Ginger is one of those indispensable herbs that we
often take for granted. I can remember having a
jar of ground ginger in my cupboard for so long that
it lost it's flavor! That was before I realized how many
things it could be used for. In the 13th Century the
English Royalty loved it so much it became worth it's
weight in gold. We are fortunate that we can buy ginger
fresh or ground at our grocery stores without having to
sell our earthly possessions.
You can grow fresh ginger by planting a ginger root in
a 12 inch pot, just below the surface of the dirt. Place
the pot in a warm sunny spot, making sure it has good
drainage. Water sparingly until the small green shoots
appear, and then water well. Ginger loves being misted
and fertilized regularly. You will have to bring it inside
during the winter, where they will become dormant and
die down. After the plant is well established, in about a
year, dig up the roots from the newer sprouts to use;
these will be more flavorful.
Roots will keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, and
you can freeze it if it's wrapped well in plastic. You can
use fresh ginger in recipes that call for dried, but use about
half the amount called for. You can peel ginger root and
chop it into very thin pieces for adding to any stir fry recipe.
Try adding thin slivers to your poached fruit recipes or
compotes. Grate the ginger root and add to your vegetable
recipes as you boil or stem them.
Of course, we all know that ground ginger is invaluable in
holiday recipes! Below I have one recipe using fresh
ginger and one using ground. Be sure to try both!
Ginger Peas and Carrots
4 small carrots, cut into thin slices
2 tablespoon chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup peas
1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
In a medium sized pan, sauté the carrots in the
stock for 5 minutes. Add the peas, ginger, garlic
and water. Partially cover the pan and when the
water boils, turn down the heat and steam for
5-7 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
Makes 4 servings.
Ginger Pound Cake
3/4 cup margarine
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup plain yogurt
In a large bowl, beat margarine and sugar until
light. Beat in eggs, lemon peel and vanilla. Combine
flour, baking powder, ginger and salt. Beat into
sugar mixture, alternately with yogurt, until just
blended. Spoon into greased and floured 9x5x3 inch
loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and 15
minutes or until toothpick inserted comes clean. Cool
15 minutes, then remove from pan. Serve with yogurt
or whipped cream and fresh or frozen berries.
Brenda Hyde is a wife, mom, freelance writer and editor at
http://seedsofknowledge.com. For more herb tips,recipes
and gardening features visit her at The Garden Path:
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