Delicious Ginger and It’s Key Health-Giving Benefits

Ginger is a spice that we’ve all come to know and love and fortunately, fresh ginger is now available in the produce section of all mainstream supermarkets. (NOT the case, when I first started writing about Chinese cooking about 40 years ago). It has been used by the Chinese and Indians for its hot, vibrant flavour and curative properties to warm the body dispelling chills, aiding digestion, and potent aphrodisiac for centuries.
When looking for ginger:

· Choose fat, smooth knobs that are not withered and are fresh-looking. The more withered and mature ginger is, the more fibrous (difficult to cut) and pungent it will be.
· If you use ginger, infrequently, store it on a counter in a pot of sand or soil. It will keep indefinitely. Otherwise, keep it in a cool, dry place, where you store your garlic.

Ginger is widely known for its therapeutic properties.
Key Benefits:
· Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating and is even more effective than Dramamine.

· Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds which explains why it provides reductions in pain levels and improvements in their when people suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis consume ginger regularly.

· Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections.

· Chewing on a fresh piece of ginger relieves a sore throat, and hoarseness.

Spices of Life: Basil

It’s that wonderful time of year when basil ( and tomatoes ) are plentiful and fragrant, but did you also know that in addition to its sublime taste, basil is chock full of health benefits? For instance:

*It contains volatile oils that are anti-bacterial & anti-inflammatory.

*It’s a great source of Vitamin A & Betacarotene so it’s great for good heart health.

*It helps digestion and eases gas.

So go heavy on the basil and see the recipe section for a quick and easy ( delicious too!) Stir- Fried Chicken with Basil.



Soothing Ginger Tea


Photo: Nina Simonds

To make a cup of ginger tea, put 6 slices of smashed fresh ginger about the size of a quarter in a mug.

Add boiling water, cover with a saucer, and let steep 3 minutes.

Shrimp With Longjing Tea

Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon Longjing tea leaves
1 cup water
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled,deveined, rinsed
4 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon aged rice vinegar
2 ounces fresh snow peas, strings removed
2 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal
1/4 cup scallions cut into 1/2-inch pieces on the diagonal

  1. Place the tea leaves in a teapot or heatproof measuring cup. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then remove from heat and let cool for 3 minutes. Pour the water over the tea leaves and brew for 3 minutes.
  2. Strain and reserve the tea leaves and brewed tea liquor.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch on a plate and add the white pepper. Mix well. Pat the shrimp dry and roll them in the mixture one at a time. Set aside.
  4. Heat a wok or skillet over medium heat for 1 minute.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil and heat for an additional 30 seconds.
  6. Add the shrimp and stir to prevent sticking. Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes, or until they turn pink and opaque. Quickly remove them from the pan and drain the shrimp on paper towels.
  7. Mix the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar in a bowl and set aside.
  8. Add a few tablespoons of brewed tea to the remaining1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch and stir to make a smooth paste. Add 1/2 cup of the brewed tea and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
    Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the pan and heat on medium-high for 30 seconds.
  9. Add the snow peas and green beans and saute for 2 minutes. Add the cooked shrimp and scallions and heat of 1 minute.
  10. Add the reserved tea leaves and the oyster sauce mixture. Heat for 1 minute, adding a few tablespoons of water to the sauce if it becomes too thick. Serve hot.

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.