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Thursday, September 12, 2013

All things GINGER

Being pregnant I've recently been reminded of the dire need to have Ginger coursing through my veins at all times. Luckily my family has always had a fresh ginger root on hand at all times. When I was little my mom and dad would give me ginger ale for tummy aches and nausea. Hell, even with BABIES no matter how young if you throw a little ginger tea into a bottle or their food say goodbye to most colic symptoms, fussiness, constipation, diarrhea, throwing up, and crankiness from tummy aches (Which is you have kids you know SUPER sucks more than anything in the world.) Ginger saved my life from a toddler well into my own children being toddlers. When I'm old you can bet your buck my husband and I will be doing that as the ultimate sign that we want to ease each others pain.

Well into adulthood its just common place to make someone ginger tea if they are feeling any sort of internal pains, but I realized recently that not everyone know of this amazing trick.

So if you read all of that you must be like "HELL YEAH, WOOO HIGH FIVES FOR GINGER..." or you're like, "Do I need to Google this? what is this amazing fuss all about?"

Sets start at the beginning. Since the beginning of human culture societies have been using it to aid in digestion. Religious people out there will be happy to know that Mary was having Jesus Christ sip up some ginger tea when his tummy hurt. Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Ancient India, China, Russia, and ancient every culture ever have been using it this way.

SO Now to SCIENCE. Ginger has chemicals in it that reduce inflammation, relax intestinal lining, Ginger's root contains chemicals called gingerols and shogaols. (Thats right, its so awesome they named the acting chemicals after the plant itself.) These things do all of the awesome things I've already told you about! It helps everyone from Chemo-Radiation Patients to New borns with colic. SO when you get pregnant make sure its on you at all time. Not a joke, its a great emergency maker-better!

SO what can we do to make our lives easier with this ginger stuff? did you know even if you hate the taste of the stuff you can reap the benefits? you dont even have to ingest it. Those beautiful little chemical buddies that have just become your best friends can just be put ON the skin. BOOM. Mind blown?
The est way to do this is with Ginger oil. We make it all of the time since we have babies in the house.

Ginger Tea
You really just grate up some ginger, put it in a loose tea holder, then put it in oiling water.

Ginger Oil
Take some ginger root, cut or grate it up into small pieces. For pretty potent stuff put the ginger in some oil (any oil of your choice. I use Olive) so that it is covered in a crock pot and cook as low as possible for about 24 hours, making sure not to let it boil. After its cool store it at rom temp, preferably in a dark glass receptacle. It lasts longer that way.

Ginger Candy
Like CANDY a lot? Make your medicine into candy. Im absolutely in love with Alton Brown, so go HERE to check out his PERFECTO recipe.

(left) Candy and (right) Syrup for Ginger ale

Ginger Ale
Ingredients: 2 cups (about 10 ounces) coarsely chopped, peeled fresh ginger 3 strips lemon peel (about 4 inches each), yellow part only 1-1/2 cups (about) sugar 3 quarts chilled club soda Ice cubes

Preparation: Place ginger, lemon peel, and 4 cups of water in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer at a low boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add sugar, stirring constantly, and continue to boil until reduced to about 3 cups, another 15 minutes.

Place a fine wire strainer over a large bowl. Pour in ginger mixture to separate solids from liquid. Discard the lemon peel. The strained cooked  pieces may be reserved for other uses (good with vanilla ice cream or yogurt), if desired.

Cool the syrup, pour into a glass container, seal tightly, and chill at least 1 hour until cold or up to 1 week.

For each 16-ounce serving, mix 1/4 cup ginger syrup with 1 cup cold club soda and pour over ice. Additional ginger syrup and/or sugar may be added to taste.

Yield: about 4 quarts, 12 servings

Voila! You really don't need a lot. A tiny bit goes a long long way!

Tell us your Ginger success stories in the comments, and don't forget to follow us!

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