Ginger, a flavor I adore, comes in many forms. There is fresh ginger, the shiny, beige underground stem of the Zingiber officinale, and this gives the liveliest and most intense flavor. There is ground ginger that is easy to cook with and revs up flavor in desserts like molasses cookies and gingerbread, as well as soups, stews and marinades. Pickled ginger is paper-thin slices that often accompanies sushi but is also used in salads and fried rice. Finally, candied ginger is a delicious, chewy, sweet and spicy crystalized ginger that has been cooked in sugar. It is added to ginger candy, cookies, cakes and ice cream or just eaten plain. All forms of ginger are available year round in your grocery store.
Ginger has long been associated with many health benefits that studies are supporting.
- The National Institute of Health reports that ginger is used worldwide for various tummy problems. Ginger eliminates abdominal gas and soothes the intestinal track. I was always given ginger ale as a child when I had an upset stomach. It is also effective in easing motion sickness and seasickness. One study showed that it out-preformed Dramamine.
- Other studies show that people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in pain levels and increased mobility if they consume ginger regularly.
- It is a safe and effective remedy for morning sickness.
- Ginger may slow the growth of human colorectal cancer cells based on a study presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Research in Arizona.
- The University of Georgia did a study that showed that “daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%”.
When buying and storing ginger, fresh is preferred because it has stronger flavor and contains higher levels of the anti-inflammatory compound. Make sure your fresh ginger has no mold and is smooth and firm. Fresh ginger can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if left unpeeled. Unpeeled ginger can also be frozen for up to six months. Five 1” diameter slices of ginger contain 9 calories.
My favorite foods and drinks containing ginger are:
Ginger beer – See ASE article
Here is a great ginger tea recipe:
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- 2 cups water
- 2 slices ginger (1/8 inch thick by 1 inch in length, approx)
- dash lemon, optional
- teaspoon honey, optional
Put 2 cups of water and 2 slices of ginger in a small sauce pan, about 1 quart size. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low. Simmer 5 minutes. Strain and drink.If desired you may add a dash of lemon juice and or a teaspoon of honey to your cup after the ginger tea has been poured in the cup. The lemon juice and the honey are not to be cooked.
A recipe for delicious ginger cookies
Yummy ginger candy