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Why You Need to Try Ginger, the Magic Spice

Ginger health benefits and starter recipes

From nausea to indigestion, I have struggled with stomach issues for as long as I can remember. When I became pregnant, these symptoms seemed to heighten with morning sickness and a growing baby. That’s when I did a little research and learned about a magical food: the ginger root.

Ginger root is most commonly found pickled and sliced, accompanying your sushi. That’s how I was first introduced to it, and I absolutely fell in love. However, I began to see its true benefits when I started adding it to the meals I prepare at home.

Here are just a few of the amazing things ginger can do for you:

1. It curbs nausea and helps to eliminate indigestion.

2. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which can also ease muscle aches and pains while boosting the immune system.

3. It can help lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar, decreasing the risk of heart disease linked to early death.

4. It can help alleviate menstrual pain! (All the praise hands 🙌)

5. It may even prevent certain types of cancer and deter the side effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.

(To read more about the facts listed above, visit Authority Nutrition.)

After reading only a few of these benefits, it’s hard to believe that there isn’t a widespread movement among chefs everywhere—both in homes and restaurants alike!

While I’m no fine-dining chef, I do the majority of the cooking in my home. I’ve now mastered a few recipes that incorporate ginger that I would love to share with you. They can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and have become staples in our house!

Ginger Chicken Rainbow Vegetable Gnocchi Soup

Ingredients:
1 pulled rotisserie chicken
1 bushel of celery, diced
1 bushel of green onions, sliced
2 large roma tomatoes, diced
2 ears (or cans) of corn, shaved
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
3 carrots (or 1 bag), julienned (Although I prefer Julienne carrots, you can really put these into the soup any way you like.)
1 bag of baby spinach
1 pint of heavy whipping cream (I recommend Organic Valley for the best taste.)
3 3lb containers of chicken broth (I recommend the College Inn brand for the best taste.)
1 ½ cup of parsley flakes
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground chicken bullion
2 tablespoons of minced ginger (Usually found in the international aisle around the Asian/Oriental food, semi liquid form.)
2 packs of mini gnocchi (I recommend the Gia Russa, but any will do!)
Salt to taste

Directions:
In the largest pot you have (I use a 4-gallon pot), add all vegetables, besides the spinach, into the chicken broth and turn heat to high. Next, add the whipping cream and all of the spices, except for the salt.

Once this comes to a rolling boil, let it cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat, still at a low boil. At the end of the 10-15 minutes, try a piece of the celery to make sure it’s cooked well.

Once the celery is cooked, you can turn down the temperature to a low setting, usually 2-3 on a stove top and add the spinach and the gnocchi. At this point, I usually taste the broth and add salt to taste. (If you think you want to add more ginger, now would be the time! I always end up adding more.)

Stir a few times over the next 5 minutes to make sure the gnocchi isn’t sticking together. After the 5 minutes is up, the soup will be ready to serve!

As an extra treat, you can always heat up a loaf of french bread and dip it into the soup. If you are really feeling like a chef, sprinkle a little shredded parmesan cheese on top! It’s absolutely delicious and healthy!

Ginger-Infused Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients:
1 chicken breast per person (Another alternative would be to use an ever-handy rotisserie chicken that comes already cooked from your local grocery store, in which case you would just pull the chicken.)
olive oil
1 large roma tomato
1 bushel of celery
1 bushel of green onions
1 ¼ stick of butter
1 bag of carrots (Again, I prefer Julienne-style carrots, so I usually just pick up a bag of those in the produce section at the grocery store.)
1 large box of pasta (I recommend either linguine or spaghetti.)
1 pint of heavy cream (I recommend Organic Valley for taste.)
3 cups of shredded parmesan cheese
1 ½ cup of parsley flakes
1 ½ teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of ground ginger

Directions:
You will want to have the noodles cooked and ready to add to the pasta sauce, so I usually go ahead and turn on the water to boil and get the pasta cooking as I start prepping to cook the sauce. Just make sure you are checking it and when it’s finished cooking from a boil, go ahead and strain the noodles and have them ready to add to the sauce.

I recommend grilling chicken for this recipe, but you can choose to pull a rotisserie chicken or even change the protein altogether. Other recommendations based on taste would be shrimp or italian sausage.

In the bottom of a large saucepan, fill with olive oil to cover the entire pan. Add the butter and bring to a simmer. Add the vegetables (celery and carrots first) and simmer and stir until celery starts to soften. (Hint: save a few of the diced green onions for the side and don’t add them to the mix. Uncooked green onions offer tons of taste to the finished product!)

Next, add the whipping cream and spices to the pan, keeping the stove top temperature set at about a 4-5, to keep the simmer. I let this cook for about 5 minutes at a low simmer and then add the parmesan cheese and stir it in on a low simmer for about 2-3 minutes. The sauce will start to thicken. Go ahead and taste the sauce, it may need some salt depending on your preference. Also, feel free to add that and more ginger if you like!

Next, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir it all up! At this point, I turn off the heat and remove the pasta from the burner, as it’s ready to serve!

Last, I sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and some of the uncooked diced green onion on the top. I add the protein to the presentation upon serving. (Note: If I end up pulling a rotisserie chicken, I add it into the mix when I add the parmesan cheese).

Bon Appétit!

I hope you enjoy these recipes, but I also hope you find other ways of incorporating the healing, truly beneficial spice that ginger is into your menu at home. I have felt so much better since beginning to eat ginger on a regular basis and—knock on wood—have not gotten sick the entire time I’ve been doing so.

Feel free to list your own ginger recipes below!


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Jordan doesn’t know a stranger– and never will; constantly finding a way to connect with everyone she meets and uses these experiences to influence her writing. She loves all things southern–from cooking to football to the outdoors.

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