent digestive issues. I wasn't sure how well it would work for me, but was pleasantly surprised (if not ecstatic) at how well it is working for me. Now I have little to no symptoms and have been able to cut back on other pills I was taking. It's a big relief. Highly recommended. We plan to keep experimenting mainly with flavors. I even took it with us on vacation, it's that good for me.
Homemade Fire Cider - Recipe
- 1 6-7 inch horseradish root, scrubbed, peeled and finely diced
- 1 6-7 inch ginger root, scrubbed, peeled and finely diced
- 1 6-7 inch turmeric root, scrubbed, peeled and finely diced
- 2 heads garlic, peeled and finely diced
- 6 tablespoons habanero pepper mash (See How to Make Fermented Pepper Mash) or use 3-4 fresh habanero peppers, chopped
- 1 orange, quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 3 tablespoons peppercorns
- 2 quarts raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with The "Mother")
- Add all of the ingredients to a couple of 2-quart Ball jars or canning jars. Make sure there is enough raw apple cider vinegar to cover the ingredients.
- Shake and let sit in a cool, dark place like your cupboard for 4 weeks, shaking occasionally.
- Strain and use as needed.
NOTE: You can add in a bit of honey if you'd like a sweeter version.
Yield: About 1.5 quarts or so.