“Whether it’s drinks, spreads, sauces, ice cream, cakes or cookies, there’s almost nothing that can’t be made with ginger.” So says Ellen Heidböhmer, author of the book Healthy with ginger. The flavor gives all dishes an exotic touch. In addition, ginger makes foods more digestible.
At first, it is important to find good ginger when shopping. The advice of the experts is: “A fresh ginger root cannot be pressed with a finger. It has a thin, light brown shell, which shine like a scroll. When you cut it, it’s light yellow to green.”
Buy the root or the powder?
Ginger is also sold in powder form. This is a good substitute when you can’t get it fresh: “Ginger powder is clearly milder than fresh ginger, because it hardly contains any more essential oils”, says the expert. “The ginger powder lasts up to a year if in a dry environment and in temperatures below 20 degreesbut it is losing aroma”.
Both for the use of the root and the powder there is a lot of scope for cooks: “Ginger can be used in many ways. Its strong aromatic flavor goes especially well with rice, vegetables, poultry, fish or seafood., but also with sweet dishes”, says the author. “As far as I know, there are no ingredients that don’t go with ginger.”
In her book, Ellen Heidböhmer shows, among other things, how quickly you can prepare a ginger and carrot spread. For it, carrots are cut into small cubes and a shallot (bulb of the onion family, but smaller) and both ingredients are sautéed over medium heat in butter. Then add vegetable and ginger broth, until carrots are cooked.
Pepper and chili are added and when it cooled down a bit it is processed until it becomes a puree. Finally, it is mixed with fresh cheese and, after a period of refrigeration and maceration this dipslightly spicy, can be used to taste.
Tone down the spiciness of the ginger
who wants To soften the flavor of ginger a bit when cooking, you can try the following tips: place the ginger for ten to 15 minutes in cold water before using it.
“To dishes with ginger that are too spicy, it is convenient to add them with bread”, points out Ellen Heidböhmer. The bread neutralizes the spiciness and should be removed shortly before serving. “To the liquid foods with ginger that were too spicy, You can add some sweet cream. That softens the spicy”.
Also Rose Marie Donhauser, author of another book on the subject, is a true expert in this tuber. She knows the best way to peel the root and how to cut it, so that it can continue to be used and the flavor is preserved. “Due to the shape of ginger it is convenient to use a potato peeler“, He says.
“It is better to separate the pulp from the brown skin with a spoon or knife.”. Of course, the healthiest components are found directly under the shell. Therefore, it recommends: “The best thing is to wash it, brush it and use it with the peel.”
Ginger is often used in recipes cut into small pieces or grated. What is better? “The smaller you cut it, the stronger the essential oils will feel”, says Rose-Marie Donhauser. “When you chop it, many times the ginger juice remains on the wooden board. So it is best to grate fresh ginger directly in the preparation”.
The cooking time of the ginger depends on how spicy we want the dish to be.. “The more you cook it, the spicier the flavor will be.” If the idea is that this does not happen, it is better expect. “If added at the end of cooking, it provides a smooth, slightly citrusy flavor.”.
How to make a quick ginger rice
A way tasty and not very complicated to use it is to prepare a rice with ginger and paprika, as Donhauser proposes in his book. To do this, first a thumb-sized piece of ginger is peeled and diced (or grated). Then they are washed, the seeds are removed and two peppers are cut into squares.
The next step consists of heat vegetable oil on a grill and sauté the ginger and peppers, add rice and fry everything for a few minutes, always stirring. Season with salt, pepper and chili, add vegetable broth and, after boiling, cook in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. And now an exotic rice dish is ready, which goes well with grilled dishes and also tastes good cold.
But despite this variety and the easy possibilities of using it, not everyone likes the special aroma of ginger. Besides, pay attention to the amount consumed. “In sensitive people, ginger can irritate the lining of the stomach”, says Ellen Heidböhmer. “Basically, no more than 30-40 grams of fresh ginger or 4-5 grams of powdered ginger should be consumed per day”.