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Ginger Rules!

By Alana Sugar, March 28, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
Hippocrates once said, “Let food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” These wise words of wisdom are no secret to many ancient traditions of healing. In fact, there are plenty of age-old references to many common “pantry items” such as herbs and spices for supporting health, none of which is better known than ginger. This tropical aromatic rhizome (an underground stem that sends out roots and shoots from its nodes) was famous in ancient and modern time, and used as a delicious addition to Asian and Indian dishes, desserts, beverages, candies, teas and natural health supplements. Ginger thrives in warm, tropical weather. Currently it is cultivated in India, China, West Africa, the West Indies, Jamaica, the Caribbean, and here at home in Hawaii, Florida and Texas. It’s a rare person who is not familiar with its pungent, sweet, spicy taste and earthy, woody appearance and fragrance. Used by ancient peoples as a method of preserving food, ginger was also used to support healthy digestion, and in fact, it still is! As a child, I remember my parents giving us ginger ale if we felt queasy or nauseous. Ginger can be helpful for motion sickness, too. Ginger chews are great to take along when travelling. Currently, ginger is being studied for possible benefits on heart health. The active components of ginger are phenols (chemical compounds found in plants) called gingerols and shogaols. You can find ginger in tea and other beverages; it’s also found preserved, pickled, candied, crystallized, fresh, dried, and encapsulated! Remember, when it comes to cooking with ginger, you can use fresh chopped or grated (be sure to peel it first), dried powdered, candied or crystallized. All are delicious, and many recipes combine more than one variety. Here are some favorite ginger ideas: If you are not used to spicy foods, go easy with ginger at first. Gradually build up to your personal liking. Are you a ginger groupie? Got a favorite recipe, tea or medicinal use? Let me know!

 

