Pre-warning: I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Make/drink/buy at your own risk.
If you're unfamiliar with Fire Cider, please do your research before making, buying, or drinking it. It's no miracle cure and it's kind of unpleasant to drink, in my opinion.
If you're a bit odd like me, you like the idea of drinking something that's good for your health, has the potential to ward off a cold, and makes your family think you're a weird hippy. Check, check, and check. On top of those desires, I also don't like all the junk and food dyes put in store-bought health drinks. So why not make my own! If I can make cheese, I can make a fermented drink, right?
Oddly, this actually all started with Gatorade, what a weird rabbit hole to go down. I wanted a homemade alternative. With two kids in sports often requesting the bright blue, red, and neon yellow beverages, I had to at least try to find something else. Don't get me wrong, they've had plenty of Gatorade over the years. No one seems to like my homemade concoctions... (surprise!) Oh well, more for me.
In my hunt for homemade Gatorade - which I did find and will share later when it's warm enough to drink - I came across Fire Cider. It's like if Kombucha and Kimchi had a baby... (blech) On the plus side, it's a very pretty orange color, naturally!
If you are a bit skeptical of home remedies, like me, but are interested in fermentation, like me - I will make one recommendation. Honestly, the best thing that came out of this little culinary adventure is our Mason Tops Fermentation Kit (paid link). I use it to make sauerkraut, pickled (fermented) green beans, fermented carrot sticks, etc. It makes the task of fermentation super simple and comes with a nice little recipe book with photos to boot.
Ok, back to Fire Cider, I think (totally in my head) that it gives me a little pick-me-up, clears the sinuses (see the first ingredient), and could be an interesting cocktail... (wink wink) The best part, make one batch, and it lasts FOREVER because you only drink a couple of tablespoons of it a day. Or when you remember that you have it. "What's in this big jar?!" Sniff, "whoa, oh ya, fire cider."
Maybe you will find it palatable. I like both Kimchi and Kombucha, and I still find this hard to drink. Good luck!! To drink, I mix it with 8 ounces of good old H20. Some people drink it straight and/or add honey. Either way, brush your teeth afterward, your significant other and your dentist will thank you.
Fire Cider (winter "drink")
Drink 1-2 Tbsp daily
1 horseradish root - cleaned & grated (peel and all)
1 large ginger root - cleaned & grated (peel and all)
1 large onion - remove the skin, roughly chop
1 large orange - leave the peel on, wash, cut into sections
1 lemon - leave the peel on, wash, cut into sections
A dozen or more cloves of garlic peeled and chopped OR approx 5-6 Tablespoons minced
2-4 habaneros, jalapenos, or other hot peppers, sliced and stems removed
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) - approx 1/2 gallon
raw honey (added later/optional) *personal opinion, adding honey makes it taste worse
Non-food materials needed:
Take all the prepared food ingredients, except the honey, and put them into a half-gallon glass mason jar (or divide equally into smaller jars).
Pour the raw apple cider vinegar in over the contents, allowing it to settle into all the crevices. Add more as needed.
If you do have a Mason Tops Fermentation Kit, set one of the glass pucks in the jar to keep the fruit & veg down in the liquid. You may have to top it off with a little more ACV or you might spill some. Don't worry, it's a good cleaner - now your table's clean! Note: if your puck doesn't stay in place, you can go without it. The goal is to keep as much of the contents submerged.
Cover the top of the jar with a silicone nipple from the kit and screw on the metal jar lid to keep the nipple in place.
Store this beauty in a dark cool place for about 4 weeks to ferment. Check on it once a week. Give it a shake if you want, just remember to remove the puck and cap it well before shaking. After shaking, put in a clean puck, top with a clean nipple, screw on a clean band, and set it back in a dark cool place.
After 4 weeks, pour the contents through a cheesecloth-lined colander positioned over a bowl or pot. Let it drain completely. When it's fully strained, put the liquid in a clean sterilized mason jar with a plastic lid (metal and vinegar are not friends) and put it in your fridge. Stores well for up to a year, shake well before drinking.
Optional: Add honey if you like. I find adding sweetness to this makes it worse, not better.
If you don't have a puck or silicone nipple - you can use parchment paper to cover the top and secure it with a metal jar band. The parchment paper will allow some airflow, but it'll also protect the metal band. Vinegar will corrode the metal over time and you don't want it to ruin this delicious ;) thing you've made.
TIP: Mark your calendar. It's easy to forget about something that takes a month to make in a dark cabinet.
Cheers to good health, weird concoctions, and silicone nipples! Ha.
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