The knobby bulb called ginger or ginger root is native to southeast Asia and has been prized for its culinary and medicinal properties for centuries.
It’s the spice made from the rhizome (the underground stem) of the plant Zingiber Officniale. Ginger is valued for its anti-inflammatory compounds galled gingerols, which help reduce pain and improve mobility for people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
It also has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.
Its other health benefits include:
- Helps cure nausea (especially during pregnancy and during radiation treatments)
- Aids with digestion
- Increases blood circulation
- Relieves colds and chills
- Provides relief from menstrual cramps
- Lowers fever
- Relieves joint pain
- Detoxifies by promoting sweating
- Decreases cholesterol in the liver and increases bile from the liver to the gallbladder.
When cooking with ginger, fresh ginger is best. Cut off a knob and peel it with the back of a spoon. Mince it and add some to your favorite smoothie, brew some in tea or add it to your favorite stir-fry.
Another wonderful way to use ginger is in soup. Levana Kirschenbaum’s Creamed Carrot Ginger Soup is a wonderful vegetarian soup that’s comforting for everyday yet elegant for company. Paired with Levana Nourishments Garden Vegetable pouch, it has an extra dose of nutrition.
Creamed Carrot Ginger Soup
1/3 cup olive oil
2 pouches Levana Nourishments Garden Vegetable
2-inch piece ginger, grated
2 tablespoons curry, a little more if you like it hotter
4 large carrots, cut in large chunks
1/3 cup maple syrup or coconut sugar (if you are avoiding sugar completely, just use 3-4 packets of stevia)
8 cups water
1/2 cup millet or other quick-cooking grain: steel-cut oats, teff, amaranth, tiny red lentils, etc.
2 tablespoons orange zest
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a wide heavy pot. Reduce the flame to medium and cook, covered, 30 minutes. Cream the soup with an immersion blender. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Makes 8 servings
by: Andrea Sperling