21 Comments

Comments

Kyung Sook Kim says ...
I use fresh ginger for my salad dressing along with orange, garlic, and lemon. I blenderize all ingredients and pour into my salad. Absolutely fantastic.
03/31/2011 1:39:09 PM CDT
Jo says ...
Proven substitute for chewing tobacco...healthier than medications and far less expensive. My friend has been munching on fresh ginger for months now.
03/30/2011 10:20:58 PM CDT
Bev Clarke says ...
Yes, I am a ginger groupie. I was born and raised in Jamica and ginger was purchased fresh every week from the marketplace. My Mom taught me all the values of ginger, spices and herbs from childwood and I have never strayed from the so called "old wives tales". My favourate night cap is: Ginger and mint tea, so, so relaxing. Take a sprig of ginger with two twigs of fresh peppermint sprouts and bring to a boil in 6-8ozs of water. Turn heat off and let draw for ten - 15 minutes Sweeten with honey to taste. Good night cap - ginger is also ecellent for relieving gas in our stomachs when a meal is missed.
04/01/2011 5:02:59 AM CDT
Bev Clarke says ...
Yes, I am a ginger groupie. I was born and raised in Jamaica and ginger was purchased fresh every week from the marketplace. My Mom taught me all the values of ginger, spices and herbs from childwood and I have never strayed from the so called "old wives tales". My favourate night cap is: Ginger and mint tea, so, so relaxing. Take a sprig of ginger with two twigs of fresh peppermint sprouts and bring to a boil in 6-8ozs of water. Turn heat off and let draw for ten - 15 minutes Sweeten with honey to taste. Good night cap - ginger is also ecellent for relieving gas in our stomachs when a meal is missed.
04/01/2011 5:04:23 AM CDT
Naoko Shibusawa says ...
Gin-Gins: a ginger-infused gin drink Grate fresh ginger (a good sized branch-->maybe 2 cups, grated ginger) into limeade concentrate (3 or 4 cans). Let sit, but timing not terribly important. In individual glasses, fill with ice and strain ginger-lime syrup (1/4 c) into them. Add a jigger of gin. Fill to top of glass with seltzer water. Garnish with fresh mint. You can also add a bit of the grated ginger soaked in limeade concentrate into the drink, if you don't mind drinks with pulp. Mix & enjoy. Also good "virgin" w/o the gin. That's the way my kids like it.
03/30/2011 7:15:57 PM CDT
Laura Mitchell says ...
You forgot to mention that Ginger is also an excellent anti-inflammitory! Thanks for all the great recipes, you are right, Ginger rules! Laura
03/30/2011 7:57:07 PM CDT
Rachael says ...
Beans and Greens 1/2" to 1" minced ginger 1-2 lg cloves garlic 1/4 - 1 t Sriracha hot sauce (if desired, to taste) 1/2 to 1 can salt free beans (any, though I favor cannellini) 1 bunch greens, chopped into 1/2" ribbons (kale, chard, collards, endive, mustard, spinach) Sauce 1T tahini 1T rice vinegar Hot sauce and more ginger if desired Dash Bragg's Liquid Aminos or low salt soy sauce Saute beans, in a wok or large enough pan to accommodate lots of greens, using some bean liquid, with garlic, ginger, and hot sauce. Add greens and stir. May need to add more bean liquid if the greens need a longer cooking time. Saute until cooked as desired, depending upon greens. (For beginner kale users, it may be more palatable to parboil the kale first: chop, then boil in water to cover for 5-7 minutes, until it reaches a texture you approve of, rinse with cold water to stop cooking, then add to bean when the beans are hot.) Sauce: Mix ingredients somewhat, microwave 10 seconds to soften, mix again and add water and microwave to make a thinnish sauce that you can dribble over the greens. Microwave again to heat, adding water as necessary for consistency. Serves 2-4, as a main dish or as a side. Serve the beans and greens and pass the sauce (a spoonful does the trick!) This is a low salt recipe: if you are still using salt, you may need to add salt!
03/30/2011 9:07:04 PM CDT
Peggy R says ...
What is the best way to store fresh Ginger?
03/31/2011 9:34:27 AM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Peggy: Fresh ginger will last a few days if you leave the peel on. I find that it's best left out on the counter (on a plate or in a dish) since the refrigerator tends to dry it out more quickly. Simply trim off the dry edges to reveal the moist parts underneath.
03/31/2011 1:49:45 PM CDT
Katie says ...
This recipe is so light and refreshing, and The Ginger People make a ready-to-use grated ginger that's certified organic. It really saves your knuckles! You can also use the vinegar in the jar to add an extra zip to the dressing. Zesty Ginger Coconut Dressing: 1/2 cup coconut milk 2 tbsp fresh lime juice 2 tsp garlic oil 1 seeded and minced Serrano pepper 1 thinly sliced scallion 1 tbsp thinly sliced mint 2-3 tbsp of The Ginger People Organic Grated Ginger 1/4 tsp salt dash of red pepper Directions: Whisk liquid ingredients together thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients to the mixture in a spill proof container and shake until well blended. Refrigerate.
03/31/2011 3:09:34 PM CDT
Megan says ...
I just purchased The Ginger People's Organic Ginger Syrup at Whole Foods in Monterey and I am hooked! I use it in my hot tea as a sweetener, and tonight I am going to use it to make Glazed Ginger Chicken!
03/31/2011 3:12:02 PM CDT
Brandy says ...
Ginger is fantastic for morning sickness! I am able to make it through with using The Ginger People Ginger Chews that I purchased from my local Whole Foods.
03/31/2011 3:56:33 PM CDT
Charlotte says ...
What about ginger in smoothies. My favorite is: 1 mango 1 teaspoon fresh ginger a bit of plain yogurt for thickness crushed ice fresh lime juice to taste blend and enjoy!
04/01/2011 9:38:55 AM CDT
Robin says ...
You can keep fresh ginger in the refrigerator for at least a week, maybe more. You'll need to trim off the dried exposed end each time you use it. However, fresh ginger stores well in the freezer. Just trim off what you think you will use in the next few days then stick the rest in a zip lock and pop into the ice box. When you are ready to use it, just let it defrost for about 10-15 minutes and you can grate it still frozen, peel and all. When you are done just pop it back in the freezer. It will last at least 2-3 months this way. I do it all the time!
04/04/2011 5:37:19 PM CDT
crystallized ginger says ...
I was looking for anything that makes use of crystallized ginger because I have them stocked here in my pantry. Great recipes!
04/28/2011 10:08:32 PM CDT
selwyn colby says ...
Interested in your Gin Gins (ginger candy) small nuggets of ginger-- Does your Wheaton store in Danada carry this product. That is Wheaton, Illinois Danada Square location. Also, what is the price per package? Thank you
10/17/2011 10:38:39 AM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Selwyn Colby Those are super tasty! Since our product offering differs from store to store based on a number of variables, the best way to get the most accurate information on the Gin Gins and their price is to reach out to the Wheaton store directly. I've included a link to their contact information below. A Team Member from that store will be happy to share this information with you. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/company/contact_direct.php?tlc=WTN
10/17/2011 4:30:14 PM CDT
Amy says ...
The ginger HSH dressing at the salad bar is my all time favorite dressing! Is there a recipe available online?
01/07/2013 7:26:43 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@AMY - I wasn't able to find a recipe on our main website but I would suggest that you reach out to your local store. If the Prepared Foods department has a recipe, they'll be happy to share it!
01/09/2013 4:25:41 PM CST
Stefan Jasiukiewicz says ...
I live in the UK and while I was on vacation in the USA my wife had a cocktail that had a dehydrated ginger pellet or tablet dropped in so it would fizz, I was told that we could get them at your stores, we had to come home before we could get to a store there and thought we would be able to find them over here, no luck, do you do a mailing service so I could get hold of this product or maybe let me know the manufacturer to try and find them here. Many thanks, Stefan.
08/04/2014 11:56:00 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@STEFAN - My apologies for the confusion. Our buying is done at the store/regional level. I would suggest reaching out to one of the stores in your area to see if they can special order this for you!
08/04/2014 2:59:27 PM CDT