The transition from fall into winter in Colorado is always a confusing one, with huge temperature shifts overnight and a mix of sun and snow. One practice I have incorporated into my daily routine is a shot of fire cider in the morning.
Fire cider, developed in the 1970s by famed herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, has a multitude of benefits for health and wellness. It is often used as an immune tonic to prevent colds, help with sinus congestion, improve digestion, and even act as an energy-boosting coffee replacement. A typical fire cider is made with apple cider vinegar, horseradish, garlic, ginger, cayenne, lemon, onion and other ingredients with similar antibacterial, warming properties. In my recipe I added turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and jalapeños for an added vitamin boost. Fire cider requires a 2-4 week steep time for the greatest benefit, but it's worth the wait!
Homemade Fire Cider Recipe
This fire cider will give you a jolt of energy in the morning, improve digestion and strengthen the immune system to prevent colds and flus.
1 onion, chopped
10 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
1/2 cup ginger root, peeled and chopped *
1/2 cup horseradish root, peeled and chopped *
1/4 cup turmeric root, peeled and chopped
3 jalapeños, sliced
2 lemons, juice and zest
2 tbsp cayenne
Apple cider vinegar (approximately 4 cups)
Raw, local honey to taste
*whole root ginger, horseradish, and turmeric can be substituted for powder herbs in equal quantities.
1. Prep the onion, garlic, ginger, horseradish, turmeric, jalapeños, and lemons.
2. Add all ingredients (except for the honey) to a 32+ oz glass jar and cover with apple cider vinegar.
3. Cover with cheesecloth and a metal lid, or a plastic lid (the vinegar can corrode a metal lid without a protective cheesecloth barrier!) and store in a cool, dark place for up to 4 weeks.
4. Shake the fire cider daily to mix the ingredients.
5. After 4 weeks, strain through a cheesecloth and add honey to taste. I like to use a lot of honey (at least 1/2 cup) both for the taste and also for the added antibacterial and antioxidant properties of local honey.
Enjoy 1 tbsp daily and say goodbye to frequent colds during the winter!