biscuits and such | Fire Cider
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Fire Cider

I put a lot of stock into traditional remedies. When all is said and done I believe in a balance between the amazing discoveries and innovations of science and technology and the herbal medicinal remedies that are the result of hundreds and thousands of years of human evolution and experimentation. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, black or white, it can be a blend- the old AND the new, all working together to keep us healthy and strong.

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This school year I’ve maintained a steady cough/cold since approximately September 1st. It’s fluctuated from really bad to barely noticeable to full blown flu, and I expect it’ll stay with me until about June. It’s one of the consequences of me being a preschool teacher- I get sick and stay sick for most of the year. Even after more than a decade working with kids I still catch everything, so do my best to keep my body strong so that I am able to fend off as much as possible.

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In the past this has meant combining plenty of fermented foods and probiotics (sauerkraut and water kefir are two of my standards) with a diet of organic whole foods, a solid amount of garlic, and immune boosters such as elderberry. This year, after a particularly horrible round of the flu made it through our classroom (and town and country and, it seems, world), I decided it was time to step up my game a bit and brew a little fire cider.

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Fire cider is a traditional recipe with deep roots in folk medicine. Like any dish with a long history there are countless recipes, ingredients, and techniques available, as many as there are Appalachian grandmothers. The touted benefits are also incredible- it is antibacterial, decongestive, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti fungal, it promotes circulation and helps with nausea and gut health. It’s a fermented miracle tonic that tastes damn good on its own and even better splashed on top of a bloody mary.

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A few years ago I was complaining to my Grammy about my chronic ear infections. Her response? “I’m not into all that hippie dippy shit but put some olive oil in it” (ever the good Sicilian). I am into all that hippie dippy shit and so I threw some olive oil right in my ear. Worked like a charm (as does vinegar). My point is, even if you’re not the type of person that has a cupboard full of tinctures, it certainly can’t hurt to add a few herbal remedies to your routine. In this age of rapidly mutating super viruses maybe what we all need is the power of fermented superfoods.

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Fire Cider

The beautiful thing about Fire Cider is that you can adapt the recipe to what you have on hand, or what herbs and ingredients you’d like to take advantage of. Use this recipe as a starting off point and experiment!

1 head of garlic, peeled

3″ fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 lemon, peeled and quartered

1 grapefruit, peeled and quartered

1/4 cup grated horseradish (fresh if you can find it)

1/4 cup local honey with honeycomb

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

Raw apple cider vinegar

Combine all of your ingredients in a large jar or glass bottle. Top with apple cider vinegar and shake well. Ferment in a dark place, shaking once per day, for at least 4 weeks and up to 6 months. Strain and add raw honey to taste. Drink straight or mix into drinks or food.

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  • pam (Sidewalk Shoes)

    25.02.2015 at 10:07 Reply

    I am all about stuff like this!!! I will definitely be making this.

  • Miranda @ Cookie Dough & Oven Mitt

    25.02.2015 at 11:08 Reply

    Grammy knows all! I’m obsessed with vinegar and really want to try this recipe to see how it tastes. It will definitely be a plus if it makes me feel awesome though.

  • Lauren @ Wicked Spatula

    25.02.2015 at 13:39 Reply

    Haha…Hippy Dippy Shit. Exactly what I’m into too. I completely agree though that it’s not all or nothing. Modern science and folk medicine can work together for the good. I LOVE this recipe. Definitely adding it to my medicine cabinet. I keep ear infections, I have since I was little but after a scuba adventure turned sour my ears have never been the same. I’m totally trying the olive oil remedy! Do I just place a few drops right in my ear?

    • Elena Rosemond-Hoerr

      25.02.2015 at 16:07 Reply

      When I’m using vinegar I’ll just dump a few drops in there but with olive oil I dip a qtip in the oil and swab. Works like a charm!

  • eat good 4 life

    25.02.2015 at 19:11 Reply

    Holy wow, this is the bomb. I would love to have this just straight from the bottle like shots. I must make this and soon!

    • Elena Rosemond-Hoerr

      26.02.2015 at 10:31 Reply

      I’ve been taking sips of it every morning and holy WOW it’s a great way to kick start my day!

  • Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire

    25.02.2015 at 19:12 Reply

    I love remedies like this. I have a tea that I love to use when I am sick. I need to keep this on file the next time I’m sick to try out. And your photos are beautiful!

  • Barrett

    25.02.2015 at 19:36 Reply

    i think it sounds delicious and could be a fun mixer for shrub cocktails!

  • Kim (Feed Me, Seymour)

    26.02.2015 at 05:49 Reply

    This seems so perfect for this time of year.

  • Kimberly

    26.02.2015 at 07:59 Reply

    I too strive for a balance between traditional remedies and modern-day medicine … and this sounds like a great herbal remedy to me!

    And thanks for the tip about olive oil and the ears … my hubby has ear wax issues that drive him nuts, and I bet olive oil would help here too!

  • Mandie @ Mandie's Kitchen

    26.02.2015 at 08:22 Reply

    Wow. This is definitely a healthy “cold fighting” cider! We made a Fire Juice without any fruits or sweeteners – just tons of the hottest pepper around, and vinegar, horseradish, ginger, garlic, and who knows what else! I took some every day while I was sick and it kept my illness short, but goodness, that stuff burns like fire!

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    26.02.2015 at 15:05 Reply

    I LOVE fire cider! I actually take a quick shot of it every single morning :)

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    16.03.2015 at 09:03 Reply

    […] 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or fire cider) […]

  • Mollie

    05.06.2015 at 11:10 Reply

    Intriguing! The past few years I’ve done halved garlic cloves in equal parts raw honey and soy sauce for an immune booster. I love the idea of this – more fire power!

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