Ginger – What makes this knobbly root so healthy?
It may look a little kooky, but this super healthy root is used as a remedy for digestive problems. As well as its medicinal properties, ginger is also incredibly tasty. Find out why it’s so good for you and how our Vapianisti use it in their recipes here.
Whether a common cold, muscular pain, a tummy ache or just a general feeling of malaise, ginger is ready to put things right! The light brown root is mainly cultivated in the tropics, including Brazil, China, India, Jamaica and Nigeria. While India retains the majority of its ginger for personal use, the Chinese love to share and are the world’s largest exporter. People in ginger producing countries have known for centuries that as well tasting good, this fiery root also has healing properties. No wonder its familiar peppery taste keeps cropping up in our Vapiano dishes. It even stars in some of our beverages, like our Lime Ginger Lemonade.
Ginger boosts the immune system – naturally
Ginger contains essential oils that promote circulation and help increase levels of the antioxidant glutathione. These antioxidants can dwindle after illness, making ginger the perfect companion to help fight off a cold. The spicy taste in ginger has a similar structure to acetylsalicylic acid (a.k.a. aspirin) and can alleviate pain. Arthritis sufferers in particular swear that ginger helps relieve aches and soreness. It’s also a natural remedy against motion sickness and aids the digestion of fatty foods. In 2013, German cancer researchers even discovered that the messenger substances in ginger can help defeat cancerous cells. All hail the power of ginger!
Ginger supports weight loss – naturally
Another trick ginger has up its sleeve is the power to help shift unwanted kilos. Add around 4 cm of sliced ginger root to 1.5 l of boiling water and simmer until half of the water has evaporated, leaving around 75 ml of water. This ginger drink can be consumed warm or cold with your normal beverages throughout the day. The ginger in the drink boosts the metabolism and keeps you from feeling hungry. If the drink tastes too bland, simply add a spoonful of runny honey or a splash of lemon juice.
Baking with ginger
Many people are familiar with the marinated ginger that comes with sushi but powdered or liquid ginger is best for baking. Ginger-lemon is a popular combination, whether for crunchy biscuits or a deliciously moist cake. Our Vapianisti believe every well-stocked kitchen should contain powdered ginger and ginger in syrup. It’s an easy way to add an exotic new note to Grandma’s juicy lemon sponge. And who knows, maybe we’ll be spicing up our Dolci with this fiery root one day soon!
Our Vapianisti’s favourite recipes: Linguine al Salmone e Limone
For the salted lemons (leave to cure for three weeks in a sealed container):
• 4 unwaxed lemons
• 4 tablespoons of sea salt
• 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
For the salmon (marinate for an hour in cling film):
• 450g salmon filet
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• Oil for frying
• Spices to taste: fleur de sel, coriander, turmeric, cumin, chilli, ginger, pepper, saffron, cardamom
For the sauce:
• Course sea salt
• 400g linguine
• 1 shallot
• 1 clove of garlic
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• Some grated ginger
• 1 teaspoon of soya sauce
• 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
• Fleur de sel
• 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander
Wash the lemons in hot water and cut lengthwise into four. Don’t fully sever the skin, leave the base intact so the lemon has four segments but is still whole. Sprinkle the lemon flesh with sea salt before placing in a sealable container. Add the rest of the salt, the lemon juice and up to a litre of boiling water until the lemons are completely submersed. Seal the lid and cure for three weeks at room temperature. Salted lemons keep for up to six months in a sealed container.
Wash the salmon, pat it try and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Mix olive oil with spices to taste before stirring in the salmon pieces. Cover the container with cling film and marinate for an hour in the fridge.
Cook the linguine al dente using a pinch of salt. While the pasta is cooking, hot fry the salmon in oil with a sprinkling of fleur de sel. Then remove from the pan and allow to rest on a plate. Fry the shallot and the garlic in the same pan. Cut one of the salted lemons into cubes and add to the pan with ginger, soya sauce and sesame oil. Drain the linguine and then add to the pan with the salmon mix. Arrange on a plate, garnish with coriander and serve.
“Buon appetito” from our Vapianisti!
Facts & figures
• There are 100 - 150 different types of ginger.
• Ginger is not really a root at all. It’s a rhizome, a type of horizontal stem which puts out lateral shoots with roots below.
• Nigeria is the country with the largest ginger cultivation area.
• Fifty percent of the world’s ginger comes from India.
• China exports around 250,000 tonnes of ginger annually.
• Most fresh ginger comes from Brazil.