Tag Archives: Ginger

Spice of Life

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So, I love Indian food. I think I can say without hesitation that it is one of my favorite cuisines out there. It is relatively healthy, has a lovely kick, and just so much flavor! Plus, the spectrum of flavors (and colors!) blows my mind.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Spices are an important part of Indian cuisine, and have been used historically for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Ancient Ayurvedic medicine relied on many natural remedies, and the health-boosting ingredients are still used in Indian cooking today to create food that is not only bursting with flavor but good for you as well.

Some of the common spices and herbs used in Indian recipes are as follows:

AMCHUR –Dry mango powder made from unripened, sun dried fruit. Tart flavor and carries all the nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins found in whole mangoes. Rich in iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E, and aids digestion.

BAY LEAVES –Very aromatic leaves that come from the cassia tree. They have a rich, woody flavor and light floral scent. It has many antibacterial, digestive, and antifungal properties, and is thought to benefit patients with diabetes and arthritis. In addition, they have been known to help with stress and anxiety.
 
BLACK PEPPER – An old, classic spice. Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and is thought to aid in digestion, boost metabolism, and help clear congestion.

CARDAMOM –Cardamom pods contain small, black seeds with a strong, versatile flavor. They are used in many Indian dishes, drinks, and desserts. Cardamom has also been used traditionally to treat ailments of the teeth or gums, aid in digestion, and pulmonary congestion as well as a breath freshener.
 
CAYENNE PEPPER – Made from dried and ground hot chili peppers. High in vitamin A, and contains vitamins B6, E, C, and potassium. It also has anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties, and can boost your metabolism.
 
CINNAMON – Obtained from the inner bark of a certain tree; used in the production of chocolate and to flavor a variety of desserts and savory dishes. Cinnamon is also thought to help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and have antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
 
CORIANDER – Comes from same plant as cilantro (but are the fruits)! Used in a variety of world cuisines. The fresh, fragrant leaves have a stronger citrus flavor than the fruits, and are often used in garnishes and chutneys. May be ground and used as a flavoring agent. Coriander is a source of calcium, iron, and magnesium, and is used as a home remedy to treat colds, to help regulate blood sugar, cholesterol, and free-radical production.
 
CUMIN – A member of the parsley family. Its seeds are extracted from the plant’s fruit and used whole or ground. It has a distinct earthy, peppery flavor. Cumin is believed to aid digestion and enhance appetite. It is also a source of iron and antioxidants, and may even boost the immune system and help the liver’s natural detoxification process.

FENUGREEK LEAVES – Native to South Asia and Southeastern Europe, fenugreek leaves resemble clover leaves.  They have been found to slow absorption of sugars in the stomach and stimulate insulin, helping lower blood sugar.  They have also been seen to be beneficial in treating kidney ailments, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, as well as aiding in digestion.
 
GARLIC – Garlic has a characteristic flavor that lends itself to a wide range of cooking. It is rich in sulfurous compounds, manganese, vitamins B6 and C, and selenium. Garlic has also been shown to have many health benefits, including the ability to help regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to boost cardiovascular health.
 
GINGER – A versatile flavoring agent in many savory dishes, as well as teas and desserts. Also known for its various antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and is often used in home remedies for colds, and to relieve certain types of arthritic pain and motion sickness.
 
MINT –Used to flavor a variety of savory dishes, teas and desserts. A distinctive sweetness and cooling aftertaste. Also thought to have medicinal value, and to help to alleviate stomach pain and mild congestion. It can also provide relief from nausea or headaches, and is a natural stimulant that may help ward off fatigue.
 
NUTMEG  A fragrant spice made from the large ground seeds of an evergreen tree. Unique flavor that is both sweet and savory. Nutmeg also has anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in digestion.
 
TAMARIND – The tamarind tree yields fruit pods that are reddish brown when ripe. A sweet and sour taste. It has B vitamins, potassium, calcium, and antioxidants. Also thought to help lower cholesterol, promote heart health, and help fight against common ailments such as colds and fevers.
 
TURMERIC – Typically boiled, dried, and ground into a rich yellow-orange powder, but may also be used fresh. Earthy, lightly peppery flavor and  used to season and color many dishes in Indian cuisine. Turmeric has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and has been used in ancient medicine to treat stomach and liver ailments, arthritis, and of skin conditions.

