Fresh ginger tea is easy to make and brings many health benefits.
Rather obviously, it is best when made from the fresh ginger rhizome, obtainable from the fresh vegetable section of most supermarkets or farmers’ markets, although it can be made from ground or diced, dried ginger.
How to make ginger tea? I buy a piece of ginger root or rhizome weekly at my local produce market and keep it in the fridge. Sometimes I break off a section to plant so that, in the future, I will need to go only as far as the garden to find a piece.
If you grow your own ginger (super easy to do in a warm climate and very ‘pot friendly’) you just need to dig up a plant, break off a piece of the rhizome and re-plant the rest, ready for next time.
When I am ready to make my fresh ginger tea I cut off about an inch (2.5cm) of the rhizome, peel and wash it and either slice it finely, dice it into tiny pieces or grate it coarsely.
Some people then add two or three cups of water to the cut up ginger and boil for ten to fifteen minutes. They then strain it into a jug or teapot and use as required, either hot or cold, sometimes sweetened with honey. That sounds like a good remedy, or at least a comfort, for the common cold, don’t you think?
But I’m all for quick and simple so, after I have cut or shredded the ginger I put it into a mug, fill the mug with boiling water and let it stand for a few minutes before sipping (‘gingerly’!).
I prefer the ginger tea to be hot so as it cools I sometimes pop it into the microwave for thirty seconds or so.
A mug of ginger tea prepared this way can last me for much of a day. I leave the bits of ginger in the mug, just topping up with hot water and re-microwaving as needed.
The tea becomes a little stronger with each ‘zapping’, extra flavor and heat being released even though the added water dilutes it to an extent. Eventually it’s exhausted and can be tossed into the garden for my visiting scrub fowls.
Of course, using a favourite teapot and porcelain teacups becomes a far more elegant experience – ritualistic even.
Those of you who really ‘like it hot’ may like to add pepper or other spices, lime or lemon to the tea - or stir with a cinnamon stick for a subtle, extra flavor.
Depending on local supply, Tropical Superfoods grates or powders small quantities of fresh ginger each week, then pops it into the dehydrator. The aroma from freshly ground ginger is simply amazing.
For the gourmet experience of enjoying fresh ginger tea, dried and grated or powdered ginger is a convenient and time-saving alternative way of making it.
Ginger tea benefits include assisting digestion and improving the immune system. It is also useful to combat nausea and ward off colds as well as having a calming effect.
These and other health promoting qualities of ginger have been known for centuries, so use it often in cooking for an extra ‘zing’, make it into ginger beer or add ginger syrup to soda water or fruit juice for a change from simple tea.