Welcome to our blog, this article entails incredible details on a well-known spice called GINGER.
Hope you are having an incredible day?
In one of our recent articles we talked about SMILE, hope a day doesn’t go by without you smiling.
So I need you to smile as you read through this article and let’s ginger with ginger.
Indian ranks number one in the world’s production, and also amongst the top 10 global exporters of ginger. Ginger is an herb with powerful anti-inflammatory properties which contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and vomiting and can also be used for headaches, menstrual cramps, etc. Gingers do not only add delicious flavor to food it’s also full of nutrients. For decades people have been using the root for cooking and healing.
It can be eaten fresh, dried, and stored as a spice or made into tablets, capsules, and liquid extracts. Its spice comes from the roots.
What is Ginger?
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome is widely used as a spice.
It’s classified as a member of the Zingiberaceae family, making it a close relative of turmeric.
Ginger is native to warmer parts of Asia, such as China, Japan, and India. But now is grown in parts of South American and Africa. It is one of the world’s most well-known and useful plants that has been used for centuries as a spice for flavoring food and as a medicinal plant.
Ginger is actually a rhizome and not a root, a rhizome is an underground stem. This is the part usually used as a spice or for healing purposes. Traditionally, the rhizome is gathered when the stalk withers; it is immediately scalded, or washed and scraped, to kill it and prevent sprouting.
The rhizomes are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or cooked as an ingredient in many dishes, the rhizomes are often used to flavor loaves of bread, sauces, curry dishes, ginger ale, ginger beer, etc.
Ginger produces clusters of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers.
Fresh gingers come in two forms;
The rarer “young” gingers also called baby ginger and the “mature” gingers.
- Young ginger is juicer and less fibrous with a suitable flavor. It has smaller rhizomes with lighter, super-thin Berge skin tinged pink on the ends.
- Mature ginger is left to grow longer than young ones, so the rhizomes get significantly larger, their skin darkens and gets thicker and their flesh becomes more fibrous.
Ginger can be cultivated all year-round, however, the best time to plant them is at the end of winter and early spring. It’s a perennial reed-like plant with an annual leafy stem, about a meter (3-4feet) tall. The mature rhizome can be harvested after 10-12 months.
Ginger has a slightly biting taste and is used, usually dried and ground. The oil gotten from it may be used for perfume and medicine.
In Burma, it is used in a salad dish called “gyin-tho”. This consists of shredded gingers preserved in oil and a variety of nuts and seeds.
In China, sliced or whole ginger root is often paired with savory dishes like fish.
In Japan, slices of gingers are eaten between dishes or courses to clear the palate.
Here are the vitamins and minerals present in ginger in trace amounts;
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B3 and B6
Gingers contain more than 400 chemical compounds but researchers believe the gingerol compounds are the ones responsible for its health benefits, they are also responsible for its smell and flavor. Gingerol has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help the body in a variety of different ways. There’s about 2% of essential oil in the root, which is used in the cosmetic industry as a fragrance in soaps and beauty products. The pungency of gingers comes from three compounds; gingerol, found in fresh form while 6-shogaol is found in dried form, 6-shogaol found in dried ginger, and zingerone found in cooked form.
The chemical compounds in the rhizome are believed to ease stomach pain and aid digestion. It is also used as a remedy to ease morning sickness during pregnancy.
Gingers help to fight against germs, using an active compound called gingerols to stop oral bacteria from growing. It may help to tame soreness of the muscle; it also helps to reduce inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. This can help prevent the occurrence of ulcers, which are generally characterized by acute gastric irritability.
Ginger Tea: you can make tea by steeping grated form in boiled water. It is a natural cure for a sore throat, coughs, and colds.
The level of flavor that ginger delivers to a meal depends on when it is added during the cooking process. Added early, it will give a hint of flavor; adding it toward the end will bring about a more pungent taste.
Don’t forget to get gingers when next you go to the market to get the spicy treat of goodness.