This odd “horn shaped” spice offers a distinctive flavor. It is pungent, spicy and aromatic adding special flavor and zest to many fruit and veggie recipes.
Ginger has been prized and used in cultures all over the world for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties for at least 2,000 years.
Scientific studies reveal that ginger offers antioxidant effects and other important therapeutic properties.
It has been known for centuries as a very effective solution to symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In fact, ginger is regarded as an excellent spice for promoting the elimination of intestinal gas as well as offering the ability to relax and sooth the intestinal tract.
Ginger has also proven very effective in preventing symptoms of motion sickness and even beats out Dramamine (an over the counter motion sickness drug) in effectiveness. All symptoms associated with motion sickness including vomiting, cold sweats, nausea and dizziness are effectively reduced with ginger.
This odd looking but zesty spice offers potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols – the component responsible for ginger’s distinctive flavor. Research shows that gingerols may also inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells and has proven effective in reducing pain levels and improving mobility in those that suffer with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Because ginger is extremely safe to use and only requires a small dose, it has even been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women and proven effective for those suffering with migraine head-aches.
Depending on the variety chosen, ginger can be white, yellow or red in color and covered with a thin or thick (depending on when it was harvested – mature or young) brownish skin. The active substances in ginger are very concentrated so it does not take much to receive its beneficial effects.
Fresh ginger is far superior in flavor to dried ginger and contains higher levels of gingerols.
Mature ginger (more readily available than its younger counterpart) is readily available year around in the produce section of your favorite grocery store or super-market. It has a tougher skin than young ginger so it must be peeled before use. Once peeled it will last up to 3 weeks refrigerated while unpeeled ginger can last as long as 6 months. Be sure to choose ginger that is firm, smooth and mold free.
Ginger is so versatile that you may also find it in crystallized, candied or pickled form.
Try this healthy quick to make Cashew Ginger Crunch snack…
Cashew Ginger Crunch
1 cup dried apricots
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
Put all ingredients except for the honey into a food processor and process until roughly chopped but still with some texture. Add honey and process just long enough for it to blend.
Press into a dish or on a plate about ¾ inch thick and refrigerate for about an hour or more.
Cut into squares or any shape and enjoy!
Most veggies and many herbs and spices can be used with great success in desserts and treats and can be key to getting the required daily requirements of nutrients that your body needs.
If you are ready to expand beyond your traditional recipes and upgrade them to a more nutrient dense level you will love my newest creation…“Blended Bites.