You may associate ginger with Grandma’s famous gingersnap cookies or your favorite condiment for sushi. Many think of it as a pungent, savory spice or a zingy flavor in piping hot soup. IRL, ginger is bulbous, brown, and looks like the root of a tree. That’s because ginger comes from the rhizome, or underground stem, of the flowering plant.
Ginger is native to Asia and has been worshiped for its medicinal purposes in China for more than 2,500 years. (We’ll get to the many health benefits in just a bit.) On the food front, ginger is used all around the world in curries, stir frys, and sweet cakes. But how can one root take you from dinner all the way to dessert? Its flavor pairs well with so many dishes because it’s sweet, peppery, and almost spicy. Talk about a triple threat!
The Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a superstar in the health and wellness world. It can be pressed, juiced, powdered, and dried, making it a great go-to supplement. Gingerol, the bioactive compound within the root, has amazing antioxidant properties and is a potent anti-inflammatory. Ginger is a saving grace when it comes to nausea, can help with digestion, and can even play a role in weight loss. Studies have shown that taking ginger daily can protect against high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
The Nutrition Stats
- Calories: 6
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: Less than 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 1 gram
- Fiber: Less than 1 gram
- Sugar: 0 grams
How to Get in Your Ginger
For cooking purposes, ginger can be candied, pickled, powdered, diced, or ground. A few easy ways to reap the full benefits of ginger are to puree some into your smoothies, steep it in your tea, or whip up ginger chicken. If you’re looking for all-day eats, here’s a solid lineup:
Breakfast: Orange ginger juice
Lunch: Ginger salad
Dinner: Our Sesame-Ginger Chicken & Noodles
Dessert: Gingerbread cookies
The next time you’re in the produce section of the grocery store, grab a few knobs of ginger. If you run out of recipe ideas, pop them in the fridge where they’ll stay fresh for up to a month. If you want to try it out but can’t commit to the cooking, test out the taste in our Ginger-Tumeric Chicken Bowl or Thai Green Curry Bowl.