Way back in August when we participated in the #everybitcounts challenge (preserve a food item every day for the month of August) a fellow homesteader mentioned Fire Cider. I had no idea what it was so of course I asked and then begin to research the internet looking for recipes and researching the benefits of this interesting concoction. I realized that it was definitely something I wanted to try. It seemed like the perfect thing to have on hand in the case of sickness erupting in the house.
As I researched I came across so many variations to the recipe. It became clear that the best way for me to make it was to use whatever ingredients I had on hand and whichever ones my family enjoys the flavor of. A consistent thing I noticed in most Fire Cider preparations was horseradish. If you know anything about it you know it is very spicy. This is not something I have been able to find in our grocery stores so I left it out. Honestly, with the extra punch horseradish has I probably would have left it out anyway. Some recipes also called for Thyme. I left this out as well simply because our plant died and after tasting my own it is hard to buy it from the store anymore! I know you fellow gardeners get it! I even saw one recipe that included lavender! All of these herbs have great medicinal value so it is easy to see why they would be used! What we chose to use in this first rendition of Fire Cider by BHG is listed below. If you prefer to watch us make the Fire Cider click here.
- 10 – 12 medium to small garlic cloves, slightly bruised or crushed
- 1 bundle of parsley coarsely chopped
- 2 Lemons, quartered
- 3 jalapeno peppers with seeds in
- 1 medium ginger root sliced (some grate)
- 1 medium yellow onion (red is just as good)
- 4 springs of rosemary
- Apple cider vinegar with the mother
I used a clean (no need to sterilize) 32 ounce jar for this project. I packed in the items as tight as possible before covering with the apple cider vinegar. I placed a piece of parchment paper between the lid and the jar just to prevent eroding. This then went under a dish cloth with some ferments that were going simultaneously. I agitated the jar at least once a day by turning it side to side a couple of times and placing back under the dish cloth. Occasionally I opened it to smell it. WHEW – it can make your eyes water! I decided to let this marinate for a month which so happened to be today! The smell was not as strong today as it was mid way the process. I found the flavor to not be as offensive as some have said in their vlogs and blogs. This I think is primarily because I made this to suit the tastes of our family a bit more than just following a recipe. I used all the herbs thought needed to be well and/or heal. Convincing the family to try it wasn’t all that bad. At this point they have tried honey fermented garlic and elderberry fermented honey already. Our son runs for the elderberry honey as soon as someone coughs. So funny! Shortly after trying the fire cider hubby began to cough sporadically, clearing mucus particles he didn’t even know he had! I personally think that is pretty amazing! This result is from just shooting it straight! In the future we plan to enjoy this with some local honey to sweeten the punch! Some add honey to the entire mixture but we plan to add it only as we use the cider.
I am storing the Fire Cider in an air tight container that previously contained sparkling lemonade. It should be shelf stable as long as its kept in a cool location. It likely will not last past the cold and flu season in our home but if it does we will refrigerate it. No one wants to waste this tonic!
If you decide to make fire cider and don’t have these items growing, be sure to use as many organic ingredients as you possibly can. Let us know how yours comes out! Be well – from our family to yours!