Kickin' It with Ginger
Though we love the change of the seasons when it means warmer weather on the horizon, this time of year can be hard to adjust to when there are large changes in temperature and weather from day to day. Here in Chicago it was snowing yesterday and in the seventies today! More than the problem of not knowing what to wear, change of season colds can occur while our bodies adjust to the shifts in weather. If this is happening to you right now we've got just the right recipe for you this week. It features seasonal citrus and the amazing ginger root, so let's find out more.
We are considering this recipe a tonic which is defined as "a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being". It is so because of the blood orange juice packed with vitamin C, well known to support immunity, and the ginger root which has been studied for many medicinal uses. In terms of cold easing properties and it's use in this recipe, ginger can act as an antihistamine and decongestant. But that's not all, ginger actually has so many medicinal uses that in Ayurvedic medicine it is is known as the "universal medicine". Ginger contains the compound gingerol which acts as an anti-emetic and can help settle an upset stomach and treat nausea and vomiting. This can be a great natural option for pregnant women battling morning sickness or for anyone trying to avoid drug based treatments. All of the active ingredients in ginger are considered antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Ginger even has the ability to increase saliva production which may aid in digestion. Finally, we should note that ginger has the ability to thin the blood and should be taken with some caution in people using blood thinning medication. The form of ginger we are using in this recipe is ginger juice which is convenient to store and easy to use in so many ways! You can add a splash to sparkling water or hot tea, use in sauces and stir fry dishes, add in place of ground ginger in baked goods, or freeze in ice cub trays to save for use at a later date. The short time it will take to make will pay off in convenience and taste. So let's start our recipe with simple instructions for ginger juice.
PREP TIME: 5 mins
TOTAL TIME: 7 mins
Servings: ~4 cups of juice
3 lb fresh ginger root (5-6 cups chopped ginger)
Using a hand held vegetable peeler, carefully peal the ginger root. Roughly chop the ginger and place in a high speed blender (we used a Vitamix). Add enough water to cover the ginger and blend on high for 3-5 minutes until fully processed. Place a double layered cheese cloth over a colander and carefully strain the ginger juice mixture into a jar or pitcher. It is best to do this in a few batches to make sure to catch all the ginger fibers within the cloth. To get the maximum amount of juice we recommend to lightly squeeze the cheese cloth until there is nothing left but dry ginger fiber. Continue this process until all the blender contents have been fully strained. If you have a nut milk bag, use it instead of the cheese cloth method. As you can see above, this recipe makes a lot of fresh ginger juice. We love to freeze the ginger juice in ice cube trays to extend the juice's expiration date and always have ginger easily available. Once frozen, store cubes in an airtight container for 3-6 months. Otherwise, fresh juice can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks.
Ginger Blood Orange Tonic
PREP TIME: 5 mins
TOTAL TIME: 7 mins
6 blood oranges (will make ~8 oz of juice)
2 oz fresh ginger juice
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder
2 oz plain sparkling water plus more to taste
Using a high speed juicer (or a hand held citrus juicer), juice the blood oranges. Mix in the ginger juice, honey, and cayenne pepper and stir well. Evenly pour the tonic into four glasses and top with a splash of sparkling water. Serve the tonic at room temperature or over ice. If you prefer to drink your tonic warm, add a splash of boiling water and omit the sparkle.
This tonic is a perfect balance of sweetness and spice and just what you need to invigorate your spirits if you do happen to be feeling under the weather. And once you start making ginger juice we swear you'll never stop! With ginger ice cubes on hand in the freezer you will always have that extra kick to add to hot or cold beverages or a ready to go ingredient (once thawed) for many recipes. We'd love to hear about the ways you find to enjoy ginger!
Jess & Cecelia
4/3/2016 07:26:32 pm
I love ginger! Added it to passion tea. Can't wait to try w hot pepper! Thanks Girls!
The Green Blossom Kitchen
4/3/2016 07:28:39 pm
Yes! It's a favorite of ours as well!! Ginger passion iced tea sounds so good! 😊
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Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.