February 4, 2013 by fitscript
Since moving to Asia, I started using fresh ginger because it is a regular ingredient in many marinades and sauces. I love the flavor and bit of “kick” it gives to a dish, but in the world of herbal medicine and history, ginger is the star.
Ginger is the world’s most widely cultivated herb with a known history that goes back to ancient Greek texts in 200 B.C. Almost every culture in history has recorded the value of ginger as a digestive aid. Traditional Chinese and some Indian sects viewed ginger as a healing gift from God while the Koran describes it as the “beverage of the holiest heavenly spirits.” Even Confucius wrote of never being without ginger when he ate as far back as 500 B.C. The Japanese used it to help with spinal and joint pain. The Chinese used it for pain, cold and flu symptoms and their sailors used ginger’s Vitamin C properties to fight off scurvy. Ginger was even a regular part of an American Revolutionary Solider’s diet. To put its use in perspective, ginger is estimated to be a component in 50% of traditional herbal remedies. (www.herballegacy.com)
Even today ginger is known to (according to WebMD):
1. Reduce nausea and dizziness including as a post surgery remedy and potentially for motion sickness
2. Reduce menstrual symptoms and pain
3. Potentially help reduce morning sickness
4. Some studies show it reduces arthritis pain (joint support)
5. One of my personal favorite at home cold and flu drinks is ginger, lemon tea
How did the “Alka-Seltzer of the Roman Empire” fall so far from grace? My personal opinion is that, certainly in the west, we have gotten arrogant about our own ability to create products and medicines. In doing so, we have forgotten what our ancestors knew for thousands of years. Some of the best remedies were already created.
Some delicious recipes and sauces that use ginger: (Don’t forget the awesome ginger maple glaze from my tofu post. You can use that as a sauce to bake salmon or a glaze over scallops as well)
Blueberry Ginger Sauce
*I put scallops on top, but I actually think the sauce would be better over pan fried pork chops
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries (i used frozen)
2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon of organic palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (i always use less)
1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander
Set oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl mix the first 5 ingredients ensure that the blueberries are well coated. Take some coconut oil and rub the bottom of a glass baking dish to keep the blueberries from sticking. Put the blueberries in the baking dish and bake. If the blueberries are fresh, they will pop when they are done. If they frozen, you will see the sauce boil when it’s done. Somewhere around 5-10mins.
Creamy Ginger Sauce
*I put this over scallops as well, but it would also be delicious over salmon or shrimp.
1 tablespoon of chopped green onions or shallots if you an find them
2 tablespoons of minced or grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup of wine
1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large fry pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion or shallots and saute for about 1 min (stir). Stir in the ginger and the wine and turn down to simmer. Let the wine reduce to about half. Add the coconut milk and let simmer and reduce another 1/4-1/3. Also add salt and pepper to taste. I pan fried the scallops separated and quick sauteed some carrots, green pumpkin and bok choy. I poured the sauce over the scallops and vegetables.
Carrot Ginger Curry Soup (with shrimp or scallops)
*This was a delicious addition to my recipe box
2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
1/2 medium yellow onion
2 teaspoons of minced ginger
1 minced garlic clove
2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of coconut milk
1-2 teaspoons of yellow curry paste (buy at specialty store or Asian section of grocery store)
6 medium large carrots peeled and chopped
1-2 apples peeled and chopped
salt and pepper
scallops or shrimp (optional)
In saucepan over medium high heat, add coconut oil, onion,ginger and garlic. Cook until onions are soft. Add the carrots, apples and 1/2 teaspoon of curry paste. Stir and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and another 1/2 teaspoon of curry paste and stir. Let simmer until the carrots are semi-soft. Add the coconut milk, bring to a very light simmer. At this time you can add another 1/2 teaspoon of curry paste if you desire (and stir well). When carrots are soft remove from heat and either carefully blend the soup in a blender or use a hand mixer and blend the soup, so it is fully combined and thick. Taste it again if you want to add the last 1/2 teaspoon of curry paste, you can, however put it back on the stove (hot burner), add the paste and stir well until it is combined. Bring it to a very light simmer and remove. You only need to do this step if you add curry paste after the soup is blended. You can season with salt and pepper if desired. I cook the scallops or shrimp separately and add to the soup bowl. Top with fresh cilantro and serve.