Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with redheads.
My latest food obsession is fresh ginger. I love incorporating it into entrees like stir fry or butternut squash soup. But once I’ve used it in a recipe, I often find myself with leftover ginger sitting in the fridge.
Tonight I tried three simple, delicious ways to use my extra ginger.
- Fresh ginger tea. Astonishingly simple. I peeled the root with a vegetable peeler, then grated it with a garlic grater (any cheese grater or other mini grater would work). I grated enough to fill half of a round mesh tea infuser. I steeped the ginger in very hot water for several minutes. Voila! You could add sugar or spices, but I think it’s great plain or with a splash of milk.
- Homemade ginger ale. Slightly more complex, but still easy. I sliced the remainder of my peeled ginger as thin as possible. Put it in a small pot and cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat a little bit and watch to make sure it doesn’t boil over. After about 10 minutes, add some sugar (equal to the amount of water you put in). I kept the temp fairly high but not quite boiling and reduced the mixture til it formed a thin syrup. This is basically simple syrup with ginger in it. I pulled out the ginger pieces (and set them aside) and poured the syrup into a glass with sparkling water and just a splash of vodka. At first I filled about 1/3 of the glass with syrup and the other 2/3 with sparkling water. That tasted fantastic for the first sip or two, but then it was too sweet so I added more sparkling water in a bigger glass. You could add some lime juice or a sprig of mint.
- Candied ginger. If you made the ginger ale, your candied ginger is almost done! I spread out the ginger pieces I’d taken from the syrup and sprinkled them with a light layer of sugar. They can either sit and dry overnight or be dried in the oven at around 200-220 degrees F. I’m still drying mine, so I can’t say how good they will be, but I’m pretty excited.
There are lots of super claims out there about the health benefits of ginger. Supposed uses include treatment of ovarian cancer, prevention of colon cancer, relief from motion sickness, morning sickness, menstrual cramps, heartburn, pain and inflammation, migraines, cold and flu treatment/prevention, and even reducing kidney damage caused by diabetes. I don’t know about all of that, but ginger sure is tasty.