Good stuff, right?! If you live in the Rhode Island area and ever have a hankering for delicious Indian cuisine, let me know and I will certainly give you recommendations!

Pear + Ginger

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Hi Baby Loves –

It’s midterm week for me -_- which means this will most likely be the last you hear of me until Friday when the stress is over.

Here are a few tasty recipes to tide you over in my absence.

Pear and Cheese Panini (serves 4)
Ingredients: – 2 t fresh, grated ginger
– 8 slices whole-wheat sourdough bread, 1/2″ thick
– 4 oz blue cheese
– 1 pear, cored and sliced
– 1 c baby arugula
– cooking spray/butter/what have you

Directions: – Rub ginger across one side of every bread slice
– Sprinkle 4 T cheese over 4 slices
– Top with pear slices, arugula, more cheese and other slice
– Spray grill pan, set medium-high heat, place sandwiches (however many will fit), cover with parchment and place large skillet on top to press
– Cook until grille marks appear, 1-2 minutes
– Flip sandwiches, cover, press for another 1-2 minutes, eat!

Health Facts: Per sandwich, 310 calories, 11 g fat (5g sat), 38 g carbs, 9g sugar, 700mg sodium, 5g fiber, 12g protein

Green Smoothie
This one is simple. Blend together: 1 pear (cored, cut), 2 c milk of choice, 2 c baby spinach, 2 t lemon juice, 1t grated fresh ginger, 1/4 t ground cardamom. Serves 2!

Poached Pears (serves 4)
Boil: 1.5 c white wine, 1.5 c water, 1/4 c sugar, 8 slices fresh ginger, 8 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 2 pears (peeled, halved, cored). Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Remove pears and cover with foil. Strain liquid and boil until reduced, 20 minutes. Spoon syrup and 2T chopped crystallized ginger over the pears.

Spiced Muffins
Combine 2 c whole-wheat flour and 1T baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk 1 c plain yogurt, 1/3 c brown sugar, 1/3 c veggie oil, 2 eggs, and 1T grated ginger. Stir into flour. Fold in 1 1/2 c shredded pears and 1/4 c diced crystallized ginger. Pour into tins, make at 400 F for 18-20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Enjoy! Wish me luck studying 🙂

Gettin’ Juicy

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Good Day! (It feels too late to say morning, yet too early to say afternoon.)

I made some juices to kick start my Thursday, and naturally I photographed them, so I figured I would share ’em with all of you for potential recipe inspiration. I’m going climbing in South Boston at noon for the day, so it was the most opportune time for me to stack up on my micro-nutrients.

Here’s the first one, which happens to be a personal favorite:

C'est ParfaitThe ingredients are as follows: Gala Apples, Parsley, Beet, Lemon, Ginger and Carrot. I call this one the “C’est Parfait”… it means “it is perfect” in French and, well, it is.

C'est ParfaitNow, I obviously used a lot of ingredients to yield a solid amount of juice because I tend to make extra for la famille, but if anyone needs or wants the ratios for personal sizes, just let me know.

Here’s the second one. It’s not as sweet and tantalizing as the C’est Parfait, but this one packs a nice health punch and really gets those juices flowing – pun intended.

Juice 2This one doesn’t have a name in my mind yet, but the ingredients are as follows: Cilantro, Tomato, Red Pepper, Lime, Parsley, Jalapeno, Celery, Garlic, Spinach and Kale. It’s sort of reminiscent of a Bloody Mary, so maybe a name like the Juicy Mary could work? I don’t know. Ideas are welcome!

Juicy Mary?Now I know having Garlic in a juice may sound weird and unappealing, and at first it may be strange, but you really actually start to enjoy the zing it gives you. I also only add one clove so it’s not overwhelming, yet you still get all the glorious benefits that garlic has to offer – and believe me, there are plenty.

Well, I’m off to climb. Have a great day! Stay fabulous.

Holy Sh*t … I Mean, Shot.

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Happy Friday!
If you’re currently residing in Rhode Island like myself, the weather isn’t exactly happy, but it’s not like we can change that. Carpe diem, baby. At least our farms will be drinking it all up (pun intended).

As of yesterday, I’ve come down with some sickness that has yet to be named. I have flu-like symptoms, but it could potentially be Lyme, which would so NOT be cool. However, since I have been rock climbing outside lately it isn’t an entirely far-fetched idea. Either way I am getting blood work done this morning so hopefully the mystery will be solved, and thank the lord for that because I am bored!! I’m so used to working crazy long weeks lately that when I have almost a full day off to lay in bed and actually recuperate, I start climbing the walls within two hours.

