Ingredient Spotlight… Ginger

Ginger Sporlight

Here at Naked Noodle, we make all our snack pots with only the finest authentic ingredients. Ginger is one of our favourites for bringing depth and warmth, so we thought we’d dig a little deeper into this wonderful spice.

Ginger has been around a while

Ginger is mentioned in ancient Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern writings, and has long been prized for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties. After the ancient Romans imported ginger from China almost two thousand years ago, its popularity in Europe remained centred in the Mediterranean region until the Middle Ages when its use spread throughout other countries.

Although it was a very expensive spice, owing to the fact that it had to be imported from Asia, it was still in great demand. In an attempt to make it more available, Spanish explorers introduced ginger to the West Indies, Mexico and South America, and in the 16th century, these areas began exporting the precious herb back to Europe (The World’s Healthiest Foods).

You can get it in a number of different forms

  • Whole fresh roots. These provide the freshest taste.
  • Dried roots.
  • Powdered ginger. This is ground made from the dried root.
  • Preserved or ‘stem’ ginger. Fresh young roots are peeled, sliced and cooked in heavy sugar syrup.
  • Crystallised ginger. This is also cooked in sugar syrup, air dried and rolled in sugar.
  • Pickled ginger. The root is sliced paper thin and pickled in vinegar. This pickle, known in Japan as gari, often accompanies sushi to refresh the palate between courses (BBC Good Food)

Plus it has loads of health benefits…

The many curative properties of ginger are widely researched. Used on the skin it can stimulate the circulation and soothe burns. As a diaphoretic it encourages perspiration, so it can be used in feverish conditions such as influenza or colds. The root, which is the part of the plant most widely used in alternative forms of medicine, is rich in volatile oils. It is these oils that contain the active component gingerol.

Soothes digestive system…

Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating discomfort and pain in the stomach. Ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative, a substance that promotes the elimination of excessive gas from the digestive system and soothes the intestinal tract. Colic, and dyspepsia , respond particularly well to ginger.

Nausea…

Gingerroot appears to reduce the symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweating. Ginger has also been used to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with mild symptoms of pregnancy sickness.

Gingerols…

Ginger also contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. Gingerols inhibit the formation of inflammatory cytokines; chemical messengers of the immune system. (BBC Good Food)

Using ginger in daily life

Although your Naked Noodle contains ginger, another super easy way to up your intake is through making ginger tea. We love this recipe from Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen.

Home made ginger tea is more potent and helpful than shop bought tea bags. The most basic way to make ginger tea is this:

  • Steep some fresh chopped ginger in hot water.

However, another tasty way is to:

  • Finely grate a heaped teaspoon of fresh ginger.
  • Boil up in a pan with 2 to 3 cups of water.
  • Add a dash of maple syrup and a squeeze of lemon and enjoy through out the day. Easy!