Tips & Tricks: All about Ginger
Vegetables aren't the only great way to get your vitamins and minerals. Herbs, spices, and aromatics help contribute essential nutrients for healthier lives. Not only do they make you healthier but they make your nutrient-dense vegetables taste oh-so-good and crave worthy.
Today we wanted to focus on ginger... Why it's great for our bodies, how to buy, store, and use it in every day life. Tom's even added a chef's trick to help peel the ginger easily!We like adding it to dishes for a big burst of flavour and love what it does for our bodies.
Ginger has many well known health benefits. It helps to reduce pain and inflamation (making it great for a sore throat), it helps reduce nausea and calms an upset stomach (great for morning sickness and sensitve tummies), and it helps to improve blood circulation.
Ginger also has a decent amount of potassium and copper.
Potassium is needed to maintain body fluid balance and normal cell function, including nerves and muscles. It's also important in regulating the acid-base balance in the blood.
Copper is needed to produce red and white blood cells and it helps the body to use iron efficiently. It's also thought to be important for infant growth, brain development, the immune system and for strong bones.
When buying fresh ginger look for roots that have smooth skin and a firm texture. Any wrinkling or softness is a sign that the ginger is not very fresh.
Fresh ginger should last in the fridge for about a month if properly stored. The best way to do this is to place it in a resealable plastic bag in the crisper drawer.
Fresh ginger also does very well in the freezer for longer storage. It's actually easier to grate when frozen then fresh, and you get all the same health benefits. We like to peel the ginger before freezing for the most ease of use. And if you like to add slices to infuse tea or sauces, simply slice up and freeze in a single layer on a small baking tray before transferring to a freezer bag.
We have a great tip to share for the easiest way to peel ginger, but you also do not need to be afraid of the ginger skin. If you are using organic ginger it's fine to leave the peel on... if it will not affect the final outcome of the dish. For example if we are making the tea below, or are using the ginger to flavour a stock we simply slice it up with the peel still attached.
But, when we want something a bit more refined we like to peel it.. in the easiest way possible.... with a spoon! This is a simple tip but you will not believe the difference it makes. There is a lot less waste then when you use a knife and the skin slips right off.
Here is a handy video to help you on your way:
Ways to add it to you and your babies diet:
So now we know a whole lot more about ginger but how do we get more of it in our diet. Here are a few fresh ideas for you and your baby to try
- A healthy, restorative tea (we've got a recipe below). This tea is a great way to boost your immunities and sooth a sore throat. If your baby is at the appropriate age you can simply add a splash of the tea to baby's water so they can enjoy the health benefits and get used to the flavour.
- Stir fry. You would be hard pressed to find a stir fry recipe that doesn't use fresh ginger. It adds so much flavour and a stir fry just wouldn't be the same without it. If your baby is at the finger food stage why not stir fry a few vegetables with a bit of ginger and garlic and serve it simply with a squeeze of lime.
- Soup or stock. Add an Asian twist to soups or stocks by adding some ginger. We like to mince fresh ginger and add it to the sautéing aromatics when making a soup, or slicing it and adding it directly into a stock.
- Salad dressings or marinades. Simply grate a bit of ginger into a quick homemade vinaigrette (3 parts oil, one part vinegar) to add a little kick to your salad, or use the same mix to add flavour and moisture to marinated meats and vegetables.
- Add a bit to purees. Grate a small amount into homemade purees so baby can enjoy the taste from a young age as well as reap the health benefits.
- Curry. Our Lentil Tikka Masala is a great way to enjoy ginger, but simply add some to your favourite curry recipe for a boost of flavour.
- Enjoy one of our pouches! Our new Thai inspired Brown Rice & Chicken with Broccoli, Pumpkin and Peas is a great way to introduce your little one to some ginger in their diet.
Recipe: Ginger Star Anise Tea
For every 250ml water add 4 slices of ginger + 1 star anise. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep for an additional 5 minutes before serving.
Optional add ins/substitutes: cinnamon stick, turmeric, fresh mint, honey, milk.
Feel free to add a splash of this tea (cooled) to your little ones sippy cup of water (if the appropriate age), but do not add any honey to their portion.
We'd love to hear about your favourite uses for ginger?