Article taken from Psychologies Magazine.
Wintry spices warm the soul, and none more so than ginger – synonymous with chilly weather and scrummy baked goods, now is the time to make the most of its health-boosting, cold-fighting goodness.
With it’s rich, warming flavour, ginger is a store cupboard saviour at any time of year, but particularly during the festive season, says nutritionist Alison Cullen: “Think gingerbread and lightly spiced drinks…’ One of its main benefits is improved circulation and increased blood flow which, couple with ginger’s zingy taste, is fantastic for sharpening your senses and bolstering brainpower. Boosting blood flow around your body, ginger helps keep your extremities – hands, feet and head – toasty on chilly days.
‘As with many wonderful herbs and spices, ginger’s anti-inflammatory powers are a huge boon and work in harmony with its antibacterial and antioxidant properties,’ says Cullen. ‘Between them, they make this knobbly root a real health powerhouse; fighting inflammation and boosting antioxidant levels is vital for keeping our minds and bodies in balance,’ she says.
‘And there’s a good reason ginger is a spice hero during winter in particular,’ adds Cullen. ‘It’s high antioxidant levels and antibacterial properties not only help fight off cold-causing bacteria, they also soothe some of the most irritating symptoms, including a sore throat and congestion.’
You’ll be surprised at the number of dishes that can be elevated with a sprinkle of ginger, and it works beautifully in some unexpected places. Try ginger grated ….
* In marinades and dressings
* On salads
* Mixed into yoghurt
* On toast under the grill with a dab of coconut oil
* Sliced into water (hot or cold)
Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2019)
A perfectly ripe peach is hard to find. In this recipe from Vegan for Good by Rita Serano, you can use peaches that are not entirely ripe, which is just, well, peachy! You’ll need a ridged griddle pan or panini maker.
Serves : 4
350ml Coconut yogurt
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
Pinch of salt
60ml maple or brown rice syrup
6 ripe but firm peaches, halved and stoned
For the praline :
2 tblsp maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Step One : In a bowl, combine the coconut yogurt with the fresh ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), vanilla and salt. Set aside. (You can do this in advance and refrigerate).
Step Two : Roast the walnuts in a dry non-stick or cast-iron pan over a medium heat until golden brown. Stir frequently and, after 3-4 minutes, add the maple syrup and salt, stirring to coat all the nuts. Leave to cook for a further minute. Tip the walnuts out of the pan and spread them on baking paper to cool. Once cool, chop them roughly.
Step Three : Now, set your griddle pan or panini maker on high. The pan must be very hot before you grill the peaches. Lay the peaches cut side down on the pan and grill for about 3 minutes, or until grill marks appear. Serve the peaches with the soured cream, maple or brown rice syrup and the walnut praline.
Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine taken from Feasts of Veg: Vibrant vegetarian recipes for gatherings
Poached pears look and taste stunning and are simple to make. Here, they are infused with aromatic fresh ginger and hibiscus tea, and served with vanilla ice cream.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 4 firm pears, peeled but stalks intact
- 1 ltr strong hibiscus tea (let it steep for 10 minutes)
- 1 tbsp pureed fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp pureed lemongrass (optional)
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Ice cream
- Sprinkles of black sesame seeds
- Put the pears in a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with the hibiscus tea and add the pureed ginger, pureed lemongrass, agave syrup and vanilla extract.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat but keep the pears in the syrup until serving.
- The pears can be poached up to two days in advance, then cooled and kept, tightly covered, in the fridge.
- Reheat gently before serving.
- Carefully remove the pears from the syrup and serve with vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle the pears and ice cream with black sesame seeds.
Makes 12 slices; Prep: 15 mins; Cook: 30-35 mins; Cals per slice: 233
100g (4oz) butter; 175g (6oz) soft, light brown sugar; 100g (4oz) black treacle; 50g (2oz) golden syrup; 5cm (2in) piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated; 15ml (1 tbsp) instant coffee granules; 225g (8oz) plain flour; 5ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda; 5ml (1tsp) ground cinnamon; pinch of freshly ground black pepper; 2 eggs, beaten; whipped cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4. Grease a 27 x 17.5cm (10 3/4 x 7 in) rectangular cake tin.
2. Melt the butter, sugar, treacle, syrup and ginger together in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, dissolve the coffee granules in 90ml (4 fl oz) water, then sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
4. Add a little freshly ground black pepper, make a well in the centre, then pour in the butter mixture, eggs and coffee. Beat well with a balloon whisk until smooth and slightly thick.
5. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 25-30 mins until firm to the touch.
6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Cut into bars and serve warm or cold with freshly whipped cream. This pudding is also delicious served hot with custard.
Tip: If you haven’t got any fresh root ginger use 10ml (2 tsp) ground ginger instead. Real ginger lovers could also try adding chopped root ginger in syrup to the mixture too.