Gotch’a – we’re not talking “that Ginger”, we’re talking about a gnarly root that began it’s history some 3,000 years ago. From Sanskrit it translated to “horn root”. While it was very popular with the Romans it nearly became lost after the Roman Empire fell; but thanks to Marco Polo bringing it back from the East it regained popularity in Europe. As a matter of fact, Queen Elizabeth I is credited with the invention of gingerbread men which became and remain a favored Christmas time treat!
Today, most of the ginger used comes from Jamaican ginger. Other areas of the world who supply this wonderful spice are India, Africa and China. You can easily grow ginger in a flower pot at home but just be sure to bring it inside when the temperature begins to drop.
Healing Properties —
Helps aid digestion – Not only does it break down proteins to rid the stomach and intestines of gas. It also aids in the digestion of fatty foods.
Helps regulate blood pressure – Ginger stimulates circulation and relaxes the muscles surrounding blood vessels, facilitating the flow of blood throughout the body.
Treats nausea brought on by morning sickness, motion sickness and other stomach ailments – Ginger has been widely shown to prevent as well as treat motion sickness, relax the stomach and relieve the feeling of nausea. Lowers LDL Cholesterol – Studies prove that ginger can lower cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption in the blood and liver. Its extract can help reduce the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body, reducing the risk of developing heart disease. For a wonderful ginger tea, just steep a few thin slices in hot water for 4 to 6 minutes, add lemon or sweetener if you wish and enjoy.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy ginger is in this great soup recipe. Each Fall it is the first thing I make when the weather begins to turn cold.
Ingredients: 1 – 15 oz. Can Pumpkin – plain, no seasoning or spices 3 Cups Chicken Broth/Stock 1 Cup Milk 1 large onion 1 Tbs Grated Ginger 1 tsp Curry powder 1 Clove Garlic Salt to taste
Take the finely chopped onion, the 1 Tbs of grated ginger, 1 tsp. curry powder and the garlic. Sauté in a combination of about 3 Tbs of olive oil with 1 Tbs of butter (slightly more if needed). As the onions soften, add 1/4 cup chicken broth and simmer till there are brown bits on the bottom of the kettle.
Take another 1/4 cup broth or water and de-glaze the kettle. Repeat this till the onions are nice and evenly browned – might take about 20 minutes. Now add the remaining chicken broth/stock (approx. 3 cups), the can of pumpkin and the one cup of milk. Stir and bring to a slow boil — stirring very frequently to keep from burning on the bottom.
Once that is done, serve immediately. (If you like, serve with a dollop of sour cream and a few roasted pumpkin seeds on the top.) For a smoother soup I use a stick blender to ensure all the onions etc. are blended. You can also use a regular blender and blend in batches as well.
By the way, to store your Ginger put it on a boat for a three hour tour…whoops, sorry wrong ginger again. Wrap your ginger in paper towel and seal in tightly in a plastic bag or wrap. This will keep it nice for about 3 weeks. You can also do the same and freeze it and it will last up to 6 months! Enjoy and as always, if you have a favorite way to use ginger, let me know!