A Spicy Winter Boost

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This fire cider recipe will help you stay well this winter

The winter months are full of festive gatherings, holiday cheer…and icky colds and bugs. To keep your family well this holiday season, whip up a batch of traditional fire cider!

Fire cider is an herbal tonic that helps boost immunity and aids in digestion. As scientists have uncovered in recent years, there is a direct connection between gut health and overall wellness, and fire cider is a concoction that’s brimming with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Originally created in the 1970s by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, fire cider recipes have been iterated on and adapted ever since. While there is a base recipe that you should consider sticking with to ensure you get the most cold-fighting properties, you can always customize the recipe to your tastes. And, while fire cider has only been around for a few decades, the idea of consuming apple cider vinegar—one of fire cider’s primary ingredients—for its health benefits has been around for centuries.

Keep a batch of fire cider in your pantry (or other cool, dark space) all winter long, and either drink two ounces every day or simply keep it on standby for when the coughs and sneezes arrive in your home.

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup fresh horseradish, grated
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
10 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 tbsp. rosemary, dried (or several sprigs of fresh rosemary)
1 tbsp. turmeric, ground
Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey (plus more to taste)

Instructions
Add ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, peppers, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, and turmeric to a quart canning jar. Cover the mixture with apple cider vinegar by about two inches.

Place a piece of natural parchment paper or wax paper under the canning lid and close—the parchment will keep the vinegar from touching the metal, which could cause it to rust. Shake well. Store in a dark, cool place for one month and shake daily.

After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid as you can from the pulp while straining. Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another 1/4 cup of honey, or until you reach desired sweetness. Fire cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet.

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