On the bright side, you all get to benefit from my home confinement because I actually have time to post things! I know, you’re over the moon with excitement – me too.

Since I put myself to bed at 9:30 last night, I was up and rearing to go (minus the intense stomach pain) at 7:15 this morning. I had nothing better to do with my life, so I decided to have a little photo shoot with this lovely thing called The Holy Shot that we serve at The Power Bar.

Basically, it is a 4 oz shot with a base of filtered water, then you add in about 3 shakes of cayenne pepper, 1/2 of a lemon, and about 1/2 teaspoon of freshly minced ginger. This puppy wakes you up with a *bang!* and can also help with various ailments that you may be suffering from.

The Ingredients

What goes inside (minus h2o)

Now, just so you don’t think I am pulling your leg, here are the benefits of this mighty shot. I didn’t include water because… well, you should know that water is good for you. You can’t exactly survive without it.

Lemon: natural energizer (fights fatigue), flushes out unwanted materials, balances pH, helps hypertension, aids in weight loss (digestive aid), boosts immune system, helps with fever and chills, is antibacterial and abolishes acne.

Ginger: helps with migraines, muscle pain caused by exercise, inflammation of the colon, menstrual cramps, morning sickness, nausea caused by chemotherapy (if taken before), liver damage caused by acetaminophen (aka Tylenol), high blood pressure, asthma, diarrhea, bronchitis, arthritis, digestion, and the most amazing discover is helping cure ovarian cancer. A study found that exposing ovarian cancer cells to a solution of ginger powder resulted in their death in every single test – the cells either committed suicide (apoptosis) or digested/attacked themselves (autophagy).

Cayenne Pepper: Digestive aid, anti-irritant like upset stomach, ulcers, coughs, diarrhea and sore throats, anti-cold and flu agent, anti-fungal properties, migraine/headache prevention, helps with allergies, useful for blood clots, circulatory stimulant, joint-pain reliever, aids in weight loss, helps prevent lung cancer in smokers, promotes heart health, great for tooth and gum diseases.

Hail The Holy Shot

Hail The Holy Shot

Well, there you have it! Isn’t it cool looking? I sprinkled more cayenne on top for aesthetics; I probably wouldn’t drink it like that – I re-blended it for myself afterwards.

I’m off to get some blood work done, wish me luck!!!

Smoothie Thickeners

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Hello, loves!

How art thou? I worked this morning and then went to this soap spring day thing, there was tasty food so I would call it a success. The weather however was no not spring-like, today! Rain rain rain; fun times.
Anyway, I have some fun tips for all of my fellow smoothie-makers out there. I like to use thinner liquids like water or apple juice as my base sometimes, so naturally my smoothie will be a little thinner than I always want. In order to combat this, I add various thickeners to my smoothies, and presto! A delicious, thick, lip-smacking smoothie.

The Thickeners:

Banana. Fresh will add some thickness, but for a more ideal thickener, use a frozen banana. 1 should suffice.

Oatmeal. The key to using oatmeal in a smoothie is to finely grind it first. I would add about 1/4 of oatmeal powder.

Chia Seeds. I love these guys! They can act as a binding agent and a thickener. Add 1 tablespoon to the blender or stir the seeds directly into the smoothie, letting it sit for a minute to thicken up.

Avocado. I use this all the time! It has a different color and flavor than banana, and makes smoothies extra creamy. Use 1/2 or 1 avocado, depending on how ambitious you are.

Frozen Fruit. Frozen fruit can thicken a smoothie right up, as well as provide natural sweetness to your drink. Any fruit will do, but for extra creaminess, choose mango, peach or young coconut.

Yogurt. This is another go-to of mine. Any kind of yogurt will work, but for an extra thick smoothie (and the healthiest option), I would use Greek yogurt. If you don’t like Greek, use drained yogurt instead.

Silken Tofu. Personally, I’ve never tried this before. Apparently silken tofu has a neutral flavor with a smooth and creamy texture, which works splendidly in smoothies. It also has the benefit of being additional protein!

On a different note, check out this beautiful crystallized ginger! I buy this from our local co-op in Wakefield, and it’s pretty stellar. I use it to cook with, in tea, or when I’m feeling a little daring and stuffed up, I pop a small sucker in my mouth. As the sign states, ginger is an effective digestive aid by helping to relieve ingestion, gas pains and stomach cramping. I am a huge ginger supporter, so please, get in on this!

