Once a week, my husband and I usually meet friends for sushi night. Being that our current diet is mostly plant-based, we stick to veggie rolls and seaweed salad. One of my favorite flavors on the plate is the ginger slices. They have such a fragrant, almost flowery taste. When eating sushi, it is used to help cleanse the palate, but ginger also has many other great benefits.
In Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medicinal practice, ginger is used as a medicine to help stimulate the digestive system and amp up the absorption of nutrients. Since digestion is believed to be the key to health, ginger is seen as one of the main spices for optimal health. The spicy, fiery quality of ginger stimulates the digestive enzymes and triggers the digestive process to begin. Ginger is also great for relieving nausea. The enzymes released help to tame an upset stomach and ease the “sick” feeling we get when we are nauseas. Drinking ginger tea or adding ginger to food when cooking is an easy way to incorporate it into your daily routine.
There are four ways I like to use ginger:
1) Slices of pickled ginger: As I mentioned before, this is one of my favorite parts of eating sushi. I add a little ginger to the top of my sushi roll, place a slice in my soy sauce, and even eat it alone.
2) Dried ginger: I love ginger in my tea. I use a blend of dried ginger and dried lemongrass, and sometimes green tea leaves in the morning. I place these in a French press or loose leaf holder, add hot water, a little lemon and brew. Another great way is chai tea – black tea with a plethora of spices, including ginger.
3) Ginger spice: You know, the stuff you put in pumpkin pie! Powdered ginger can be added to many baked goods for a nice, warm taste. The benefits of it aren’t as strong, but there are some and it does taste great.
4) Fresh ginger: I add this to stir fry and soups. Chop off a chunk of fresh ginger root (a little goes a long way), peel, chop or grate, and then add to the dish while cooking. The fresher the ginger, the higher the digestive benefits.
As you can probably tell, tea is my favorite and most frequent way to use ginger. It’s great after a meal, when I have an upset stomach, or when I just need some tasty tea.
Here is how I like to brew my lemongrass ginger green tea:
Scoop your tea leaves into the french press (about 1-2 tsp), then add hot water. Let it brew for 3-4 minutes. You can add honey and cinnamon to your cup if you’d like. Press the leaves down and pour into your mug. Enjoy!
Coming up this week, my approach to fitness as well as some travel news!
Peace, love, and ginger spice,