Aromatic, pungent and spicy ginger adds a special flavor and zest to any dish. An extraordinary spice with health benefits! Fresh ginger root is available year round in the produce section of your local market. Technically ginger is a herb. The rhizome (underground stem) is used as a culinary spice and also as a medicine. It can be used fresh, dried and powdered, as a juice or even as oil! I love the taste and flavour of ginger. Grew up eating it in every dish possible and now I find various ways to use it in my diet. Just sharing with you some medicinal properties of ginger, ways to use, storage and getting the most out of this magical herb.
Ginger had a long shelf life, but if stored too long it can get shrivelled, dry and lose its pungent power. To maximise life of your ginger, refrigerate it. Ginger needs to breathe, so do not ziploc! Wrap in a paper towel or put in a brown bag and store in refrigerator for upto 3 weeks. If you want to keep it longer, just freeze it whole. Chop into smaller chunks and use as needed. You can also puree ginger with some vinegar or lemon and store in refrigerator. The shelf life increases and you can use pureed ginger in your dishes and smoothies.
Magical properties !
Nausea or Vomitting : Ginger contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and inflammation. The chemicals work primarily in the stomach and intestines, but they may also work in the brain and nervous system to control nausea. Add a little grated ginger to lemon juice or seltzer water to ease nausea.
Digestion : Ginger stimulates digestion by speeding up the movement of food from the stomach into the upper small intestine. It improves low gastric motility. Add it to warm tea or try my ginger-lemon-baking-soda drink to ease digestion.
Strengthens Immune function: Ginger has been found to help balance the immune system to restore it to proper functioning and enhance the protective functions of the immune system. It is specially beneficial in cold and flu prevention and treatment.
Migraine Relief : Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels. Try some fresh grated ginger in your tea or smoothie next time you have a headache.
Cancer prevention : Ginger is said to be an effective anti-inflammatory, even when used in small quantities. It has been linked to ovarian and colon cancer. Ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells and its active ingredient gingerols have been shown to kill cancer cells.
Ways to use ginger !!
- Blend ginger with water ( 8 oz fresh peeled ginger + 3/4 cup water ) and freeze making ginger cubes. Remove once set and store in ziplocs. Use in smoothies, cooking, teas when needed.
- Make a ginger paste and store in a bottle in the fridge to use in your curries, drinks, tea etc.
- Grate ginger into stir fry, marinades, soups, smoothies or teas. Asian recipes use a lot of ginger.
- Use dry ginger powder in your marinades or spice mix. Bake cookies, bread etc with ginger powder.
- Juice fresh ginger into juices. Tastes delish and gives you that special ginger power!
- For sweets or as a topping for fresh fruit, try using candied or crystalized ginger (cooked in a sugar syrup and coated in granulated sugar) or preserved ginger (marinated in a sugar-salt mixture). Make your own crystalized ginger using agave nectar and honey ( a healthier version)
- Pickle peeled slices of ginger root by placing them in a jar and pouring dry white wine or vinegar over them. Refrigerate and store for up to six months. Use the ginger flavored wine as a salad dressing or meat marinade. Pour additional wine in the jar to keep remaining ginger moist and return to the refrigerator. The pickled slices can also be used as a condiment in sandwiches, with sushi or other dishes where you use pickles.
- My favorite way to have ginger : Ginger Tea !!!
Some of my Ginger Friendly Recipes !
For more ginger recipes, type ginger into the search box above !! If you have any creative ways to use ginger, would love to hear from you !