Much ado about ginger
From soothing a sore throat to swirling in a cocktail, the ways you can use ginger are nearly limitless.
As an age-old cold remedy and spice, this knobby, weird-looking rhizome – not a root, actually – is one of the must-haves on my pantry list. Like garlic, I always try to have some on hand.
Because ginger is so versatile – and downright tasty – it’s easy to create some stock items with it for those just-in-case moments. Along with having a fresh stock on hand, you can preserve it in other forms that will save you money in the long run.
Ginger syrup, ginger tea and candied ginger bought in a specialty store or a natural foods market can run up your tab quite a bit. If you check out the labels, the ingredients are few, and most likely you’ve already got these in your kitchen.
Fresh ginger is quite inexpensive. Add the few other ingredients, a few hours of an afternoon or lazy Sunday and you’ve got your own genuine ginger goodies. Let’s not forget that feeling of accomplishment you’ll have from creating these delicious delicacies yourself.
This is a great addition to have already made and ready for your cold and flu arsenal once the weather gets chilly and cold season has started. Battle those scratchy throats with this soothing hot ginger sipper.
- 2 – 2-inch pieces of peeled, thinly sliced fresh ginger
- 2 stalks trimmed, cut lemongrass (optional)
- 10 cups water
- 5 tablespoons local honey
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. chili powder
Bring ginger and lemongrass to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan.
Let simmer for about five minutes then remove from heat.
Immediately stir in the remaining ingredients until dissolved.
Let mixture steep for about 20 minutes, then strain lemongrass and ginger.
Serve with a spring fresh peppermint.
You can also store in refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to six months.
This sweet syrup is perfect for drizzling on pancakes and pastries but can also take a grown-up turn by waking up worn-out weekend cocktails.
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Let boil for approximately five minutes, then simmer for 10 more minutes low.
Remove from heat and let steep for an hour.
Strain syrup into sterilized containers – bottles or plastic. [Reserve the ginger in another bowl and set aside.]
Refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze up to six weeks.
With the many healthy attributes ginger has, there shouldn’t be any second-guessing that you need to keep it in stock. And it doesn’t hurt that it makes an incredibly edible candy.
One of my favorite additions to many sweets, candied ginger can add pizazz to shortbread and turn an ordinary scone into a heavenly treat.
There is really only one downside to candied ginger – the price. If you have ever tried to seek out this spicy sweet, you know it can be pretty expensive.
But have no fear, that ginger you have just strained from your succulent syrup is ready to be transformed into this tangy treat.
- Ginger syrup recipe + ½ cup sugar
After you’ve made your syrup, transfer the ginger from the bowl to a wire rack placed inside a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure that the pieces are not touching each other.
Let ginger dry for about five or six hours. The ginger should be a little tacky when you touch it.
Toss ginger and remaining sugar in a medium-sized bowl and store in an airtight container for up to four weeks.
Try a great cocktail with all three of these recipes!
Triple Gin-Ger Fizz
- 1/2 cup ginger tea
- 1/2 cup tonic water
- 2 tbs. ginger syrup
- Juice of half a lime
- 3 sprigs of fresh mint
- 1 tbs. turbinado sugar
- 2 shots of gin
Muddle half the fresh mint with the turbinado sugar and place in bottom of a rocks glass.
Pour the tea, syrup, lime juice and gin in a cocktail shaker with the ice and blend.
Pour over muddled mint and turbinado sugar.
Add a slice of lime, a sprig of mint and a few slices of candied ginger for garnish.