Fresh ginger root, that knobby and curious-looking root you may see in the produce department, can enhance cooking with its lively flavor. The spicy zing of fresh ginger can add flavor to foods, as well as provide some health benefits, nausea relief and immune enhancement. Try cooking stir-fry with ginger root for a flavorful entree the kids will enjoy.
Choosing Ginger Root
Look for firm, high-quality ginger root without any soft or mushy areas. Check the roots and choose pieces without mold. The outside surface of the root may have a light gloss. Choose a piece of ginger root with the least number of knots and intersections branching to smaller sections for the best taste. Select either mature or young ginger root. According to The World's Healthiest Foods website, only the mature variety requires peeling to prepare it.
Preparing Ginger Root
Peel the mature ginger root with a paring knife by placing it onto a cutting board and slicing only the skin carefully from the root. If you use young ginger root, simply scrub it well with a vegetable brush and use it without peeling. Slice the ginger root into 1/8-inch slices and then dice each slice finely. Another option is to grate the ginger root with a kitchen grater to prepare fresh mounds of ginger root that are ideal for adding to recipes.
Whip up a stir-fry with ingredients that will complement the ginger root flavors. Use broccoli, carrots, snow peas, cauliflower, green peppers, water chestnuts, bean sprouts and green onions to add nutritious vitamins and attractive colors to a stir-fry. Use chicken, turkey, beef, pork or even skip the meat altogether and serve a meatless side dish that's brimming with delicious ingredients. Add a packet of seasoning mix of your choice to boost flavor without adding fuss. The point at which you add the ginger root to the stir-fry will create a stronger or more subtle taste. Because you're cooking for kids, try adding the grated or diced ginger at the beginning of the cooking process so it mellows.
Stir Fry Accompaniments
Stir-fry served over a bed of rice may be the typical presentation, but you can get creative with this as well. If your kids prefer pasta, try serving stir-fry over orzo -- tiny pasta pieces that resemble rice in size and shape. Round out the menu with a fruit salad featuring colorful melon, grapes and berries tossed in a creamy dressing and a basket of dinner rolls for a complete meal that will please the whole family.
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Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.
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