Crystallized GingerYums

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well my darlings, I’m going to go continue my Saturday night laziness! I have to work again in the morning, so it’s a cozy night in for me. X’s and O’s!

I Told The Witch Doctor I Was In Love With You

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First of all, I have made it to 70 blog followers and 4 e-mail followers, so close to the 75 mark! Thank you everyone!! I hope you all enjoy, and if there is ever anything you would like me to talk about, please don’t hesitate to ask.

At Raw Bob’s a few weeks ago, we added an elixir to our menu, dubbed “The Witch Doctor Elixir”. It’s amazing. It’s addicting. It’s intense. I absolutely love it, and it just makes me feel awesome starting from the inside. You feel this going down.
I highly recommend trying this; whether you come into our shop for one (it’s only $3.95) or you make it at home – as long as you have a juicer and the proper ingredients.
Without further ado, here it is! I’ll include the benefits as well so definitely read it all. Let me know what you think 🙂

The Witch Doctor

The Witch Doctor

It should come out to be a beautiful rusty color like shown in the above photo.

What’s Inside?
– 2 oz coconut water
– 1 whole lemon
– squirt agave nectar
– 1 shake cayenne pepper
– 2 nubs of ginger
– 2 nubs of turmeric
– splash of water

How To Make:
1. Pour out the coconut water into a measuring cup, then add the cayenne and agave nectar.
2. Into your juicer, add the ginger, turmeric and follow with the lemon and splash of water.
3. Stir all ingredients together (should be 4 oz total) and drink immediately.

As a forewarning, the cayenne and lemon makes this drink a little bit potent. The agave nectar is meant to cut it down and add a little sweetness, but it is still a spicy sucker, so just have that in mind!

Now, the benefits:
Lemon: natural energizer (fights fatigue), flushes out unwanted materials, balances pH, helps hypertension, aids in weight loss (digestive aid), boosts immune system, helps with fever and chills, is antibacterial and abolishes acne.

Turmeric: powerful anti-oxidant, potent anti-inflammatory, aids prevention of Alzheimer’s, treats arthritis and most recently, UCLA discovered that curcumin, the main component in turmeric, appeared to block an enzyme that promotes the growth of head and neck cancer.

Ginger: helps with migraines, muscle pain caused by exercise, inflammation of the colon, menstrual cramps, morning sickness, nausea caused by chemotherapy (if taken before), liver damage caused by acetaminophen (aka Tylenol), high blood pressure, asthma, diarrhea, bronchitis, arthritis, digestion, and the most amazing discover is helping cure ovarian cancer. A study found that exposing ovarian cancer cells to a solution of ginger powder resulted in their death in every single test – the cells either committed suicide (apoptosis) or digested/attacked themselves (autophagy).

Coconut Water: aids in weight-loss due to low fat content and suppresses appetite, moisturizes skin, perfect for hangovers by settling stomach and replacing essential electrolytes, re-hydrates, facilitates digestion, reduces blood pressure, is cholesterol free, high in potassium and it is isotonic to human plasma, which means in extreme emergencies it can quickly rehydrate the human body is administered intravenously.

Agave Nectar: Low-glycemic sweetener*, weight loss aid because increases satiety and decreases appetite, lowers cholesterol, reduces risk of some cancers, increases absorption of nutrients (like calcium and magnesium), anti-inflammatory, boosts immune system and antimicrobial capabilities.

Cayenne Pepper: Digestive aid, anti-irritant like upset stomach, ulcers, coughs, diarrhea and sore throats, anti-cold and flu agent, anti-fungal properties, migraine/headache prevention, helps with allergies, useful for blood clots, circulatory stimulant, joint-pain reliever, aids in weight loss, helps prevent lung cancer in smokers, promotes heart health, great for tooth and gum diseases.

* I would highly recommend using agave nectar/syrup instead of sugar in some recipes. Use about 1/3 cup of agave nectar for every one cup of sugar called for in recipes, reduce the liquid ingredients in recipes by one-third, since agave nectar is liquid (and sugar is dry) and reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees.

… well, there you have it! I bet you didn’t know that all of those ingredients had such a wide array of health benefits, huh? And if you did.. then well, you’re already awesome – stay that way!