Monday, April 23, 2018

Recipe: Fire Cider

Some time ago I went to a fermenting workshop and got to try a whole bunch of fermented goodies brewed by the workshop facilitators. One of the things I tried was a Fire Cider, and I remember at the time thinking it was amazingly delicious. I took my booklet of recipes home, and promptly put it aside, making nothing more exciting than my constantly-on-the-brew kombucha.

Recently I was chatting to a fellow school mum and she mentioned that she'd just put on a new batch of fire cider to ferment away. I remembered my workshop, went home to dig out my notes and made a few jars as soon as I collected all the ingredients. I posted about it on my recent In My Kitchen post, and I had a few questions about it so I figured I should post about it all by itself.

Google tells me that fire cider is rooted in folk medicine and is a great remedy for winter colds and ailments. Packed full of good things, it's a great immunity booster, helps with digestion, and is delicious all in it's own right.  It does take about a month to six weeks to ferment fully, so now is a good time to get started if you want a batch. Many people take a tablespoon or two daily throughout Autumn and Winter as a preventative, and more often if actually ill. I also like to personally have it as a tea (added to hot water) or a salad dressing, and dilute it in a little juice for my smalls.

It's very flexible, so please just use the below as a guide and adjust to your tastes.

Fire Cider 
clickable link

Equipment
Jars (sterilised)
Baking or waxed paper

Ingredients
1/2 cup peeled and shredded ginger
1/2 cup garlic
2 large white onions, diced
4 lemons
4 chillies (the hotter the better in my opinion, I like jalapenos), diced
1/4 cup peeled and diced turmeric
peppercorns
sprig of rosemary
1/2 cup peeled and shredded horseradish (optional)
Apple Cider Vinegar

Method
Add everything into your jar. You can dice it, slice it, shred it, arrange them prettily if you like. For the lemons, I peeled two of them and use the zest and juice of those, then slice the others and arrange them (skin and all) in the jars. Pack everything down semi firmly and top off with the apple cider vinegar. You want everything to be under the vinegar so it doesn't go mouldy - either use the heavier roots at the top to hold everything down, or put a weight on the top (the herbs and chillies tend to float so arrange accordingly). Keep in mind that some of the roots will expand during the process, so top it all off well. 

If you're using a metal lid, line it with waxed paper so the vinegar doesn't rust it. That's it, you're done. Pop those jars somewhere out of direct sunlight and leave them alone for a minimum of 4 weeks.
It does look all pretty fermenting away in the jar
When they're ready, give the jars a shake, then strain everything out through some cheesecloth. Store the liquid in the fridge and consume as needed. You can add sweetener to taste, but I don't bother.

Just a note here. I'm all about reducing waste, and this cider is so packed full of goodness I didn't want to throw away all of those veggies and roots after I'd strained them - what a travesty! After some thinking, I decided to blitz them up in the food processor. There was a lot of it, so I portioned it out into my old pods that I used to store baby food in. This one comes with a silicon lid so it reduces the potent smells that might take over the freezer. 
Blended fire cider pulp
Smells so good all blended up - glorious colour thanks to the turmeric
Here are some other suggestions that I have in mind for using the pulp up:
  • It was delicious added into a minestrone soup (although it did add a serious kick so was not at all kid friendly)
  • Shaken up with a bit more vinegar and used as salad dressing
  • Use as a flavouring for stews or lentil loaves
  • Mixed into smoothies
  • A marinade (I'm thinking tofu and eggplant would just soak up the flavour!)
  • A sandwich condiment
I'd love to hear if anyone else makes fire cider, and how you use it (and the leftover pulp!)

2 comments:

  1. Wow that sounds really interesting - I am worried it would be too spicy for me but I could round down the chilli kick - and the pulp sounds interesting - I would be boring and use it for soups or maybe curries. And I am curious about your kombucha - I would like to try that but have never got into it and not sure how to start - am trying to remember who offered to give me some starter.

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  2. Ooh, this sounds intriguing and rather amazing! Thanks for sharing.

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