One of the big treats my mother would get us as children was a gingerbread man, I loved them, eating the different body parts one at a time, until only the middle remained. As life moved on I would love a nice cup of tea with a Ginger Nut, if you are native of Northern Ireland and the North of England, dunking a biscuit in tea is likely to be as normal to you as eating breakfast in the morning!. Dunking, an art form in its own right, is where the biscuit is held into the tea until it is just soft enough to still get to your mouth without it completely bending over and falling onto the plate in a soggy mess or even worse back into the tea itself. That fine balance of not too much soaking, but just enough to make the biscuit hot and soft. As I said there’s an art to it.
With such great memories of growing up, it’s unsurprising that I love ginger, I add it grated with turmeric into a coconut or cashew nut milk latte, the turmeric and ginger colouring the blender and cup that deep yellowy-orange colour. With fantastic inflammatory qualities, did you know that in research it matches the ability of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines? It’s worth having in your diet regularly to increase those components naturally rather than with a supplement.
Ginger grated with lemon is lovely with hot water, but get into the habit of adding cardamom, cinnamon, and coriander, a fabulous drink for the gastrointestinal distress, supporting the actions of the stomach, liver, and gallbladder. Helping with the digestive process, stimulating and calming it down reducing wind and spasms when needed. Add a spoonful of Manuka honey and hey presto you have a cold and flu-fighting drink to comfort you or a great tea for just warming you when you struggle to warm up as it helps with the circulation.
Ginger added to a soup, such as vegetable soup, tomato and ginger soup can be found in the blog, or in particular carrot and ginger, is one of my favourites, those carrots contain beta carotene to help improve your immune function, and so no longer wonder why I ask you to have a soup in the middle of the day using it, particularly if you are feeling nausea which ginger is great for.
A simple lentil dhal an easy dish with cumin, dried coriander powder, turmeric, and ginger can be lovely to include in your lunchtime menu. In my dhal, I tend to use the root, but powdered can also be used, in Chinese tradition where ginger has been used as an important addition going back to the times of Confucius, dried ginger is considered to be hotter energetically than the fresh root.
Ginger rice anyone? When you make that stir fry you can either add some grated ginger to it, or add some grated ginger, sesame seeds, and nori strips to the rice at the end of the cooking process and fold in.
For those of you with a juicer apple, carrot and ginger is a stalwart of a juice to add, I quite like to add beetroot as we move into the season where mine is starting to be large enough to pull up. The cleansing of the apples, meets the benefits of the carrot, with the ginger root adding inflammatory support. Did you know that gingers botanical name Zingiber Officinale potentially comes from the Sanskrit name singabera which means horn-shaped.
How about a lovely mixed berry fruit salad with seeds, grated ginger and pomegranate seeds, a great way of setting up your day for a light breakfast or even a snack in the middle of the day.
Finally, I love my blender, and a lovely smoothie with ginger, lemon, apple, and cucumber is one of my favourites if it’s warm add some ice cubes to keep the blender from heating them. This is guaranteed to help move the bowel!
Why so many ginger root ideas today? Well, ginger in research is not only good for inflammation, but also for helping the body to fight viral infections. If you want to enable your food to be medicinal for the body, then this is a key ingredient that is easily available in the supermarkets, which can easily be kept in your fridge for multiple uses. Since the Romans imported ginger from China it has been a popular addition in culinary terms in Europe, unsurprising really!
Finally diffusing a blend of essential oils using ginger oil for instance with Wild Orange and Ylang Ylang is a lovely way of introducing an antiviral essential oil into your home. Ginger oil has been shown in research to help inhibit the Herpes Simplex 1 virus. Ignore the chemical air fresheners that say they have essential essences in them, they often don’t or have synthetic versions which have non of the benefits that essential oils bring to you. There can be skin sensitivity with ginger essential oil so do a test first.