Why We Love Ginger to Cook with Ginger and the Amazing Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a potent spice that is used in many different types of recipes around the world. Its strong flavor is always a prominent feature is Asian dishes and western baking recipes, but this unique spice has many other hidden talents that we love.
Ginger has a long history for its use in medicine, and writing dating back thousands of years can attest to its effectiveness, but does those beliefs hold true today? Let’s explore some of the health benefits of ginger.
Ginger is Good for Cardiovascular Health
Ginger can be a relatively diverse and powerful aid when it comes to cardiovascular health. On initial ingestion, raw ginger has the ability to thin blood and help the body to slow or arrest the clotting process, which makes it an effective and natural remedy to lower blood pressure. Ginger can also help in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. It can help to lower cholesterol over time, reducing the amount of conditions that contribute to high cholesterol and arterial blockages that lead to the beginnings of stroke and heart attack.
Fresh Ginger Treats Inflammation
This potent herb also has the distinct honor of being a very power anti-inflammatory. Along with it amazing effects as a blood thinner, it works in tandem with its other attributes to reduce inflammation, making a powerful remedy for cardiovascular health. When ingested, it can help reduce inflammation of the bowels to ease symptoms caused by digestive issues or autoimmune diseases. It can also be applied topically to reduce other types of inflammation on the surface of the skin and other sensitive points of interest. Surprisingly, some of the pain relief that takes place when applied topically is due to its painkilling agents that help to sooth irritated areas.
Antibacterial Properties of Ginger
It has a positive effect on bacterial populations in the body. Ginger contains many antibacterial agents that can help to greatly reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the body. This is not only good for keeping infections from reaching dangerous levels and allowing for the body to heal, but also great for the essential gut flora that lives in your digestive tract. For external application, it can be mashed into a mixture and placed in a poultice, or it can be ingested so that it can be used for its internal benefits without having a harmful effect on the good bacteria in the intestines.
How to Work with Fresh Ginger Root
If you’ve never worked with ginger before, you might find yourself slight; confused as to how you can turn this hard brown lump into the useful medicinal herb that you’ve already read so much about. You may have even thought you could just take it right from the bag and produce delicious food, but this sadly isn’t the case, so it will be necessary for you to read up on to turn this plant into an ingredient. Take a look at these tips for working with ginger root.
Peeling Fresh Ginger Root
When you first grab a piece of ginger, the main thing that you will notice is that it’s covered in a thin grey layer of skin. To use ginger properly you’ll have to make sure that you remove this skin so that the juice can escape the fleshy parts of the root. An easy way to peel ginger, is to simply take a spoon and run the rounded edges along the skin until you see the skin peel off. Run it along the lengths that you need so you can keep the rest of it as fresh as possible.
Mincing Fresh Ginger
When you want to be able to have the flavor of your ingredient easily permeate through the entire dish that you’re preparing, the best thing that you can do is mince it. They key to mincing ginger is in the size of the mince. One way that can get you a solid mine is the follow technique:
Cut the ginger into slices working across the grain. This should give you little nickel sized pieces of ginger. Pile them on top of each other at a height that allows you to cut through all of the pieces without losing your grip on the slices. Once the have been cut into the thinnest slices, it will then be possible to cut them into very small cubes. The thinner the nickel slices, the smaller the mince.
This is a way that you can add ginger flavor to your food without having to mince it into little pieces. If you stand the ginger on end and shave a thin layer off one at a time, then you will have large pieces that are easier to remove and can be discarded with ease when your food is finished.
Tips for Storing Fresh Ginger
Whenever you go to the store, one of the most frustrating things can be knowing that some of the items you buy may not be used completely before you get a chance to eat them. This can especially be true of most herbs. While not terribly expensive, some fresh herbs can catch a mold very quickly before you can try make that new dish. Ginger is an herb that can be useful for a lot of things so it’s a good idea to learn how to keep it for a while.
You might not have thought of this, but freezing ginger can be a great idea for keeping it. The fibrous material of the root will stay good for a while in the cold, and it is even easier to peel once the temperature has dropped. You can do this by cutting it into small sections similar to those that you would regularly use and place on a flat object to directly into the freezer. That’ll make sure they don’t stick to each other. Once all the pieces are good and froze, you can toss them into a bag for later use.
