Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Spicy Sweet Find: Fresh Ginger!!

Last Friday, at the feria, I found a beautiful pile of FRESH ginger! I used to be able to get these often when we lived in Jaco, but haven't been able to find any here in San Ramon till now. I paid 800 colones (about $1.25) for 1 Kilo (2.2 pounds)... talk about a spicy sweet deal!!

Did you know that the skin on fresh ginger peels off like a breeze? Oh yeah! It is nothing like the dried, leathery kind that you find in your grocery store and a pain to peel. Don't they look beautiful?

10 Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for centuries. Now, science is catching up and researchers around the world are finding that ginger works wonders in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines. Here are ten health benefits of this powerful herb:

Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Ginger may be powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied.

Colon Cancer Prevention
A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

Morning Sickness
A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.

Motion Sickness Remedy
Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.

Reduces Pain and Inflammation
One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.

Heartburn Relief
Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.

Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment
Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.

Migraine Relief
Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.

Menstrual Cramp Relief
In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.

Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy

A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage).

I am so excited to try different things with it... here are my ideas:

  • Ginger Ice Cream
  • Lacto-fermented Pickled Ginger
  • Dried Ginger
  • Ginger Ale
  • Gingerbread
  • Lacto-fermented Ginger Carrots (SO GOOD!)
  • Ginger Juice

If you had a bagful of fresh ginger... what would you do with it? Please share your ideas & recipes!

Ginger on Foodista


  1. I would crystallize a good amount of it to enjoy over the christmas holidays...

  2. mmm. i honestly thought the ginger from the grocery store/co-op WAS fresh ginger! where can we find this in the states? if i had a ton of ginger i'd dehydrate some and grind it in a food processor to use as powdered ginger. id also make ginger beer (non-alcoholic, i think nourishing traditions might have a recipe for it) and id make ginger bread and cookies.

  3. i may die early... blah *shudders* can't stand the stuff

  4. That's a lot of ginger Marilyn. You can julienne them. Then make Chicken Ginger stir-fry. Add some garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce and a bit of sugar. If you have chinese cooking wine and a bit of flour, then use them to marinate chicken for 30 mins. Eat with rice. Don't ask me the exact recipe. I don't measure while cooking!

  5. wow that is a lot of ginger, I would make ginger snap cookies and maybe muffins as well? endless possibilities of what to do with all that ginger! :)

  6. candied ginger. they last a loooong time in the fridge.

  7. I would grate some to go in my pear jam I'm making this weekend. I also love to use it in marinades for chicken, shrimp, and beef. (Soy, ginger, orange zest and juice, sesame oil...ahhh, heaven!) Love it minced or grated and thrown in stir-fries and fried rice. And of course, if you can't use it all up at once, ginger does freeze quite well!

  8. Last time I made chicken soup I added large quantities of ginger, and it was amazing!

  9. steep slices of ginger with some fresh lemon and honey in hot water. so yummy and great for you! gets better and better the longer it steeps

  10. What a lot of great ideas!
    For our last big catering gig, I needed to make 60 lb. of ginger chicken. I wanted the fresh ginger flavor to come through, so I juiced the whole giant pile of ginger in my juicer ahead of time. I froze it in ice cube trays, and was able to have it fresh and ready-to-use for the chicken. Plus, any extra is handy to use any other time, as it will keep so well as a "ginger ice cube".
    Of course, this idea only works if you're so lucky as to have a Champion juicer, or the like...

  11. Thank you everybody for sharing your ideas! Keep them coming!! I'm having so much fun reading everybody's ideas :o)

    Mrs Mordecai - That's sounds amazing!

    Jennifer Cote - I DO have a Champion juicer! I LOVE your suggestion! That would be great to throw into my smoothies!

    tastyeatsathome - ginger in jam... sounds delish!

    david - I just might try that.

  12. Made Sushi Gari with fresh young ginger. Cheaper than buying ready made with red coloring! Also, sliced pickled ginger is great accompaniment to Century Eggs. Another favourite of mine with young ginger since it has more juice then old ginger is to marinate raw fish with its juice or julienned and spread generously on top of white fish fillets with sesame oil, sliced garlic and soy sauce before steaming.

  13. If you do make some candied ginger, it makes the most amazing addition to scones. And I would so love to try to make some gingerale:)

  14. Oooh that ginger looks amazing! I put ginger in everything - crystallized ginger in granola, cookies, and muffins; fresh ginger in Chinese and Indian food. I also love tofu or shrimp stir-fried with garlic, ginger, and miso.

  15. Ginger is a regular part of my diet. I pick up a bunch at least every other week from my local Ranch 99 market (which sells three types--"baby", fresh, & the standard "dried"). I use it in vegetable stir fry. I use it with lentils to make a spicy dip or as a spicy soup. I make sorbet with seasonal fruit (peach, plum, pear, apple). I only made candied ginger once, and given how little I bake, it just doesn't seem worth the effort when I enjoy it fresh! I do use it--just minced--to make carrot ginger scones.

  16. I have 3 starters going now for home-brew ginger-beer. 1 straight up ginger with a bite....1 ginger molasses brew and 1 ginger mead. I'm brewing 10 bottles a week to share with friends. I have an Olympic 1000 juicer I picked up at a thrift store for $5. Perfectly balanced...looked new....people are crazy.... I get my ginger from the farmer's market and/or a local Indian market. Rarely do I see it as fresh as that though! I am growing a bit of my own as well as some fresh cardamom. Did you know that cardamom is ginger's cousin? I add green pods to the ginger beer upon occasion for a twist...


Thank you for dropping by and leaving me your noisy comments! I really appreciate your questions, encouragement, ideas and simple comments. I am sorry if I don't respond to all your comments, but know that I do read them! Please feel free to introduce yourself, subscribe or follow me as I share my life on the noisy blog!