September 11, 2015
What is Fire Cider? Fire Cider is a blend made with raw apple cider vinegar, horseradish, garlic, onions, ginger, hot peppers and raw honey. The name Fire Cider comes from Rosemary Gladstar, who started making and sharing her adaptation of this tonic back in the 1970's. Rosemary has written a number of books that include her Fire Cider recipe. She has been sharing this recipe and the name Fire Cider with people for over 30 years, so it came as a great shock when the herbal community recently learned of a company in Massachusetts having trademarked the name Fire Cider. The herbal community is responding by asking folks to sign a petition to revoke this trademark as well as boycotting the product until this issue has been resolved. We do hope this situation will be quickly and respectfully addressed, so herbalist can continue selling their version of Fire Cider.
[UPDATE: After a five-year fight in the courts, we are proud to announce that the term fire cider has been ruled generic and cannot be trademarked!]
Herbalist and farmers from all over the country have been make this blend for many years, adding their own twist to the recipe. Here at Herbal Revolution we like to add hyssop, turmeric, nasturtiums, burdock root, dandelion root, lemons, rosemary, thyme and sometimes lemongrass and elecampane to the basic recipe.
Fire Cider has traditionally been used to help ward off a colds, flu, congestion, head colds, sinus issues, digestive woes, aching joints, etc. It is a wonderful way to warm the body, support and boost the immune system, promote healthy flora in the digestive system, aid in removing toxins and balance the ph level in the body. It’s high in minerals and vitamins and is great way to keep our bones and teeth strong and healthy.
Here in mid-coast Maine we are fortunate to have the oldest running organic apple orchard, Sewall’s Orchard. Bob Sewall the owner, planted every tree on his property over 20 years ago and has been caring for them since. He has been a huge advocate and voice for small organic farmers here in the state of Maine, working closely with Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association for years. I use his raw apple cider vinegar for our blend of Fire Cider.
When making a Fire Cider you can find almost all of the ingredients at your local farmers market and apple orchards. If you don’t have access to any local farms or markets then these items can easily be found at your local grocer as well. Making Fire Cider is easy, fun and comes in handy during the winter months.
I highly encourage folks to make their own Fire Cider, to be creative, support your local small organic farmers and enjoy the rewards of this nutritious spicy mix. Below you can find a Fire Cider recipe with great thanks to Heather Bruntil for creating such a beautiful poster and writing up a great blog on Fire Cider as well.
There are lots of ways to use your Fire Cider once its ready, personally I LOVE to cook with it. I use it when making salad dressings, ketchup, salsa, spicy peanut sauce and lots of other sauces, sautéed vegetables, wilted greens, soups, and for deglazing pans when cooking. I like to sip on it and add it to bloody marys as well.
Chickpea and Sweet Potato Patties with Tahini Yogurt Dressing adapted from the book: Recipes for Repair by Gail and Laura Piazza
1 cup sweet potato, mashed
1 cup chickpeas, mashed
¼ red pepper, finely chopped
2 scallions finely chopped
pinch of paprika
2 tbsp mayo
I like to roast the sweet potato with olive oil, salt pepper, maybe even a little cumin seeds. I like a lot of garlic, the original recipe calls for 1 clove so use what you like and chop the garlic up nice and fine and saute with olive oil, salt and pepper. I also sauteed the peppers with olive oil, pepper and a little Fire Cider. Mix all the ingredients together, add the finely chopped cilantro and Fire Cider to taste, just be cautious to not make the mixture to wet. Let it set in fridge for 30 minutes. The original recipe called for making the mixture into small patties and dredging in almond flour and pan fry. I found this to not work out so well so I omitted the almond flour and baked them instead on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper at about 350' . I would check on them every so often flipping them over, honestly, I wasn't really paying attention to the time I just eyed them until they had a nice golden brown coating, which roughly seemed like 15 minute for both sides.
For the sauce I used about 1-2 tbsp of The Milk House Greek Yogurt, 1 tbsp of tahini, olive oil, salt pepper, Fire Cider, lemon juice and finely chopped cilantro, dash of raw honey. The ingredients that don't have a measurement, I suggest adding to taste. I suggest this even with the ingredients that I do give measurements for as well. I place everything in a bowl except for the olive oil and I blend together using an immersion blender and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. I am always tasting and adding what flavors that I desire the most.
I serve this dressing over the patties topping it off with cilantro.
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