Monday, September 10

Good Eating Monday: Ginger!

Today's common spice topic is: Ginger
It's sold as either a ground spice in the spice section or as a fresh root in the produce section. Both types are equally good.

Ginger is a fantastic cold fighter.
I like to keep some kind of ginger tea on hand during cold season. It helps the body fight the cold basically.
I like the ginger-peach combination whenever I can find it.
Also you can grate a touch of fresh ginger into your own tea mug and get the same benefit.
So, if you feel a cold coming on, break out the ginger tea.

Ginger is also a good treatment for motion sickness & sea sickness.
Just buy some gingersnap cookies and have them on hand when your travel or take sea trip or ride that wild amusement park ride.
A few cookies and you'll feel fine.
I know this because I was on a local boat trip in the Gulf and I was horribly sea sick, but the crew kept gingersnaps on hand and after eating about 6 or 7, I felt TERRIFIC!
It made me feel human again!

Ginger has also been tested as helpful in relieving morning sickness, post-surgical nausea & post chemo-therapy nausea.
In testing, an extract of ginger, called zerumbone, has proven to be a "tumor suppressor," meaning it stops cancer in it's tracks.
 
[cited from "Healing Spices" by Dr. Pharat B. Aggarwal]
Where do you find Ginger?
Fresh ginger is common in most oriental and Indian cooking.
It's the main ingredient in beverages such as "Ginger Ale."
(You could drink that when you have a cold or nausea also.)
 Ground ginger is a common ingredient in numerous, delicious baked goodies, like pumpkin pie, gingerbread men, cakes, cookies, ginger snaps, cheesecakes and more.
If you have "Pumpkin Pie Spice," on the shelf---that has ground ginger it!
It can also be purchased in crystallized form in the spice section.

Buy & Storing Fresh Ginger Root:
Peel it with a peeler, put in freezer baggie and keep in freezer.
To use, just pull it out, grate what you need, then return to freezer.
And actually, you don't have to absolutely peel it---I have some African  ginger roots that seemed too small to peel, so I just grate it like it is. The skin stays on top of the grater and I just dump it off every so often into the sink. The part I want goes through the grater.
How to get more Ginger into your life:
Sprinkle a little ground ginger onto your coffee ground in the coffee maker before you make it, along some cinnamon.
I like to grate fresh ginger over my rice on my plate whenever I'm serving rice for dinner.
Grate fresh ginger into any stir-fry.
Make some muffins, breads or cookies with ginger as an ingredient.
If you like soda, switch to more ginger-ale.
Recipe for A Fantastic Gingerbread Snack Cake: 
                              
                                     Ever Fresh Gingerbread

                                                     
Preheat oven to 350.
Ingredients:


1 1/2 cups sifted, all-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Ginger
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Cloves
1/2 cup shortening (either Margarine or Butter)
1/2 cup firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup Molasses
1/2 cup boiling water
Directions:
Sift together the dry ingredients. Cream  together either butter or margarine with brown sugar; add egg; beat well. Combine molasses with boiling water & stir into creamed mixture. Now add dry ingredients; beat until just smooth and well mixed. Pour into a 8x8 square baking pan and bake 35 minutes. Test for doneness. Let cool slightly and cut into squares. Serve warm with whipped cream. (Makes either 9 or 12 squares depending on how you want to cut it. Recipe is from the Ever Fresh Brand of Brown Sugar label.)
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

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