Fresh ginger root is not only delicious, it's one of the healthiest foods you can eat. The compounds in ginger, most notably gingerols and shogaols, are potent anti-inflammatories that can help relieve the pain of arthritis, headaches and menstruation. Ginger also helps to prevent nausea and functions as a blood thinner. You can add fresh ginger to a number of foods to incorporate it into your daily diet.
Grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger into a bowl of oatmeal for a filling breakfast that is rich in fiber. Add a dash of cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar or a non-nutritive sweetener, and your oatmeal will taste like gingerbread. You can also put fresh ginger on toast by grating it finely and adding it to a dab of jelly, then spreading the jelly on the toast. Try adding ginger to pear preserves, peach jam or apple butter, or simply let your taste buds be your guide. Grate a bit of fresh ginger root on basmati rice to give it an Asian flavor.
Almost any meat can benefit from a touch of ginger. Add it when you've just finished stir-frying chicken, pork or beef. Sprinkle it on top of broiled fish and add a bit of lemongrass for a Thai flavor. You may find that you enjoy the flavor of ginger the best if you add it a few minutes before the dish finishes cooking, as it will better incorporate itself with the other flavors.
Fruits and Vegetables
Ginger spices up mashed sweet potatoes, giving them a bit of a bite. Add a bit of finely grated ginger with a splash of orange juice and a dash of cinnamon. Slice apples and saute them in a bit of butter for a side dish. Add fresh ginger and cinnamon along with brown sugar to taste for a pleasant dessert. Transform green beans by cooking them with soy sauce and garlic and adding a bit of fresh ginger. Experiment by adding ginger to different vegetables, as you never know what will might turn out to be an exciting dish.
Dressings and Marinades
Ginger lends itself well to dressings and marinades. Add grated ginger root to a base of orange juice and sesame oil for a marinade that will give beef, chicken or pork an instant Asian flavor. Make a simple healthful dressing by combining lime juice, walnut oil, garlic and ginger. Mash fresh ginger along with garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil for an addition to steamed vegetables for a significant flavor boost.
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Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.