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Halloween in the Costa Rican Rainforest!

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For Halloween this year I headed to Costa Rica with a couple of friends to Finca Luna Nueva!  It’s a unique ecotourism destination and rain forest lodge in Costa Rica dedicated to sustainable living in a tropical rain forest environment.  This working certified organic biodynamic herbal farm and estate — located adjacent to the 50,000 acre “Children’s Eternal Rainforest” conservation area — farms organic ginger, turmeric, and other tropical fruits and vegetables.Since it was Halloween, we thought it only fitting to make some organic crystallized ginger candy! Granted, picking the ginger, cleaning it, cutting it, boiling it, and then crystallizing it yourself in the rain forest of Costa Rica, on Halloween, is quite the story to tell, but you can make this incredibly special treat yourselves at home!Here’s how you do it:

Get a bunch of ginger!  I would say at least a pound.  You will need to peel it — the back of a spoon works great and is easier and safer than using a knife or a peeler!  Then slice it up.  Big or small pieces are fine —a variety of sizes is actually best.  As for thickness, shoot for approximately the width of a nickel.Once you have all of your ginger peeled and sliced, place the slices into a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes.  Drain the water and pat it dry with a clean towel. (Don’t use a paper towel!  Save a tree!)

Now you need to put the ginger in a bowl and weigh it on a scale. Remove the ginger and now add 365 Everyday Value™ Organic Sugar to the same bowl until you match the weight of the ginger.

Place the sugar and the ginger into a good-sized sauté pan and add three tablespoons of water per pound of ginger.  Now comes the patience!

You must put this on a medium heat until all the sugar liquefies, and then bring it to a simmer. You want it to boil softly.  Careful not to have the heat up too much and burn the sugar!  The water will slowly evaporate — this can take around an hour. You want to stir every couple of minutes during the whole time.

You will notice as the liquid gets thick that the crystallization is about to happen!  The sugar will start to turn from a thick syrup back into a chunky solid, as soon as you see this, turn the heat to low and keep STIRRING. Before your eyes, very quickly, you will see the sugar crystallize in the pan!  Very cool!

Remove it from the heat and scoop the ginger out of the pan onto a plate to cool.Enjoy!

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