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Cooking - Fire Cider Lesson

Fire Cider Lesson


“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” –Hippocrates

This is a famous quote from Hippocrates. Hippocrates was a physician (doctor) in Classical Greece, way back in 400 BC (that is over 2000 years ago). What did Hippocrates mean by this quote? He meant that people should use nutrition to promote their health.


Let’s explores some of the health-boosting properties of the ingredients we will use to make fire cider. The ingredients used in fire cider (including garlic, onions, ginger, hot peppers and horseradish) almost all have the following properties and health benefits:

-boost the immune system (thus reducing or preventing the severity of colds and flus)

-improve digestion (through fiber content, prebiotics, nausea relief, and digestive tract stimulation)

-antibacterial and antiviral properties

-rich in antioxidants which protect organs and tissues from damage by free radicals (which can cause cancer over time)

-promote heart and blood vessel health, including lowering blood pressure and lowering bad cholesterol

-pungent smell and taste which opens up the respiratory tracts


Questions and Definitions


What is fire cider?

Fire cider is an immune-boosting, digestion-enhancing health tonic comprised of ingredients like garlic, onions, ginger, and hot peppers macerated in apple cider vinegar.


Maceration is an extraction process that consists of immersing a plant in a liquid for an extended period of time

(In the case of fire cider, the plants sit in apple cider vinegar for about one month.)


A tonic is something, sometimes a medicine, which promotes or restores health to a body.


The immune system includes the organs and processes of the body that provide resistance to infection and toxins.


How is apple cider vinegar made?

First, apples are pressed into juice. Then yeast is added to the apple juice and fermentation occurs, forming an acidic liquid known as vinegar.


Fermentation is the process by which microorganisms (like yeast or bacteria) break down, or digest, sugars and turn the sugar into an acid or alcohol. Fermentation happens without oxygen (anaerobic). *Students may remember when we fermented daikon radishes in cooking class to make daikon pickles.


Equipment needed:

-a glass jar and lid

-kitchen knife

-cutting board

-a grater


Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar’s Fire Cider Recipe:


Ingredients:

  • ½ cup grated fresh horseradish root

  • ½ cup or more fresh chopped onions

  • ¼ cup or more chopped garlic

  • ¼ cup or more grated ginger

  • apple cider vinegar

  • Chopped fresh or dried cayenne pepper ‘to taste’. Can be whole or powdered. ‘ To Taste’ means should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it. Better to make it a little milder than to hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary.

  • Optional ingredients; Turmeric, Echinacea, cinnamon, etc.

Instructions:

  1. Place herbs in a half-gallon canning jar and cover with enough raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by at least three to four inches. Cover tightly with a tight fitting lid.

  2. Place jar in a warm place and let for three to four weeks. Best to shake every day to help in the maceration process.

  3. After three to four weeks, strain out the herbs, and reserve the liquid.

  4. Add honey ‘to taste’. Warm the honey first so it mixes in well. “To Taste’ means your Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet. “A little bit of honey helps the medicine go down……”

  5. Rebottle and enjoy! Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated if stored in a cool pantry. But it’s better to store in the refrigerator if you’ve room.

A small shot glass daily serves as an excellent tonic Or take teaspoons if you feel a cold coming on.

Take it more frequently if necessary to help your immune system do battle.


Sister Sadie’s Notes:

-You can make a smaller batch of fire cider, depending on the size jar you have available.

-You can also add well-washed chopped orange or lemon (with the skin) for the taste and vitamin C content.

-Students may remember how I taught them to remove the garlic peel from each clove by pressing the clove with the flat side of the kitchen knife.

-Garlic’s anti-microbial properties are activated by mincing or pressing the cloves, and then letting them sit in a bowl for 10 minutes!!! After ten minutes, you may add the garlic to the apple cider vinegar.

-If you can’t find raw apple cider vinegar, any apple cider vinegar will do fine. Similarly, feel free to play around with your fire cider recipe to make it appealing to you.

-If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me. @robinsmurov@gmail.com




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