March 1, 2016
Ginger: the power of healing
Living on the Sunshine Coast, we encounter this beautiful root called ginger, one of the most amazing foods that’s easy to use and enjoy.
Ginger promotes health and healing in many ways. According to Chinese herbal lore, it strengthens the immune and nervous system, restores sexual energy, helps with bronchial problems, prevents and relieves menstrual cramps, clears the uterus after childbirth, and promotes health recovery by building strength following long-term illness.
When shopping, select ginger root that is firm, fresh in appearance, with wrinkle-free skin. Wrinkly, dried-up ginger root can be woody, tough, stringy, difficult to chop, and unpleasant to chew.
How to prepare ginger:
- Always peel ginger before chopping or slicing (it’s okay to leave the skins on for tea). This can be done with a potato peeler (which will take some of the flesh along with it), or by scraping with the edge of a paring knife. I prefer the latter method as virtually none of the ginger is wasted. To chop, slice thinly along the grain. Then cut into thin matchstick-like strips. These can be chopped into the desired length (3cm for mincing, up to 4cm for curries, etc.). Ginger root also can be successfully chopped with a food processor. Chop with short pulses, being careful not to over process.
- When I peel and chop ginger for cooking I like to save the peels and use them for a nice pot of ginger tea.
- The easiest way to enjoy ginger is with ginger tea. Take about 5-7cm of ginger, wash it well, and slice thinly. Boil in 6-8 cups of water for 20 minutes. Add a little milk if you like and sweeten to taste. Ginger tea is both soothing and invigorating, and is the best thing for women during menstruation.
- I like to make Yogi Tea (available in supermarkets and natural food stores) with extra ginger. Just boil four tea bags in a quart of water with about 5cm of thinly sliced ginger for 10-15 minutes.
- Feel a bug coming on? Chew on a slice of raw ginger every hour. If you have a juicer, toss a 2cm piece of ginger in before your other veggies. Good combinations are carrot-apple-ginger, apple-ginger, and carrot-beetroot-ginger. Ginger juice can also be mixed with fresh lemon juice and honey to help with coughs. Although I have no tolerance for caffeine and very rarely drink colas, I have found that this combination for kicking viruses really works – 300ml Coca Cola, 60-80ml ginger juice, and 60-80ml lemon juice.
ANGELO’S PLATE: CEVICHE OYSTERS
This recipe is ideal for people who don’t enjoy fresh oysters, as an alternative for the fresh seafood season.
• 12 fresh shucked oysters
• 30ml of lemon juice
• Juice of 1 lime
• 2 tablespoons of coriander (chopped finely)
• 1 tablespoon of parsley (chopped finely)
• 2 tablespoons of red diced onions
• 2 tablespoons of capsicum (diced finely)
• Dash of red wine vinegar
• Salt and pepper to taste
Take the oyster meat and chop roughly in a bowl. Mix all ingredients to combine well, place the mix back into the shells and serve.