Ginger is a natural spice, which you can add to your everyday diet. Even though it is a spice, it also acts as a natural medicine, and has been used for many centuries to treat all kinds of common ailments as well as serious diseases.
Ginger is the root, also known as the rhizome, which grows underground. It has a light brown skin and a yellowish juicy flesh, which when added to your food will give it an inviting aroma and spicy taste.
It takes at least 5 months before you can harvest the ginger, and therefore it is mainly only grown in the warmer regions of the world. However, if you like, you can grow ginger indoors in pots, as well as in greenhouses if you live in the cooler regions. But, either way, you can obtain fresh ginger in your local grocery store year round. You can also purchase crystallized, pickled and powdered ginger. But in order to obtain the maximum flavor and health benefits, you should try to opt for the fresh ginger whenever possible.
Ginger tea is my favorite way to obtain the health benefits of ginger. All you do is grate some fresh ginger and allow it to steep in hot water for about 10 minutes. After this simply discard the ginger and add your favorite ingredients to the tea such as cinnamon, nutmeg and agave nectar.
Try adding some fresh ginger juice to your morning coffee for a spicy flavor that is sure to wake you up. To obtain the ginger juice, grate a small piece of ginger unto a cheesecloth and squeeze the juices out.
If you would like a cool drink to quench your thirst on a hot summer day, make yourself a cool ginger lemonade. Again you will need to steep grated ginger in hot water (about 1/2 cup) for about 10 minutes. Allow the tea to cool, and add more fresh water, fresh lemon juice and a natural sweetener such as agave or stevia and enjoy. For an even cooler drink, serve it over some crushed ice.
Nut and Rice Milk
You can easily make your own nut and rice milk at home. All you need is about 1 cup of your choice of nuts or rice soaked in fresh water in the fridge overnight. In the morning drain the nuts or rice and blend with about 4 cups of fresh water in a blender. Then using a nut milk bag or another strainer drain the milk from the fiber.
Once that is done you can add your favorite flavorings for a rich and tasty milk for your cereals or to enjoy as is. Try some fresh ginger juice, vanilla, cinnamon and a natural sweetener.
Fruit and Vegetable Juices
Ginger is also excellent in your fruit and vegetables juices. Simply peel a small piece of ginger and juice along with your apples, bananas, pears, peaches and mangoes, as well as with leafy greens and root vegetables.
Add more flavor to your favorite fruit and vegetable smoothies by adding a small piece of fresh ginger root. Try it with apples, bananas, pineapples, oranges and papayas.
It goes great with pineapples, mangoes, peaches, pears and apples. Simply peel a small piece of ginger and puree along with your fruits.
Salads and Salad Dressings
Ginger is also great in salad dressings for all your leafy green salads as well as your garden salads. Combine the grated ginger with minced garlic, finely chopped basil, fresh lemon or lime juice, a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Drizzle over any vegetable or garden salad. For a nutty flavor add pine nuts or sunflower seeds in with your dressing, or just sprinkle them on top.
Use freshly grated ginger, or the juice of ginger in your marinades for your salads or vegetables for steaming, baking or grilling. To make the marinade chop up some of your favorite herbs such as cilantro, basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary or sage, and mix together with grated ginger, chopped onion, fresh lemon juice and some olive oil.
Try using ginger in your spreads for your raw wraps. Mash an avocado and add freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, finely chopped onion and cilantro, or oregano and enjoy on a large leaf along with your favorite filling. You can also add a dash of sea salt if you like.
If you enjoy baking up cool treats in your dehydrator, then by all means add in some freshly grated ginger for a rich flavor. It goes good with anything that is sweet such as apples, raisins, coconut, dehydrated cookies and just about any treat.