How to Make Immune-Strengthening Fire Cider

By Chelsea Pineiro

Feb 04
How to Make Immune-Strengthening Fire Cider

If you’re looking for an immune-strengthening cider to get you through the cold winter months, well this is for you!

With all the free time we’ve got on our hands, I figured I’d work on a month-long project. If you’re up for it, stay tuned, as I tell you a little bit about Fire Cider and how you can make it yourself! If you really can’t stand spicy foods, I’d stay away from this one. I wanted to make immune-strengthening when I just don’t feel like taking capsules. I also like knowing that I can make my own medicine – I definitely felt like a witch making this potion!

Fire Cider has roots tracing back centuries and is taken as an immune-booster, as a cold/flu aid when you’ve already caught a bug, a digestive aid (thanks to the ACV), and can even help get rid of headaches or nausea! If you do decide to make this Fire Cider, make sure you aren’t going anywhere, as you will need to give this recipe love and attention for the full 30 days. It shouldn’t be too hard, since the majority of us are on lockdown! After the initial recipe is made, it just takes a little rocking back and forth every day to fully mature into the potent Fire Cider you never knew you needed!

The best immune booster you will ever need. You can make it yourself with a few easy to find ingredients. It’s not delicious. I’m not going to lie to you and say it is. It will, however, make you feel like you’ve flushed all the bad bacteria out of your body. So let’s get started!

Where Is This Really From And What Are Its Roots?

The term and formula for “Fire Cider” were originally coined by Rosemary Gladstar in the 1970s, but its roots trace back to many generations before that used fermentation and warming herbs as medicine. Gladstar, an herbalist who many consider the godmother of American herbalism, describes Fire Cider as “spicy, hot, deliciously sweet, vinegar tonic.” To be honest, this is the best description of what it is! This “plant wisdom” certainly does not belong to us, and it’s good to give credit where credit is due. All Fire Cider recipes are based on ancient history, including the one listed below. They’re all variations of each other, so I take zero credit for creating this recipe, however, I did give it some tweaks based on what I already had in my fridge.

Seriously, everyone and their mother seems to have tried this immune-strengthening recipe, including Martha Stewart. So why has it become so popular? It may be because it is such an odd combination of ingredients but has such powerful benefits such as immune-strengthening, it’s too hard to pass up!

What Do The Ingredients Do?

ACV– digestive aid

Horseradish– clears your sinuses like you’ve never experienced before. Think mustard spice, like in Wasabi! Also great for combatting headaches.

Garlic– Similar to penicillin, its broad-spectrum antimicrobial and antibacterial properties help to fight infections. Helps lower cholesterol as well!

Onion– Similar to garlic, also great antimicrobial properties that fight cold and flu. 

Cayenne Pepper– Helps to mobilize and move blood through your body. Great for those with circulation issues.

Ginger– Helps to warm the body and get it ready for digestion. The natural Gravol or anti-nausea medication.

Turmeric– Kicks inflammation to the curb – if you can get this stuff fresh, try it out, but make sure you wear gloves unless you want to turn orange. Be careful with light countertops!

Honey– Not to be forgotten! Good quality honey is not only soothing for inflamed tissues and organs but is a harmonizer that brings everything in this cider together. Once the honey is added, this cider is known as an oxymel – the mixture of acid and honey. In old England, oxymel was recommended for gout, insomnia, coughs, congestion, and pained throats, ears, and backs. It was rubbed on vegetables to ease digestion—also on sore joints.

Other Materials You’ll Need:

  • 2-Quart Mason Jar (holds about 64 oz) – alternatively, you can use a bunch of smaller jars if you prefer!
  • Microplane – or grater to zest fruits
  • Food processor or blender – not necessary, but helps! Otherwise, get ready to use some muscle!
  • Knife – any sharp knife will do!
  • Wax paper/Parchment paper – if using a metal lid, the wax paper helps keep the metal from corroding.

Immune-Strengthening Cider Ingredients:

It’s important to remember that this isn’t the “right” way to make Fire Cider. I didn’t measure anything and I think each time it will have a different flair. In fact, I made 2 1.9L jars and they both have slight variations. Play around with it and remember that this immune-strenghtening cider will be unique to you!

