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:
Grate or chop fresh ginger and add to stir-fries, curries, soups and stews such as this Ethiopian Style Chickpea Stew opens in a new tab.
Stir a bit of dried powdered ginger or grated fresh ginger in to hot breakfast cereal, such as oatmeal or cream of wheat or rice.
Add grated fresh ginger to salsa. Great with fruit salsa! Try this recipe for Grilled Wild Alaska Salmon with Strawberry-Cucumber Salsa opens in a new tab.
Add ginger powder to homemade granola.
Add fresh grated ginger to salad dressings. You will love our recipe for Asian Greens Salad with Ginger Miso Dressing opens in a new tab and our recipe for Tempeh and Vegetable Salad with Miso Tahini dressing opens in a new tab.
Chop crystallized ginger and add to cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, and even shortbread. We’ve added both dried and crystallized ginger to this delicious Spiced Apple Pie with Cranberries and Currants opens in a new tab.
Stir ginger into sauces, including applesauce, cranberry sauce, jams, jellies and spreads. Here is a recipe for Ginger Applesauce opens in a new tab. And here is a recipe for Ginger-Scented Orange Marmalade opens in a new tab.
Make a fresh sparkling ginger drink by grating fresh ginger, stir in a teaspoon of raw honey, pour in sparking water, add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice. Drink up!
Add fresh grated ginger or a pinch of ginger powder to orange juice or pineapple juice.
Add fresh or dried ginger to soy sauce for a dipping sauce or for a favorite recipe.
Make tea! Try this wonderful, relaxing Homemade Dried Fruit and Herb Tea opens in a new tab.
Ginger is a perfect spice for tofu or tempeh. I love this recipe for Gingery Garlicky Tempeh opens in a new tab.
Be sure to add dried or fresh ginger to hot chocolate or carob. Here is a recipe for Hot Spiced Carob opens in a new tab.
Add ginger to just about any marinade or rub it directly onto steak, chicken or chops before cooking. This recipe for Flavors of India Roasted Chicken opens in a new tab does just that!
There are always Classic Gingerbread Cookies opens in a new tab!
For the occasional dessert, you can’t beat a delicious, spicy, warm gingerbread. Here are two favorites: Spiced Gingerbread with Coffee and Molasses opens in a new tab and Apple Almond Gingerbread opens in a new tab.
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!