Thursday, September 5

Fire Cider & Kombucha for Pennies

It's getting into cold & flu season, when staying healthy will become a task (especially if you have littles)! Today, we're going to bring you two recipes - one for short-term health and one to promote long-term health.

Fire Cider
Fire Cider is a remedy for upper respiratory infections with a deep cough and severe nasal congestion. It is extremely spicy, and I don’t think there will be very many kids who will want to take this remedy. 

Take a tablespoon full every day - it's a very potent remedy, so go slowly with it. We mix it up by the half-gallon, but as you can see, currently have an entire gallon of this spicy-goodness brewing on the counter!

  • 1 part minced garlic
  • 1 part chopped whole onion
  • 1 part grated horseradish root
  • 1 part chopped & seeded jalapeno
  • 1 part grated ginger root
  • ¼- ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • Raw apple cider vinegar
  1. Place all of the herbs in a glass jar and cover with apple cider vinegar. 
  2. Make sure to put plastic between the lid of the jar and the vinegar, or else it will create a slime due to a chemical reaction between the metal and the vinegar. 
  3. Steep herbs for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily, then strain and keep in a glass jar.
If you don't feel up to making your own, you can always buy a bottle.  

When I first read about the panacea of benefits of Kombucha, I was skeptical. How could one beverage do so many things? But then I realized that it’s not like a medicine targeted at curing specific symptoms - it’s more that it promotes health. It gives your body what it needs to heal itself by :
  • aiding your liver in removing harmful substances,
  • promoting balance in your digestive system, and
  • being rich in health-promoting vitamins, enzymes, and acids.
The general consensus seems to be that with regular, daily consumption, you’ll notice improvement in immune system functioning and energy levels within about a week, the healing of more minor ailments within a month or so, and the healing of more radical illnesses within a year or so.

Kombucha is the sour-dough bread of drinks....and just as easy to make! 

 All you need is sugar, a SCOBY, unflavored tea, and a glass fermentation jar.  We saved our GTs kombucha jars (this is a great brand to try, if you're just wanting to ease into the beverage) and use them for re-bottling.  

  • Boil up some sweet tea and let it cool a bit (so you don't kill your scoby with the high heat).
  • Pour it into your continuous brew system.
  • If you want a second ferment and / or to add flavor, add some juice.
    • I usually use Ginger Soother, homemade Elderberry Syrup, or Tart Cherry Juice for my mix-in, but you can use anything with good sugars in it.  The sugar is what feeds Scooby.  (We call our scoby "Scooby.")
  • With a continuous brew system, you'll be making new tea approximately every week, depending on how much your family drinks.  The old kombucha in the system will act as the starter and aid Scooby in creating good new kombucha.  
  • You will want to occasionally clean your system.  
    • To do so, empty almost all of the kombucha (we usually bottle it in those old jars), but leave about a cup or two of liquid with your scoby (put these in a bowl). 
    • Wash out your fermentation jar and spigot well, let it dry, and then place scoby and liquid back into it.  
    • Mix up a couple of batches of tea to fill it, and then allow it to sit for at least a few days (I wait a week) to get a good ferment going on again.

I usually recommend folks to buy a bottle or two so they can see which flavors they prefer for the second ferment....there are several options out there!


  1. Do you get a good fiz in your Gts bottles? I never could and had to switch to the sling back bottles.

    1. Have you tried putting the lid on, but not tightening it all the way (so some air flow), and then letting it second ferment for a day or two? That's what I do with the GT bottles.

  2. For thr fire cider do you let it steep in the fridge or in the cupboard? And then how long is the finished product good for?

    1. I steep mine on the countertop, and have had it last up to a year after straining.


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