Improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity with this spicy gut-healing Elderberry Fire Cider Recipe.
As I got to thinking about this post I couldn't help but notice the irony and contrast of my modern life here in the US as I click away on my keypad, versus what I grew up with in Romania in the 1980s. Don't get me wrong, we had electricity, running water, and such, but certain things were just done a little differently.
For example, when I was young and had a fever, my mother would frequently soak a pair of socks in vinegar, put them on my feet, and layer them with two more pairs of socks. Believe it or not, this worked every time to bring down the fever. Another one that baffled me was putting cold slices of potato on my forehead when I had a bad headache. Surprisingly this worked too. And perhaps the stinkiest one but nonetheless again, effective, was putting a clove of garlic directly in my ear when I had an earache and covering it with a warm damp cloth. These may all seem crazy and ridiculous, but there is something to be said about the effectiveness of plants on the body. So this post is an homage to my mom's restored love of a tradition she grew up with by making her elderberry fire cider.
Fire cider, as I've learned, is used to improve the immune system, and the digestive system and can lower inflammation throughout the body. My primary goal for making this fire cider is to improve digestion and reduce inflammation. But while looking for concrete scientific literature supporting fire cider benefits, I came up short. However, I wholeheartedly believe the benefits lie in the sum of the potent ingredients combined that make up this fiery drink.
This will also likely be a "living" post that I may come back to and update as I embark on this journey and will also be updating the finished product in a month. But if you'd like to join me on this journey now, let's get to making this fire cider.
Ingredients In Elderberry Fire Cider
Here are all the ingredients you will need for making apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Chances are you are no stranger to apple cider vinegar, which is known to be beneficial for weight loss, has anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties, and is able to manage blood sugar levels.
You can find elderberry products pretty much everywhere you look, from syrups to gummies, to teas. That's because they are anti-oxidant rich, and contain high amounts of vitamin C. Elderberries can also be beneficial for improving constipation, stress, and respiratory infections. If you don't have elderberries or are unable to find them, this recipe will be just fine without them.
Garlic has been used for medicinal properties for thousands of years and its benefits have not changed. It has been used for everything from treating the common cold to lowering blood pressure, to intestinal bacterial infections, improving cognitive function, and more.
A root that I simply can't live without. Ginger is not only delicious and used in a variety of foods and teas, but it has some impressive health benefits. You can find a complete post on the benefits of ginger here.
Recognizable for its spicy taste, horseradish is more than just a root. Like garlic and ginger, it can lower inflammation, is high in antioxidants, helps to improve respiratory health, and has antibacterial properties.
Turmeric And Black Pepper
And of course, one of the most popular roots that is familiar to everyone - turmeric. The research continues to pour out on the benefits of turmeric - it can help with reducing inflammation, improving focus, reducing pain, improving depression symptoms and so much more. The important part is to always use turmeric with black pepper otherwise it won't actually be absorbed by your body. That's why I lumped the two together.
While not something I use frequently, I learned that cayenne pepper is an excellent source of antioxidants and that the compound capsaicin, found in cayenne, reduces inflammation and helps cardiovascular health. It also improves digestion by boosting the good bacteria in the gut. There is also some evidence that cayenne pepper helps to relieve headaches.
Lemon And Orange
I used citrus in this fire cider because it adds flavor and flavonoids, along with vitamin C. Citrus helps to improve digestion and reduces inflammation along with many other benefits.
You're probably seeing the trend now with everything anti-inflammatory on this ingredient list, which cinnamon also is. It contains antioxidants, can reduce blood sugar and some animal studies suggest it helps with weight loss.
Why You'll Love This Elderberry Fire Cider
1. It's anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant rich, gut-healthy, and immune-supportive.
2. Paleo, vegan, whole-30, and gluten-free.
3. A good way to warm the body during the colder season.
4. Makes a big batch that lasts a long time.
Let's Make It
Step 1. If you're using 2 jars divide all ingredients among them. If you're using just one, add all ingredients to the jar.
Step 2. Stir all ingredients and cover the jar with a piece of parchment paper and secure the lid. The reason I'm using parchment paper is to protect the metal from corroding. Store the jars at room temperature for 4 weeks.
Step 3. Every day or every other day gently rotate the jar in your hand in a swirling motion. Don't shake the fire cider.
Step 4. Once the 4 weeks are up, strain the fire cider into bottles or glass containers of choice and refrigerate the elderberry fire cider. Optional, when you store the cider, you can add ½ cup of raw honey but if you're vegan skip this step.
Top Tips + FAQs
How Do You Use Elderberry Fire Cider?
You can combine it with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and make a vinaigrette and drizzle it over salad, take it straight or dilute it with water. You can also use it in soups and sauces.
What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Elderberry Fire Cider?
The main reason for making and drinking fire cider personally is for gut health and to reduce inflammation in the body. Despite research studies, the effect of all the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich ingredients makes this elderberry fire cider the perfect food medicine.
How Much Elderberry Fire Cider Should You Drink?
I recommend starting with ½ teaspoon and if you tolerate it well, moving up to 1-3 teaspoon a day.
How Do You Store Fire Cider?
Once strained, you can store the fire cider in the refrigerator for 6 months.
What If You Don't Have Elderberries?
You can skip the elderberries in this recipe if you don't have them. The fire cider will still be beneficial without the elderberries.
More Recipes You Might Like
- 1 head of garlic, cloves smashed and peeled
- ½ cup peeled and sliced ginger
- ½ cup chopped horseradish
- 1 lemon, chopped into pieces
- 1 orange, chopped into pieces
- ½ cup dried elderberries
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 32 ounces apple cider vinegar
- optional: ½ cup raw honey
- If you’re using 2 jars divide all ingredients among them. If you’re using just one, add all ingredients to the jar.
- Stir all ingredients and cover the jar with a piece of parchment paper and secure the lid. The reason I’m using parchment paper is to protect the metal from corroding. Store the jars at room temperature for 4 weeks.
- Every day or every other day gently rotate the jar in your hand in a swirling motion. Don’t shake the fire cider.
- Once the 4 weeks are up, strain the fire cider into bottles or glass containers of choice and refrigerate the elderberry fire cider. Optional, when you store the cider, you can add ½ cup of raw honey but if you’re vegan skip this step.
1. Once strained, you can store the fire cider in the refrigerator for 6 months.
2. I recommend starting with ½ teaspoon and if you tolerate it well, moving up to 1-3 teaspoon a day.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 250 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 4Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g