You have no idea how excited I was when I finally got my hands on some horseradish root! I’ve been wanting to make Fire Cider all winter and now I can. And even better, now I can share the recipe and process with you. Ideally you would want to start this in late summer or early fall so you have it on hand throughout the winter (it takes about 4 weeks before you can consume it). But since this was the first bit of horseradish I’ve found, I’m happy to make it now and have it on hand during allergy season and during the early spring months when there are always nasty bugs floating around.
Fire Cider, a delicious and spicy combination of herbs and food, is a traditional folk remedy made by herbalists and natural health advocates around the world. Revered for its amazing combination of decongestant, immune stimulating, antimicrobial (antibacterial & antiviral) and anti-inflammatory properties, Fire Cider can help shorten the duration of a cold or flu. If taken daily, it can even help prevent these nasty bugs. Due to its powerful decongestant properties, Fire Cider is also an excellent remedy for seasonal allergies.
Because Fire Cider is a folk remedy, the ingredients can change from place to place, person to person and year to year. Often people just used what was growing around them (or what they had access to) at the time. The basic ingredients of onion, garlic, horseradish, ginger, and apple cider vinegar, remain fairly consistent in recipes, but there are many variations and other herbs/foods that can be added. Today I’ll share with you the recipe I used and honouring the folk tradition, I used what I had on hand!
Ideally you would want these ingredients to be organic when possible.
- 1 litre/quart mason jar
- 1 chopped onion (medium sized)
- 1/2 cup grated ginger root
- 1/2 cup grated horseradish root
- 2 tbsp chopped or pressed garlic (about 8-10 cloves)
- 2 tbsp dried rosemary (use fresh if you have it – a couple of sprigs)
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder (fresh can be used if you have access to the root – 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- juice from one lemon
- apple cider vinegar
- raw honey to taste
- Add the onion, garlic, horseradish, ginger, rosemary, turmeric and cayenne to your jar
- Pack them down well and pour a generous amount of apple cider vinegar over the ingredients
- Ensure that everything is well covered (with a little extra) so that the ingredients don’t spoil/rot
- If you are using a metal lid place a barrier of wax or parchment paper under the lid to keep it from rusting
- Shake well and place in a cool, dark area for 2-4 weeks (a month is best)
- Ensure you shake it daily
- After a month, strain the herbs and vegetables using either a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth
- Add 1/4 cup of honey to start, stir well and try it
- Continue to add honey until you’ve reached your desired level of sweetness
- Store in the fridge
Directions for Taking Fire Cider
Fire Cider can be taken daily (1 tbsp) as a healthy, immune boosting tonic. If you feel an illness coming on this can safely be increased to 3-4 tbsp daily. Because it is a vinegar, the opportunities for incorporating into your diet as a food are endless! Try it as part of a salad dressing, on stir fry, as part of a juice or as a tea. Mountain Rose Herbs recommends you save your veggies (after you’ve strained them) and use them in a stir fry or in homemade spring rolls.
If you are so inclined you can watch the amazing Rosemary Gladstar as she guides you through her process of making Fire Cider.