Ginger Root is an indispensable ingredient used in Asian cooking and the young sticks of ginger are often utilised as a method of dipping into a spicy sauce here in Thailand.
Indonesians make a fabulous sambal by grinding chillies, shallots and garlic with ginger and stirring in sugar, salt and rice vinegar. In China, the chefs combine ginger with scallions to create a harmonious yin-yang balance to a wide variety of oriental dishes. The cool scallion provides the yin and the hot ginger provides the yang and together they complement one another.
It's believed that ginger is indigenous to the tropical jungles of South East Asia and was introduced to China by way of India more than two thousand years ago. Ginger is a rhizome meaning that the stem grows underground and the colour will range from pale pink when very young to a golden beige when matured. As the rhizome settles it becomes dry with paper-like skin.
Not only is ginger aromatic, but it also holds importance and significant medicinal properties. Fresh ginger has a refreshing scent, reminiscent of citrus and with a pleasantly sharp and tangy flavour. When young and fresh the plant is still mild and tender to be used as an accessory to vegetables in stir-fries. As they get older they become fibrous and more pungent.
For decades now it's been authenticated timelessly the potential ginger possesses as a significant and immense important natural medicinal remedy able to assist in treating a wide variety of health related ailments.
1) Chemical ingredients found in ginger reveal anti-inflammatory properties which greatly help in the treatment of many muscular disorders including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
2) Ginger contains antiviral and anti-fungal properties that stimulate the secretion of mucus thus preventing congestion and scratchiness of the throat and at the same time providing some much needed soothing relief.
3) Ginger greatly helps in the prevention against the common cold and also flu symptoms.
4) Research shows that ginger root provides relief from migraine headaches due to its ability to stop prostaglandins (lipid compounds that are derived enzymatically from fatty acids and have important functions in the animal body) from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.
5) Ginger helps in the prevention of kidney damage and protects the liver
6) Ginger powder is believed to be a powerful defence in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Also believed to slow growth of cancer cells in the colon
7) When taken as a tea, fresh ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy.
8) Ginger is a strong antioxidant and an effective antimicrobial agent for sores and wounds.
9) Ginger helps lower cholesterol levels, thus preventing the formation of blood clots due to circulatory problems.
10) Ginger acts as an antihistamine and can greatly assist in the treatment of allergies.
11) Ginger protects the lining of your stomach, thus preventing stomach ailments such as dyspepsia and colic and the development of ulcers.
12) Ginger helps in the treatment of morning sickness, motion sickness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
13) Unique enzymes found in the root of ginger are capable of catalysing the proteins in your food so as to aid digestion and thus prevent cramps.
14) Ginger has anti-spas-mic properties to help calm and settle your upset stomach and also helps to provide some relief from bloating and flatulence.
Caution: Ginger is not recommended if you take anticoagulants or have gallstones and also not recommended for extended use during pregnancy.
Nutrients are chemicals that an organism needs to live and grow
Amino acids + Calcium + Essential fatty acids + Magnesium + Manganese + Iron + Phosphorus + Potassium + Selenium + Zinc + Vitamin B1 + Vitamin B2 + Vitamin B3 + Vitamin B6 + Vitamin C + Vitamin A found in Ground Ginger.
Phytochemicals are chemicals that occur naturally in foods of plant origin and the ones listed below are all firmly established in ginger
Alpha-pinene + Beta-carotene + Beta-ionone + Beta-sitosterol + Camphor Caffeic acid + Capsaicin + Caryophyllene + Chlorogenic acid + Curcumin Citral + Farnesol + Ferulic acid + Geranol + Gingerol + Lecithin + Zingerone
Fresh Ginger Root is usually peeled before being used. The thin tough outer skin is quite easy to scrape away and then the flesh can be either thinly sliced, finely chopped, shredded or grated. If you intend using the ginger purely as a flavouring, it should be simply bruised using a flat knife or a cleaver then discarded after cooking.
Pickled Ginger also plays an important role in oriental cooking and often used as a side dish or combined with other ingredients in the principal dish.
Chinese Picked Ginger is relatively hot and packed in sweetened rice vinegar.
Japanese Pickled Ginger is pale pink in colour and has a much more delicate flavour. It's always used with sushi to refresh the palate between mouthfuls.
Fresh ginger is readily obtainable in supermarkets and vegetable markets everywhere. Look out for fat firm pieces with smooth skins. The fresher the better. Ginger root will keep well for two to three weeks in a cool dry place and away from direct sunlight.
Ginger can also be frozen too but peel the skin first and place in a sealed container. That way it can be grated straight from the freezer and will thaw on contact with hot food.
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