  • 1 cup horseradish – grated
  • 1/2 cup ginger – grated
  • 1/2 cup turmeric – grated
  • 2 small oranges, zest and juice
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 head of garlic (about 6 cloves) – crushed
  • 2 small onions – sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • A few sprigs of Rosemary
  • A few sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 pinch whole black peppercorns
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 small serrano peppers – sliced
  • 946 ml bottle of ACV w/ the mother
  • 1/4 cup raw honey

Instructions:

  • These ingredients are written out in the order in which I placed them into the jar. The only reason I did this was so that you know to cut the peppers last in case you touch your face a lot like I do! Fair warning – keep your hands away from your eyes when cutting hot peppers!
  • Any ingredients that are grated can be chopped up into medium or small size pieces and then placed into a food processor or blender. A food processor will do a more efficient job since they are usually shorter and wider than a blender. These ingredients will absorb and infuse easier when cut into fine pieces than when in large chunks.
  • Any ingredients that are zested and juiced can also be thrown in. I threw them in, but it is not necessary, as they take up a lot of space.
  • Ensure the garlic is crushed before tossing it in so that you can release the alliinase enzyme, which provides the anti-inflammation and antioxidant benefits! Cloves and skins can be thrown in as it will all be strained later.
  • Onion can be chopped in any size chunks and skins can also be thrown in if you’re feeling extra lazy like me! Otherwise, onion ends can be saved and frozen to make bone broth at a later point in time.
  • Once you place your ingredients in the jar, top it off with as much of the ACV as you can without it reaching the brim. You need some breathing room.
  • Cover the top with a piece of wax paper and then place your metal lid on top and screw it on tight! If you do not have a metal lid, feel free to just omit the wax paper.
  • Place the bottle in a cool, dark place for the next 30 days! Now it’s just a waiting game. Please check up on your Fire Cider baby every day and give it a flip upside down, then right side up every day so that you can mix it up a bit. No need to shake it up. Be gentle.
  • After your 30 days is up, add 1/4 cup of raw honey or feel free to omit this if you prefer it without the sweetness. Then your immune-strengthening cider is complete!

SUBSTITUTIONS:

    • You can use powdered/dry versions of any of the herbs and spices (ground cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne or chili powder, etc.). Dried herbs can be easier to find and don’t need to be in season.
      • To be clear, you can use any herbs you want. Some great options would be Fennel, Chamomile, Lavender, Holy Basil, and more!
    • You can substitute prepared horseradish for fresh horseradish, which is cheaper and easier to find. I have pretty easy access to at least 5 grocery stores and they don’t all have this. Check out the picture of horseradish below! You won’t truly know until you cut into it that you’ve got the right root!
    • I’m sure any vinegar could work, but I’m not sure how that would taste or whether you’d have to throw out the whole batch that you’ve fawned over for 30 days. I’d probably stick to ACV! (Someone prove me wrong, though.)
    • Different peppers can be used if you do not like serrano peppers. I used chili peppers in a second batch that I made and it created a different kind of spice. You can also eliminate a lot of the spice by omitting the horseradish and peppers. I eat prepared horseradish out of the jar, just so you understand the weird level of spice I enjoy.
horseradish whole and grated

Source: Meghan Telpner

Ways to use your Fire Cider:

  • SHOTS!
  • Mocktails/Cocktails
  • Vinaigrette or salad dressing
  • In a soup or stew
  • Marinade meats or veggies

The final product of this immune-strengthening cider is so delicious, bursting with flavor, and will wake up all your senses. Whether you’re sick or feeling fit as a fiddle, give this immune-strengthening cider a go if you’ve got time and a bunch of jars lying around. Let us know what kinds of substitutions you made.


Chelsea Pineiro

Chelsea has been active most of her life, which led her to become a Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor for the past 7 years. Health and Fitness are not solely dependent on movement, though, and with that understanding, she addresses her client’s other needs, such as diet, mindfulness, and stress management.

When she is not training clients or teaching Yoga, she is finding new activities that keep her mind and body active, such as rock climbing, hiking, listening to podcasts, or playing Board Games with friends. She is constantly working towards: Finding natural solutions to live as long as possible, inclusive Yoga for all body types, and aiming to find mindfulness is everything she does.

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