Happy 2018! What do you think about Fire Cider, Vinegar Shrubs & Tonics, Plain Ole' Apple Cider Vinegar - Cure Alls?

Various Brands of Apple Cider Vinegar with the "MOTHER"

All of these have many Valuable Health Benefits
Vinegar, said to have been discovered around 5,000 B.C., was originally used as a food preservative. In time, a number of medicinal uses became apparent, and in the 1700s it was used to treat everything from poison ivy and croup to stomach aches and diabetes. While vinegar can be made from virtually any fermentable carbohydrate, including grapes, dates, coconut, potatoes and beets, one of the most widely used is apple cider vinegar, made from apples.
Traditionally, apple cider vinegar is made through a long, slow fermentation process that renders it rich in bioactive components, and more, giving it potent antioxidant, antimicrobial and many other beneficial properties. "Mother" of vinegar, a cobweb-like amino acid-based substance found in unprocessed, unfiltered vinegar, indicates your vinegar is of the best quality.
Most manufacturers pasteurize and filter their vinegar to prevent the mother from forming, but the "murky" kind is actually best, especially if you're planning to consume it. With its wide variety of health benefits, a jug of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is easily one of the most economical and versatile remedies around. I recommend keeping it in your home at all times. 
(courtesy Mercola.com)

Fire Cider is a popular herbal folk remedy 
This tasty combination of vinegar infused with herbs is a pleasant and easy way to boost natural health processes, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days.

Because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it and what's growing around you. The standard base ingredients are apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers, but there are plenty of other herbs that can be thrown in for added kick. This year there were lots of spicy jalapenos and vibrant rosemary in the garden, so we used those along with some organic turmeric powder and fresh lemon peel. Some people like to bury their fire cider jar in the ground for a month and then dig it up during a great feast to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

Fire Cider can be taken straight by the spoonful, added to organic veggie juice (throw in some olives and pickles -- a non-alcoholic, health-boosting bloody mary!), splashed in fried rice, or drizzled on a salad with good olive oil. You can also save the strained pulp and mix it with shredded veggies like carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and fresh herbs to make delicious and aromatic stir-fries and spring rolls. We like to take a tablespoon each morning to help warm up or triple that if we feel the sniffles coming on. (source: Mountain Rose Herbs)

Fire Tonic
Fire Tonic or Cider


1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 medium organic onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
2 Tbsp. of dried rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp. organic turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. organic cayenne powder
organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of raw local honey, or to taste

Prepare your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart-sized glass jar. If you've never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus-opening experience!
Pour the apple cider vinegar in the jar until all of the ingredients are covered and the vinegar reaches the jar's top.
Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well.
Store in a dark, cool place for a month and remember to 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 liquidy goodness as you can from the pulp while straining.
Next comes the honey. Add and stir until incorporated.
Taste your cider and add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness.

Assorted Fruit "Shrubs"

Derived from the Arabic sharab, meaning “drink,” a shrub is a zingy libation
Made of fruit and sugar steeped in vinegar, people have enjoyed versions of these concoctions the world over From colonial America, where sailors used them to prevent scurvy, to modern Asia, where people sip drinking vinegars as a health tonic. The shrub was one of America’s first drinks, kept without chilling and imbibed by settlers as an alternative to water, which was often unsafe. Popular through the 18th and 19th centuries, shrubs fell out of fashion after modern refrigeration eliminated the need for shelf-stable beverages. 

Makes about 3¾ cups

9 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 8 slices each
4 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup apple cider vinegar

1. In a bowl, combine apples, sugar, and cinnamon; stir for about 5 minutes. Cover and chill for 2 days, stirring daily. 

2. Stir and strain, reserving apples to snack on. In a sanitized canning jar, mix with vinegar, cover tightly, and store chilled for up to 1 month. 

3. To serve, add ¼ cup shrub to 1 cup still or sparkling ice water, or mix with spirits, to taste.

Healthy Substitutes for Homemade Dressing
With its plethora of health benefits, keep apple cider vinegar on hand at all times. Aside from the culinary suggestions already mentioned above, here are a few more tips for how to get this healthy ingredient into your diet on a regular basis. Use it in your homemade salad dressing:
·       Try mixing apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, cilantro and tahini. Experiment with the ratios to enhance the flavor you enjoy the most
·       A simple and yummy dressing that goes particularly well with broccoli, asparagus or salad greens includes: 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, a dash of ground black pepper and a few fresh basil leaves, chopped
·       Alternatively, you can use apple cider vinegar as a substitute for other vinegars in whatever dressing recipe you're already using. If using Fire Cider, keep in mind that it does have a spicy kick to it, so substituting the full amount may make it too spicy. Start by adding just a small amount, and experiment to find the ratio you enjoy.

Sláinte Mhaith (Good Health) in 2018!


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