Ginger is a culinary spice that is grown in many of the warmer regions of the world. It is the root of the plant, and has a brown outer skin and a yellow flesh on the inside. It is available fresh or in powder form in grocery stores throughout the year. Ginger is fairly easy to add to your diet, as the spicy flavor goes well with a variety of foods. Here are some of the ways that you can add ginger to your diet.
1. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is very easy to make and can help to relieve gas, heartburn and indigestion after a large meal. To make the tea, simply grate about 1/4 inch ginger and allow it to steep in hot water for about 10 minutes. To take the sting away, add a natural sweetener such as agave nectar or honey. You can also add other spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves for even more flavor.
2. Ginger Lemonade
To quench your thirst on a hot summer day, add fresh ginger juice, lemon juice and your favorite natural sweetener to a glass of clean water and enjoy. To obtain the ginger juice, simply grate the ginger, and squeeze the juice from the fiber using a cheese cloth.
3. Fruit Juices
The tangy taste of ginger also goes well in freshly squeezed fruit juices such as mango, pineapple, oranges, pears and grapes.
4. Salad Dressing
Grated ginger goes well in a dressing for vegetables and garden salads. Simply mix grated ginger with minced garlic, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and sea salt, and drizzle over your favorite vegetable salad.
Grated ginger, along with minced garlic, can help to bring any stir-fry dish to life. There are several ways that you can add the ginger; one way is to saute it before adding the rest of your vegetables, and another way is to sprinkle it on near the end or even after the stir-fry is done. The longer you wait to add the ginger, the richer the flavor will be.
6. Vegetable Dishes
Vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, broccoli and asparagus are great when marinated in ginger marinades. To make the marinade, mix grated ginger with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, honey and unrefined sea salt. This marinade can also be used as a dressing for steamed vegetable dishes.
7. Meat Dishes
Freshly grated ginger goes well with any meat dish, whether baked or barbecued. You can sprinkle the ginger on top before baking or barbecuing, or use it in a marinade with olive oil, lemon and other fruit juices such as orange, pineapple or mango.
8. Baked Goods
Ginger is also tasty in baked goods such as cookies, cakes and muffins. It goes great by itself, or with other aromatic spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves. Dry ginger powder usually works best in baking, but you can also use freshly grated ginger if you prefer.
When purchasing, make sure to choose fresh ginger roots that do not have mold, and have a smooth surface. You can store the fresh and unpeeled ginger in your fridge up to 3 weeks, or freeze it up to 6 months.