Ginger: A Root That Has it All

Whether as a spice for sweet and savory dishes or as a medicinal plant in Asian medicine: ginger is a valued tuber. Recipes and interesting facts about the origin and preparation.

An inconspicuous, light-brown bulb whose shape is reminiscent of toes and fingers: ginger doesn’t look very attractive, but it’s really something. The thin skin of the tuber can easily be scraped off with a sharp knife. Underneath is a juicy, yellow plant fiber that contains around two percent essential oil and is very healthy. Ginger tastes spicy to hot, has a fresh, lemony note, and is versatile in the kitchen.

Ginger is a spicy spice for dishes and as a tea

Ginger can be used fresh or dried as a spice or as a warming tea. Just a few thin slices of the root brewed with hot water make a delicious ginger tea. As a spice, it provides a slight spiciness in soups and meat dishes, while pickled sweet and sour is a flavorful side dish. Ginger also has a permanent place in the kitchen as an ingredient in biscuits and desserts. Candied ginger is often found in Christmas pastries or as a candy. The bitter lemonade Ginger Ale gives ginger its characteristic taste.

Recognizing the quality and storing it correctly in the refrigerator

When buying, make sure that the ginger root is nice and dry and has no moldy spots. Ginger will keep for a few weeks in the fridge. To keep it from drying out, it should be packed in a tin, freezer bag, or paper bag.

Anti-inflammatory medicinal plant of Asian medicine

Ginger has been one of the typical medicinal plants of Asian medicine for many centuries and is said to bring relief from various diseases. It is said to have a healing effect on headaches and gastrointestinal complaints, but also on diabetes, colds, and rheumatic diseases. Ginger also has an anti-inflammatory effect. Pregnant women should avoid ginger as it can promote contractions. In addition to fresh ginger roots, the trade also offers tea made from dried ginger, ginger powder as a spice, and capsules with ginger as a dietary supplement.

The ginger plant: only the root is usable

Ginger, or Zingiber officinale, as it is botanically named, grows as a leafy plant up to 1.50 meters high in tropical and subtropical regions. The slender green leaves on a central stem are reminiscent of bamboo plants. However, only the underground part of the ginger, the strong and branched root, is used. New plants can also be grown from it. In our latitudes, the temperatures hardly allow outdoor cultivation, but it is possible on the windowsill or in the greenhouse.

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