If you have ever tried your traditional ‘adrak ki chai’, you know how beautiful ginger can be. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or ginger, is widely used as a spice and as a remedy since ancient times. It is amongst one of the first spices to have been exported from Asia and was widely used by the ancient Romans and Greeks. 

Taste and appearance 

There is no flavour like ginger in the world. It is zesty, spicy, pungent yet sweet and pairs really well with a lot of different kinds of ingredients like chicken, vegetables, chocolates etc. The overall mild flavour adds incredible depth to any dish and creates an absolutely enticing aroma. 

Ginger Cuisine Canvas
Ginger root and its magical properties

As far as appearances go, part of the plant which we mostly use is the root. It is beige in colour with a knotted and rough look and woody kind of texture. The inside flesh is fibery and mostly pale yellow coloured. 

Most people peel off the outer brown skin and use the flesh inside for consumption purposes.

Health and Nutritional benefits

Along with food, Ginger is a key ingredient in traditional Ayurvedic medicine and is a very common name in most home remedies which are lovingly called “dadima ke nuskhe”. 

Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for colds and flu around Asia and is an ideal ingredient used to aid digestion. It helps boost overall immunity and is very effective in treating respiratory related illnesses such as a cough. 

Ginger boosts overall immunity and is very effective in treating respiratory related illnesses such as a cough

The root is also used to combat nausea and has even proved to be helpful in fighting some types of cancer.

Gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections. In fact, ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. It is also an effective ingredient in maintaining and treating oral health. 

India and Ginger

Ginger has been widely used in the country since old times; it’s consumption is spread amongst all regions of the Nation. A ground paste of Ginger and Garlic holds a permanent position in most Indian households and is added to many curries and dishes along with a few other common spices.

Ginger and Garlic, a match made in heaven

Fresh, as well as dried, ginger is used to spice tea and coffee, especially in winter. The aroma and spiciness of ginger makes for extremely flavourful vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Ask any Indian cook, their go to recipe will always contain Ginger!

Ginger around the World

Ginger is one of the most widely used cooking ingredients which is used in many cultures around the world. In Japan, ginger is pickled to make beni shōga and gari or grated and used raw on tofu or noodles

Ginger is used in many cuisines all over the world

In Burma, ginger is called gyin and is widely used in traditional dishes and medicines. In fact, most Asian countries use ginger as a spice in some form or the other. Fresh sliced ginger is used as a garnish in many cuisines. Along with being used in traditional cooking around the globe, ginger has become an essential ingredient in a lot of modern fusion dishes as well.

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Gingerbread Cookies

In the western countries, candied ginger and ginger ale are very popular. Gingerbread cookies are a Christmas time must have; and ginger tea has gained a cult following of sorts!

Every country has their own unique way of using this versatile ingredient and this reflects in the beauty of their tastes. 

For that pesky cough
Ginger, lemon and honey tea is great for colds and flu

Mix a bit of fresh ginger juice with a pinch of turmeric in a tablespoon of honey and consume immediately. Doing this two to three times a day can be very beneficial for healing many respiratory diseases.

Consuming ginger daily in some form or the other is a good habit to keep for ginger is the perfect blend of health and taste!

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World Food Day: How To Minimise Food Wastage

16th of October is celebrated as ‘World Food Day’. Why not celebrate it everyday? – This year, The World Food Programme was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In doing so the hunger parity around the world has been brought into focus, and Hunger has been identified as a human right violation. Read more on how you can minimise your food wastage.

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Mushrooms are fungi that we consumer in so many delicious recipes. Know what mushrooms are good to consume and how to identify rotten mushrooms. Follow the link for more information…

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About a decade ago, a new trend took the whole world by storm. People started obsessing over health and nutrition (which is a great thing of course), they began to ponder what corporations and big companies were taking them towards and were  waking up to a whole new way of thinking. Suddenly, the word organic food was thrown around in mainstream media and everybody jumped onto the bandwagon.

So, what exactly is “Organic food”?

Simply put, organic food cannot be grown with the help of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, genetically modified organisms, sewage sludge and ionizing radiation. Cattle, poultry, dairy etc reared for organic food consumption are similarly not treated with hormones, chemicals and unnatural antibiotics.

To be certified organic, farms have to go through strict checking and rules are different across various countries. There are government led organizations in almost all countries that are responsible for the certification of organic produce.

To be certified organic, farms have to go through strict checking and rules are different across various countries.

Coming to what organic means in India, this type of produce is simply what our grandparents and generations before them would eat every single day! Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers were introduced in the country much later than in our western counterparts. Also, the process of certification and checking is often times a very lengthy and expensive process. Small time farmers neither have the information or means to get their practice certified. And big corporations selling this so called “organic food” may very well be duping you extremely easily by just labelling their food organic without any noteworthy implementations.

So should you really go organic? 

Another recent study claims that all these extra health benefits of going the organic route is only healthy for the bank balance of the company selling you it. Studies show that a normally grown vegetable or fruit is not less healthy than an organically grown piece of produce. The health benefits are next to negligible especially because regulations surrounding organic foods are kind of blurry. 

The health benefits are next to negligible especially because regulations surrounding organic foods are kind of blurry. 

An organic farm next to normal commercial farm will in the course of time; share soil, nutrients, water and other environmental stimuli. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides may very easily penetrate into a neighbouring organic farm. Even genetically modified produce is impossible to discern nowadays! 

The only huge and seriously great positive impact of organic farming is the ecological benefit. Soil structure, water retention and overall environmental health is vastly improved due to organic farming practices. It helps in combating soil erosion, it helps in water conservation, it improves animal wellbeing and also reduces carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

So what are the ways to find authentic and cost effective organic food?

Organic food is all around you, it just needs to be sourced out.

Instead of maybe looking for labels and certifications, chat with local farmers and producers on their practices. Buying fresh local produce helps the environment, small business owners and the economy. Big corporations should be avoided – try taking a stroll in your local ‘mandi’ instead of filling up a cart at a supermarket. Even if the food isn’t organically produced, you will definitely be helping the environment and individuals with their economy.

Buying fresh local produce helps the environment, small business owners and the economy

Another great way to have organic produce is to grow your own food! It is pretty easy to set up terrace gardens and vegetable patches; and this can even be done in dense metropolitan cities. 

If you do decide to use certified products, a little research and cross questioning may help you find the real stuff. 

Also, support local merchants selling organic instead of big corporations. This will vastly help bring the prices down.

Ultimately, going organic or not is a personal choice; but we truly advise you do your research before you get into anything. All the best! Let us know in the comments below on what your thoughts are about going organic.

Stay Health Informed…

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Our body automatically internally adjusts to the external changes in the weather. This call’s for an adjustment to our diets seasonally to help our bodies accommodate these changes with ease. Read more to find out what you should and shouldn’t eat..

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