Glorious Ginger!

Wildcrafting Wednesday Featured Blogger Award

Ginger, Glorious Ginger! It certainly is glorious with all its culinary uses and health benefits! If you asked me a few years ago if I ate ginger, well the answer would most likely have been, “Uh not recently.” I would buy a lttle piece of ginger because a recipe called for it, use a few slices and then it would disappear into one of those veggie drawers, at the bottom of the refrigerator only to be found while cleaning out the drawer as a shriveled up, unidentifiable object. πŸ™‚

This past year, I have used so much ginger that I am going to try and plant it! Yep, saw it could be done so I sprouted a few ginger rhizomes.

little sprouts!
little sprouts!

As a recommendation from Ariston Organic, I will first plant them in potting soil in a pot, set outside and after a few weeks transplant them to the ground. I ran out of potting soil yesterday when I went on a seed planting extravaganza!!! That is because I just put together a mini greenhouse and had to fill it, of course but again ran out of dirt.

So what else do I do with ginger? I grate it into soups, stews, make tea and my absolute fave – crystallized ginger! Thanks to my friend Amanda, I cannot stop making or eating this but I have to try a healthier way of making it so today it is going to be unrefined cane sugar instead of that old white, refined crud. Oh and there is this luscious by product of crystallized ginger – GINGER SYRUP, oh my goodness, yum,yum,yum! Spicy and sweet at the same time but beware of the hotness if you do not like hot foods! Just ask my friend Christina, should of taken a picture of her trying it….I did not warn her of the hotness. sorry Christina πŸ™‚

How about benefits of ginger? Here’s just a few for you and below them will be my recipe for crysallized ginger and ginger syrup.

ginger

Ginger Root Benefits

**From Herb Wisdom**

Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems. It has also been indicated for arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, to ease tendonitis, lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots.

Ginger has been well researched and many of its traditional uses confirmed. It is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion. It is a warming remedy, ideal for boosting the circulation, lowering high blood pressure and keeping the blood thin in higher doses. Ginger is anti-viral and makes a warming cold and flu remedy. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems.

Ginger root is a medicinal herb used primarily for the treatment of Dyspepsia (discomfort after eating), this includes the symptoms of bloating, heartburn, flatulence, and nausea. It is also considered helpful as a preventative for motion sickness and as a digestive. Due to it’s antispasmodic characteristic some people have used it to help ease menstrual cramps. In some traditional systems it is credited with the ability to treat arthritis, fevers, headaches, and toothaches.

Ginger may also be taken orally as a herbal remedy to prevent or relieve nausea resulting from chemotherapy, motion sickness, pregnancy, and surgery.

Ginger has been shown to work against skin, ovarian, colon and breast cancer. But it had not been shown to halt the progression of cancer until now. However, more research is required to confirm this.

This stimulating herb is warming to the system. In her book ’10 Essential Herbs’ author Lalitha Thomas describes the properties: “The major active ingredients in ginger are terpenes (quite similar to the chemical action of turpentine) and an oleo-resin called ginger oil. These two, and other active ingredients in ginger, provide antiseptic, lymph-cleansing, circulation-stimulating, and mild constipation relief qualities along with a potent perspiration-inducing action that is quite effective in cleansing the system of toxins.”

SIDE EFFECTS- Avoid taking in acute inflammatory conditions. Although there is some evidence that ginger may actually be helpful in gastritis and peptic ulcertation, care is needed in these conditions as any spice may excaccerbate the problem. Avoid when pregnant or trying to get pregnant (large doses may have abortifacient effects). Avoid therapeutic doses if taking anti-coagulant therapy such as warfarin and seek advice if taking medication for heart problems. High blood pressure should always be monitored by a healthcare professional. Do not use if suffering from Gall stones.

Crystallized Ginger Recipe

1/4 lb sliced ginger

water to cover sliced ginger plus 1/4 cup

1/4 lb unrefined sugar

Peel your ginger, then slice with a mandolin if you have one or a knife but the mandolin does such a beautiful, quick job.

thinly sliced ginger
thinly sliced ginger

Place sliced ginger in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook uncovered for 40-45 minutes until the liquid is reduced but you still have a bit in there(about 1/4 cup)

cover slices with water
cover slices with water

Add another 1/4 cup water and 1/4 lb.Β organic sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook 10 minutes, uncovered.

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Then, strain the ginger over a bowl to catch the liquid. Let it drain really well. Save that syrup!

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Next lay a cooling rack over a jelly roll type pan and spread out your ginger slices evenly across the rack. Sprinkle raw sugar over slices. Let dry overnight. In the morning turn over all those slices and do the same to the other side with more sugar. Wait again for 8-10 hours until the slices are good and dry, be patient!

ginger drying
ginger drying

You may be able to use your dehydrator, has anyone tried this? I just wait it out, no biggie! After it feels pretty dry, I will put them in an airtight container with alittle more raw sugar and shake it. It will keep for about 2 months. Of course if you are concerned that it is not drying, you could always keep it in the fridge. I like to keep one at home and one in the car so when I get the craving or I have an upset stomach, I have it nearby.

GINGER SYRUP

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Ahhhhh…the by product of crystallized ginger. You can refrigerate this syrup(it is not thick) and use it on pancakes, in oatmeal, as a cold remedy, upset tummy or make your own ginger ale. Just add about 1 ounce of syrup to 4-5 ounce of selzer or club soda, more syrup to taste. This is just a guideline to get you started. πŸ™‚ I am drinking a glass of it right now! Mmmmmmmmm.

Ginger Tea

4-6 slices of raw ginger, more grated if you like it strong

1 1/2 -2 cups water

juice from 1/2 lime

1-2 Tablespoons raw honey

Boil the water, add the ginger, turn heat down simmer for 5-10 minutes. Strain and add honey and lime juice.

Do you have any ginger recipes to share or do you have different ways to make your crystallized ginger? Let me know!

Enjoy your day today!

Anne-Marie

Shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday

https://bellavistafarm.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/wildcraftng-wendesday/

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20 thoughts on “Glorious Ginger!

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  1. I’ve been trying to sprout ginger rhizomes, but no luck yet. I’ve got to keep them indoors, as it’s too cold outside. I’m definitely going to try your recipes, though: ginger is delicious.

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  2. I’ve always kept mine in the freezer and grated/sliced it as needed, so I guess it never occurred to me that it would sprout like a potato if left in the right environment. I’m in zone 8b, and not sure I could grow it outside, but might be a fun houseplant?

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    1. I am in zone 8b also and have several very happy ginger plants! It is not the prettiest plant though so I keep it in an out of the way spot where it gets sun but won’t drown in the winter. Go ahead and try it!

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  3. I love ginger & knew it was good for heartburn. I cut a thin slice (HOT!) and chew it. My girls are excited to make crystallized ginger (It’s so expensive I quit buying it) and the syrup will be great. I’ll definitely be trying to grow some. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Congrats on your post at Wildcrafting Wed. I just wrote about ginger recently on my blog as well. We keep ginger tea in the fridge and use it for many things; even can cook rice with it and add it to smoothies.

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  5. Hi Anne Marie! Just finished simmering some ginger for your recipe. Anxious to see how it will turn out! I’m heating my oven to its lowest setting and will then turn it off when I put the ginger slices in. Are you still teaching classes? I’ve made my own elderberry syrup and done a few other things but would love to learn more!

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    1. Hi Kathy – so happy to hear you made elderberry syrup and dong the ginger!! You should be fine with the lowest heat then turning off. My last batch actually had to go in the dehydrator because it was too damp and humid(that week of rain). Classes are done for the year but more will be posting 2016 classes soon!

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