Plant ginger for zest to your life, health recipe for apple fritters

This year’s medicinal herb of the year is ginger, and it is a great plant to include in your spring garden. Because they are tropical or semitropical plants, gingers must be grown in warm climates or in containers that can be protected during the winter.

The ginger family is filled with beautiful and fragrant flowers that grace southern gardens during the hottest and most miserable season of the year. Exotic blooms and various-size plants create a haven in the garden that makes summer tolerable. But it is the least showy and most humble of the gingers that make your taste buds pop year-round. The culinary herb, zingiber officinale, is a nice leafy plant in the garden, but the flower is less impressive than many of its ornamental cousins. Still, it is the root that we are interested in for kitchen use.

The most useful part of the plant is the rhizome that grows underground.

These underground stems are called “hands.” you can plant ginger “hands” or find plants ready for transplanting in the ground or in a container and soon have all the homegrown ginger you need.Ground container nurseries should have ginger available later in the spring, or you can order the roots online or try ginger from the grocery store. If you can find organic plants/roots, all the better.

If you are planting the rhizome, pick a smooth, fat hand with several “fingers” and simply place it flat in the soil. (the sprouts will figure out which way is up.). Plant in rich soil and provide extra water when the weather is dry. Barely cover the rhizomes with soil and give the plants some protection from afternoon sun. Harvest the root by digging into the ground or container once the plant is growing vigorously and breaking off a piece. Ginger must be protected from freezing, so mulch heavily or bring the container indoors in the winter.

Feed them regularly with a good all-purpose organic plant food and enrich in-ground beds with lots of compost. Gingers prefer shady or partly shady locations.

Dried ginger became the spice of choice in many cultures because the fresh hands didn’t hold up well when toted around the world in ships or caravans.Ginger available now that ginger is available fresh all over the world, many cooks still use the dried form out of habit and tradition. Fresh ginger, however, is superior in flavor.

Ginger is a very versatile herb. It makes delicious cold drinks, goes well with seafood and chicken, blends with fruit and vegetables and can be crystallized into candy. It has a sweet, peppery warmth that seems to go with just about anything. To substitute fresh ginger in recipes that call for dried, use one tablespoon grated fresh root for 1/8 teaspoon dried ground ginger. Add grated ginger to salad dressings, applesauce, hamburger patties and anything else that you think could use a little zip.

Store fresh ginger wrapped tightly in the refrigerator or freezer and slice or grate off the amount you want to use. Peel off the darker outer layer to reveal the white inside.

Not just good, ginger is good for you too. McCormick and the superfoods people have designated ginger as a “super spice” because it contains anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants and other good things.Ginger available while this is partly a marketing scheme, it is also based on tradition and modern research. Adding ginger to your diet seems to provide a variety of health benefits. After all, gingerbread was invented to settle the stomachs of overeaters centuries ago. For extra ginger taste, combine fresh, powdered and crystalline ginger in recipes.

A native of china, ginger has been known as a medicinal plant for centuries. (it was once planted to ward off marauding tigers.) it is best known as a stomach-calmer. Ginger has shown the ability to stop nausea and dizziness in several clinical trials and is being investigated as an anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of arthritis. Ginger tea can be used for every kind of stomach upset from morning sickness to travel sickness. The tea is also said to be good for flatulence, poor circulation, colds and flu. It is also said to reduce pain and stimulate the heart and circulatory system.Ginger recipes

To make hot ginger tea either for health purposes or just as a nice cold-weather drink, peel and slice a 2-inch piece of ginger root. Add to a pan containing 4 cups boiling water. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and serve. Add lemon and honey to taste. If the tea seems too strong, reduce simmering time or add more water. In the summer, pour your tea over ice to enjoy a refreshing and cooling drink.