Like many people from Asia, I’ve always loved ginger. Besides tasting wonderful in soups, stir fries, rice dishes, beverages and desserts, it’s like a little medicine chest of natural remedies and health benefits. Traditional Indian medicine calls ginger the “universal remedy.” It’s commonly used to relieve nausea, can stimulate circulation, relax muscles, relieve pain and as an anti-inflammatory. As a child, my mother made a Chinese porridge with ginger for me, or she’d boil ginger and make it into a tea with honey to cure a cough and sore throat. I still find ginger tea very soothing to this day. There are so many ways ginger can detox, help heal or just make you feel better.
When I was at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California, I had the pleasure of meeting Abbie Leeson, Executive Vice President of the Ginger People Group. I had been looking for an organic ginger juice for the cold pressed juices I like to make, which are both delicious and beneficial. You can order the organic ginger juice online from Abe’s Market. Whole Foods has some delicious ginger drinks called Red Energizer drink, which has ginger and apple juice, and Blue Soother, which contains ginger, lemon and honey.
At the Expo, we also saw ginger in a variety of new products including ginger-flavored yogurt, tonics, teas, bars and more. According to Abbie Leeson, “More and more manufacturers are specifying ginger for their products. Ginger also lifts all other flavors in a recipe – much like salt does. We’ve been seeing it incorporated into fruit jams, sauerkraut, even cheeses. Our latest product, the Arjuna Ginger Bar uses organic ginger and organic coconut sugar, and the flavor combination is fantastic.”
The benefits of ginger are impressive. Ginger:
Ginger is so delicious, healthful and versatile, you’ll always want to keep some in your refrigerator. Fresh gingerroot has the highest concentration of active ingredients, but dried and cooked ginger maintains its healing properties. Buy the whole gingerroot, then peel the skin off just what you need and slice. Put the remainder back in the refrigerator to peel and grate for the next dish. There are a number of recipes in my cookbook, FOODTRIENTS – Age-Defying Recipes for a Sustainable Life, that contain gingerroot — savory Buckwheat Crepes, hearty Cornish Game Hen and Brown Rice Stew, exotic Shrimp and Moringa Curry, tasty Tilapia Fillets with Cilantro. Here are a couple of recipes featuring gingerroot that you’ll enjoy anytime.
Gingerroot Black Tea
¼ inch gingerroot, peeled and sliced thinly
2 black teabags
2 cups boiling water
2 rock sugar stirrers (optional)
Tangy Ginger Dressing
1 Tbs. grated gingerroot
1Tbs. soy sauce
1Tbs. mirin (seasoned rice wine)
1 Tbs. sesame oil
Dash of pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake until well blended.
This dressing is great with my Green Tea Noodles with Edamame, Spinach and Grapefruit Salad or any green salad.