Sunday, November 16, 2014

Claires Herbs ~ Fire Cider


I don't know how cold it is where you live but here in Northeast Ohio it's very chilly at this time of year. In January when the temperatures dip into the single digits I really begin to feel rundown, almost like I just want to hibernate for a while. That's when I know that it's time to break out the Fire Cider!

Fire CIder 1
Fire Cider is an old fashioned herbalists remedy full of warming herbs, roots, vegetables and spices. Everything in it is dedicated to warming the blood and helping to stimulate the digestive fire. Unlike most of my tinctures this one is vinegar based so it's really a fermented food , not just a medicine. The apple cider vinegar base is so good for your digestion, helping you create an alkaline environment in your body which is necessary to keep the immune sytem functioning  in tip- top shape. Every person that I know makes theirs just a little bit differently so Fire Cider never tastes the same from one batch to the next. I like mine very spicy and heavy on the garlic and horseradish. I add beets for color and also as a blood purifier. Warning! Just a little of this goes a long way and if you've got blocked sinuses this is your perfect food!

For each mason jar of Fire Cider you will need:
1/3  cup of chopped onion
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh horseradish root
1 tablespoon of chopped Jalapeno
2 tablespoons of chopped red beet
2 tablespoons of chopped ginger
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
1 cinnamon stick
1 stem of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon each of Turmeric and Mustard Seed
1 slice of lemon
Layer all of these in a mason jar and cover with several tablespoons of red wine (antioxidants) and raw apple cider vinegar. Close the jars and shake until the ingredients are well blended and let them settle. this year I used my cuisinart to chop the vegetables and I noticed that within two hours everything had settled in the jar and I needed to add more apple cider vinegar, an outcome that I really liked. Next let them steep for a few weeks, then when you're ready strain and decant the Fire Cider into a larger jar. Add several tablespoons of raw honey and stir. Then strain the Fire Cider into small dark glass bottles or a larger bottle if you like.  When you're feeling rundown, take a small shot of it and prepare yourself. The heat produces such a wonderful energy, not a burning, but a warmth that spreads all the way down to your toes! 

I also like to use my Fire Cider to cook with. You can make slaw with it or thicken it with even more honey and use it as a glaze for a delicious pork tenderloin or chicken stir-fry. How about mixing it with a bit of walnut oil for a perfect salad dressing. Because of the earthy grounding nature of the ingredients I like to mix my Fire Cider with nut oils, not olive because I think that the blend tastes richer. Last but not least although I know that it sounds a bit blasphemous,  Fire Cider is absolutely delicious mixed into tomato juice and makes a perfect Bloody Mary! Either way, you'll be very glad that you've taken the time to make a batch the next time that you're feeling just a wee bit chilled! 

One last thing. I share my recipes  because I believe with all my heart that herbalism is a form of medicine that belongs to the people and I hope that you'll have so much fun making them. Herbal remedies like these have always been passed down from generation to generation; almost every herbal culture has some form of this Fire Cider.  

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