Warm bellies, tingling lips, and a strong immune system. That's what fire cider is all about. Brimming with fresh ingredients and steeped in raw apple cider vinegar, there is no good reason not to be drinking fire cider this season. Or maybe eating it in this Kale Crunch Salad or these Lemon Curry Chicken Thighs.
But what is fire cider exactly, and what can it actually do to help with our immune systems and wellbeing?
I'm here to give you the full scoop on what this delicious brew is, and explain what all the fuss is about. Keep reading to get the only fire cider recipe you'll ever need.
What Is Fire Cider?
Fire cider is a spiced tonic that aims to prevent and treat colds and other illnesses by boosting our immune systems. It uses a combination of herbs, infused into a fresh and potent brew of apple cider vinegar.
The specific recipe may vary from one family to the next, but the fundamental ingredients remain the same. These are:
Many people add hot peppers, whether fresh or powdered, and this can certainly give it a good kick.
With this specific lineup of ingredients, it's not surprising fire cider has the name it does! While I like to tone it down with a touch of honey, this is certainly not something we'll be drinking by the cupful.
Before we start:
This herbal information is just that, information. This blog post and I DO NOT INTEND to treat, cure, prevent any disease, or diagnose any disease or illness. This is for informational, educational, and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a physician before using herbs medicinally. These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. St. Fiacre’s Farm and Grow Create Sip assumes no liability for inaccuracies.
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What Are the Benefits of Making Fire Cider?
In order to understand any possible fire cider benefits, we'll need to take a closer look at what's going in the blend and what each of the fire cider ingredients brings to the table.
Garlic is a great immune system booster. It improves immune function, and according to some research, decreases the severity of colds and flu. This primarily comes from the chemical allicin, found in the clove's flesh.
Garlic is also antimicrobial and has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects. This means it may help your body defend against some forms of infection.
As a warming plant, ginger adds a lot of heat to the tonic. It has also been known to improve circulation, accelerate digestion, and, just like garlic, has anti-inflammatory effects. Because ginger has natural decongestant properties, it's also a wonderful herb to have on hand for developing colds and touches of flu.
Not only do onions have allicin but also a host of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which contribute to general wellness. Onions are specifically high in vitamin C, which has been proven to aid the immune system in fighting off nasty bugs.
For anyone who has eaten horseradish before, you'll be well aware of its sinus opening properties. It is a particularly strong herb that can help us breathe easier, especially if we're experiencing congestion.
Adding a Little More Spice
The most popular heat additives would be cayenne and jalapenos, both of which offer similar health benefits to one another. Cayenne pepper, for example, contains capsaicin, the heat-producing chemical. Capsaicin stimulates circulation and digestion in the body.
People don’t always use citrus in their fire cider recipes, though we like to. When we do include citrus, it's typically in the form of oranges. This boosts the tonic's vitamin C and antioxidant content while adding a little extra flavor.
Raw honey has a variety of enzymes, nutrients, and other substances that are actually destroyed during the pasteurization process. It's high in antioxidants and also functions as a prebiotic, which helps with digestion.
Honey also helps to cool down the fire cider and adds a nice sweetness to balance out the heat.
Apple Cider Vinegar
There are so many uses for apple cider vinegar that it's difficult to keep track of them all. All the other ingredients (save the honey) are infused into vinegar in this example. The vinegar absorbs all the goodness from the herbs and gives the fire cider its own bright flavor.
FIRE CIDER USES & DOSAGE
We don't need to save fire cider for any particular occasion to use or prepare it. I like to use it as a strong and tasty salad dressing and even add it to a marinade for extra flavor. However, having some on hand as the cold and flu season blow in is always a smart idea.
I like to mix my tonic with other light beverages, but we can just as easily take a neat teaspoon or two a day. If I find it helping I usually keep up on it more often to bowel tolerance. However, if you're prone to heartburn or have stomach ulcers, it's best to avoid fire cider as it will only exacerbate the issue.
Warm Your Heart Sip by Sip
Fire cider is warming, invigorating and delicious. Nothing better after a big meal or to get the day started, especially if we're feeling a little under the weather.
If you like the sound of my fire cider recipe but don't have the time or confidence to make your own, why not try our dry fire cider mix? All it takes is adding your own apple cider vinegar and leaving it to sit for two weeks (with the occasional shake in between).
I'd love to know though, have you tried fire cider before? What was your experience? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
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- Fire Cider Kale Salad
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