Soak It in Alcohol
This one can be a fun way to use ginger for your cocktail drinks later. To prep the ginger for the bath, cut it into the pieces that you are planning to use for meals, usually 1-inch cuts of the root, and place it into a mason jar of large size. Pour a good dry sherry over the ginger pieces until there’s a small amount covering the top in the jar. Place the lid on the jar securely. The direct sunlight can break down the mixture so be sure to keep it in a refrigerator of a dark cabinet that stay cool. When you cook the ginger, the alcohol will evaporate and vanish without leaving the alcoholic flavor behind.
If you’re into baking and other types of snack things, this method might interest you. Dry ginger can be very useful. To dry ginger, you will first want to begin by mincing it into very small pieces and placing it onto parchment paper. They should be small so that they’re easy to use in a variety of ways. Bake them at 150 degrees. once dry, grind them up in a grinder. You can now place the dried material in a bag!
Ways to Use Ginger
One of the best things about having a medicinal herb that is also an ingredient in food, is that you immediately know that you have something that can be utilized in a wide variety of ways. Ginger is a potent and flavorful herb that has found its way into history with a host of useful properties, but how do you know which ways it can be taken? Fortunately, there has been extensive research done on ginger, so here are some different ways you can use ginger.
Eating It Raw
The most common way to gain the amazing benefits of ginger is to simply eat it. Placing ginger in a stir fry, or eating it in a salad is as easy as simply peeling, and grating or slicing pieces of the ginger off the root until you have the amount that you need for the dish. One easy way to peel it, is to take a spoon, and scrape the outer skin off the root until you have an appropriate amount to the fleshy material exposed. Then you are free to slice or grate whatever you need. Using ginger raw may be the best way to get all of
the good stuff into your body.
Drinking It Raw
Adding ginger to a hot tea or soup is also a very quick and painless procedure. Simply follow the peeling instructions above to get to the point where you want to add the ginger to the tea. Cut a few thin slices into the liquid after the preparation is complete. Let it sit for about 4 minutes so that it has a moment to steep and cool down. You can stir it every minute or so to help agitate the ginger’s juice into the hot liquid. Once it’s sufficiently cooled enough to drink, you can sip on that for a bit.
Using It Dry
Another interesting way for you to use ginger, is to grind it into a powder and place it into capsules. This way is one of the best ways to treat stomach issues. Research has shown that taking 2 – 3 dried ginger capsules can help lessen stomach problems quickly. This is because it helps to relax the muscles in the lower stomach area and allow food to pass through a lot more easily. It will also help to reduce inflammation.
Juice and Tea Recipes That Use Ginger
Ginger is world famous for its positive influence on the digestive tract and its ability to fight inflammation. Although there are many ways to avail yourself of its many benefits, ingestion in some form seems to remain the primary way that this is done. That is why drinking ginger in the form of a tea, or adding to a juice drink have remained the most popular way to take ginger for a few thousand years. Here are some delicious and healthy juice and tea recipes that use ginger.
Lemon Ginger Apple Juice
This is a nice refreshing juice that you can easily make if you have a juicing machine. This recipe will make at least 6 cups of juice that you can have with breakfast for a week if you like. If you want to make a smaller quantity like one cup for example, simply divide the recipe amounts by 6. The only instruction that you need to know for this delicious juice drink, is to juice all of the items and serve in ice!
6 x 1-inch Slices of Lemon (wax-free)
1 and a half Inches of Fresh Ginger
Ginger Beet Juice
Juice can carry much of the health improving effects that come from the actual plant. This particular recipe contains beets, which are good for magnesium and vitamin C. but beets also have crucial components that help the body to maintain DNA and RNA. This is another recipe that will require juicing device. The recipe makes 4 servings.
2 medium oranges, peeled and cut into sections
6 kale leaves
2 medium pears or apples, cut into sections
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 large beets, peeled and cut into wedges
2 1-inch pieces of peeled fresh ginger
Regarded as one of the oldest remedies, ginger tea is a great choice for soothing the stomach, balancing gut flora, or just plain old everyday enjoyment. This is a super simple recipe that anyone can feel confident about. The fresh herbs will add a pleasant aroma that will help you to feel more relaxed while the ginger helps kill the bad bacteria and soothe your stomach.
1 cup hot water
4 1/8-inch slices fresh ginger
1 small piece of fresh mint
1 strip of lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon of honey