Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Roundup: Crystallized Ginger

Its that glorious time of year again, the time when it gets so cold out all you can do is cuddle up inside with a warm cup of tea or cocoa, and cook! The holidays are always a huge cooking and baking time for me. I think that cooking for someone is a true sign of love-- it is creative, takes time and effort (unlike say..online shopping, though convenient at times) but is at the same time ever so enjoyable for the chef! To start of my holiday baking extravaganza this year I decided to make crystallized ginger. Not only is ginger an absolutely delicious, and warming root that can be used in sweet or savory dishes, it also has a great number of health benefits. It is an amazing cure for stomach aches, cramps and nausea, morning sickness, colds. It can also provide allergy symptom relief and inhibit production of bad cholesterol in the body.  From this recipe you will not only get crystallized ginger, but a whole bunch of ginger tea that you can sip on-- add a little honey and a squeeze of lemon and you'll be in heaven! Or for those of you with a holiday sweet tooth, eat a few of these little ginger candies and you'll be happy as a clam!

Crystallized Ginger
8 oz ginger root
1/2 C sugar + extra for rolling

1. Remove the skin from the ginger root, and slice it into very thin slices-- no larger than 1/8 of an inch to be sure.
2. Put ginger into a small sauce pan and cover with water until there is an inch or two covering the top of the ginger, and bring to a boil
3. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let it cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the ginger is soft, and a bit translucent. Remove the ginger root from the pan. You can reserve the leftover liquid and drink it if you like--its a delicious and strong ginger tea at this point. Yum!
4. Put 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a separate pan and bring to a boil. Once the sugar is completely dissolved in the water, pour in your ginger root. Simmer the simple syrup and ginger until the syrup is mostly dissolved, stirring regularly while this process is happening.
5. Pour some sugar into a bowl. Take the ginger root pieces and pour them into the bowl of sugar, evenly coating each piece. (make sure any leftover simple syrup doesn't get into the sugar bowl)
6. Leave out to dry on a wire rack or sheet of parchment paper. This took a few hours for me. To store you can place these in a large airtight plastic bag. Try eating them alone, or chopping them up and putting them in oatmeal or baked goods. Enjoy!

Health Benefits!!
Ginger- relieves nausea and indigestion, prevents motion sickness, may help morning sickness, antispasmotic  properties help relieve cramps, useful in helping arthritis, can reduce cholesterol levels in blood, and it is an aphrodisiac ;-)


The A to Z Guide to Healing Herbal Remedies, Jason Elias and Selagh Ryan Masline 

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