Sunday, June 02, 2013

Ginger Tea recipe

Ginger is one of my favorite flavors - I love its warm spicy flavor no matter where I find it - as a kid, I loved gingerbread, ginger ale, and ginger candy. As I got older, I discovered new ways to enjoy this fantastic rhizome - Thai dishes, Japanese stir-fries, and Moosewood Restaurant's yummy ginger-miso dressing (I'll post that recipe too, I promise).

Beyond ginger's obvious culinary delights, ginger is also a fantastic traditional remedy. I've been drinking lots of it lately, and have found that it helps with inflammatory stuff (like the arthritis in my back and those naughty monthly cramps), as well as helping to clear chest congestion when we caught that nasty cold a while back.

Ginger's use as a traditional medicinal goes back more than 2,000 years, so there is a wealth of information on its uses. I encourage you to do your own research and decide if ginger is right for you.

For starters, here's what WebMD has to say about ginger.

One thing you need to know: If you have a chronic health condition or if you're on prescription medications, DO check with your healthcare professional before ingesting ginger in quantities greater than that used for culinary purposes. Ginger interacts with many different medications, and it acts as a blood thinner too.

Following is how I prepare my ginger tea:

  • You'll need about 9 ounces of fresh ginger for 3 quarts of water, or 13 ounces of ginger for 4 quarts of water.
  • Refrigerate what you don't drink immediately, and consume within 24 hours of making.
  • For best results, ginger tea should be drunk warm.
  • Re-heat carefully - do not allow ginger tea to boil.

Peel ginger.

Cut into chunks.

Pulse-chop in food processor into tiny bits. You can also chop it with a knife if you don't have a food processor. The idea is to get it as finely chopped as possible.

Close-up of afore-mentioned tiny bits.

This is a 3-quart pot, filled with water and brought to a boil. Add chopped ginger and re-heat, just shy of a boil.

Turn heat off. Cover ginger tea. Allow to steep 2-3 hours.

Pour ginger tea through strainer.

Press chopped ginger with back of spoon to extract all the yummy gingery goodness.

I like to add a generous splash of almond milk to my ginger tea - the ginger tea is very strong and spicy, so the almond milk helps tone it down a bit and make it more of a "special treat" drink than a medicinal sort of thing.