Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Joy of Ginger and The Tipping Point

I'm currently on Day Ten of this juice fast, and I think I reached the "tipping point" a day or two ago.  It's a corner I seemed to turn when I stopped craving food, stopped feeling a little woozy and grumpy, and all of a sudden got some real solid and lasting energy - physically, emotionally and mentally.

I seem to remember this happening last time.  As a matter of fact, that's exactly what happened.  I had planned on doing ten days but when I got to day ten I felt amazing and decided to go for five more.  In the past week or so I've spoke to some others who are trying their first juice fasts - my advice would to try and get to that point, after seven or eight days and see how you feel.  That's where I am now - and it feels great!

The Joy of Ginger  

Mediterranean cultures have garlic, Asian ones have ginger.  Although people sometimes think of it as root, it's actually a rhizome, an underground stem that itself sends out roots (underground) and shoots (above ground).  It's another one of those totally indespensible foods to have on hand while juicing (and eating, for that matter!).  For millenia it's been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments.  It's a powerful painkiller, is anti-inflammatory. alleviates gastro-intestinal distress and may help prevent colon and ovarian cancer!  Again, all from a rather humble-looking plant.

It is another superfood to which numerous cookbooks are solely devoted.  I should know, I have one called The Joy of Ginger.  Fantastic book.  The one recipe I have made countless times in the past is the Ginger and Sweet Potato Soup.  Unbelievably delicious.

Ginger and Sweet Potato Soup

  •  6 cups cubed sweet potato
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken. soy or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetend coconut milk
  1. In a large pot, combine sweet potatoes and stock (adding water if neccesary) and bring to a boil  Reduce heat and simmer until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to blender ot food processor and process until mixture is smooth (I keep mine in the stock pot and use the immersion blender - way easier.)  Whisk in coconut milk, lime juice and salt & pepper to taste.  Cook until heated through.
  3. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sliced almonds, chopped cilantro and lime zest.

When I make mine, I pretty much quadruple this recipe for my monster stock pot, any leftovers freeze well.  Your guests will rave, I promise.

I've also concocted my own Ginger Lemonade recipe.  It is so thirst-quenching going down on hot summer days - a bit addictive.

Sal's Ginger Lemonade

  • Bring a few quarts of water to a boil.
  • Add 1 to 2 cups of chopped peeled ginger. 
  • Turn off heat, and let ginger steep.  The longer the better.  I've often let it sit for 2-3 hours - the longer it steeps, the more ginger-y it will taste.
  • Remove ginger and while still warm, add honey to desired sweetness.
  • Add lime juice (fresh or bottled) to desired tartness.  You can cut up limes, squeeze them in it, then leave some of the limes in as well.
  • Chill well and serve with lots of ice.

Ginger in Juice

In terms of juicing, ginger goes with so many fruits and vegetables: pineapples, peaches, oranges, carrots, apples, grapes.  I use it in probably 1/2 of the juices I make.  It adds a fresh, zesty punch.  Orange Zinger is a great juice where you can really taste the ginger, the recipe for that one was previosuly posted here.  Here's one with that same quality, and a recipe, I'll have you know, that I made up all by myself!  (Yes, I am as proud of it as a kid who's just learned to tie his shoes)

Apple Grape Zinger

  • 2-3 apples (crisp ones like Fuji or Granny Smith work well)
  • 2 cups washed red grapes
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Big chunk of ginger, peeled
Very yummy!
Short post today - working on something of a diatribe for tomorrow, don't worry!

Be well.


  1. Ayurveda (the natural medicine of India) recommends ginger lemonade for the heat, too! Not with lots of ice, though. If you add the ice, your body has to heat up the liquid in order to use it, and this increase in temp. lasts a lot longer than whatever you're drinking. (cold stuff is also HELL on your kidneys. Seriously, give 'em a break.) Try your delicious ginger lemonade at room temperature or just slightly chilled. I was at an outdoor conference where the heat was above 90 and it got me through the day comfortably! Easy version of ginger lemonade: Buy a bottle of lemonade (that doesn't have any artificial stuff, especially sweeteners.) Slice some fresh ginger into the bottom of the bottle. Done! Delicious!

  2. ginger like cheese is great in anything