Monday, December 15, 2014

Herb of the Week: Ginger



posted by Molly Sams

Ginger has become one of my favorite herbs (as many have) over the past year. When I was little it usually took some sort of bribery to get me to eat ginger for an upset stomach or for motion sickness. While it seems silly now I associated ginger with getting sick so I would never want to take it. Sorry Mom, I didn’t mean to be such a stubborn little kid.

Luckily, my mom has shown me the error of my ways. A warm cup of ginger and honey can be the best remedy for a day spent out in the cold or menstrual cramps. Ginger can also be a fantastic addition to your soup or stew to add flavor and heat without it being too spicy. A fantastic way to stay refreshed throughout the day is by drinking an iced ginger tea mixed with hibiscus flowers. The vitamin C mixed with the ginger will keep you alert and in good health no matter how hectic your day gets.

One of my favorite ways to eat ginger, however, is when it has just become crystallized. I eat way too much of it (most of it) this way. Since it is warm and just rolled in sugar it is the perfect candy to eat after running in from making snow angels or shoveling the driveway.

It’s great in Chai as well. Instead of adding tons of sugar just add a bit of honey and ginger for the perfect amount of spice.

Great for stomach aches, motion sickness, nausea, and is just really tasty. Energetically ginger is hot and dry, which can be helpful when you have the sniffles or painful flu symptoms. Ginger may also help during menstruation since it is a menagogue and drinking it as a warm tea may help soothe cramping pain. You can keep a bag of crystallized ginger during your time of the month or when you have a long drive ahead of you. It tastes amazing and can help curb your candy cravings.

If you need a new recipe for the holidays here is one my mother tried and we really enjoyed it. Perfect substitute for a fruitcake:

Banana Apple Bread with Persimmon and Walnuts
2 lg. ripe bananas
1 c persimmon pulp
1 c. sugar
1 egg
4 T butter, softened
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 t each, salt and baking soda
1 apple diced small
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a bowl mash bananas and persimmon together.  Beat in sugar, then egg and butter. In another bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda; add to banana mixture and stir just until all flour is moistened. Add apples and nuts; stir just until well mixed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 60 minutes. Center will be very moist.  This is why persimmon breads are often called "pudding" but it is perfectly delicious.

If you don't have persimmon, you can just add another banana or some applesauce to make up the difference.

1 comment:

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Love ginger as well, Molly! Crystallized ginger has replaced antacids for me. Thanks for the recipe. Looks delicious.

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