Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ginger’

ginger-getty-590tm-220811

Meredith sat by the log fire last night, sipping a cup of ginger tea* wrapped in woolly jumpers and a blanket.

(*Peel and chop a small knob of ginger, put it in a cup or mug and fill the container with hot water. Let it infuse for a short time.)

IMG_9464

She is developing a cold–no doubt about it!

Today’s she’s in bed.

I bought more ginger this morning and there’ll be chicken broth “on tap”.

Ginger infused in hot water–just that–is delicious and good for relieving the symptoms of colds.

It can also has beneficial effects for people with diabetes.

The British Diabetic Association (Diabetes UK) recently published a piece extolling the virtues of ginger and its uses in connection with the condition:

Ginger can help with glycemic control, insulin secretion and cataract protection

Glycemic control

A study published in the August 2012 edition of the natural product journal Planta Medica suggested that ginger may improve long-term blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia, found that extracts from Buderim Ginger (Australian grown ginger) rich in gingerols – the major active component of ginger rhizome – can increase uptake of glucose into muscle cells without using insulin, and may therefore assist in the management of high blood sugar levels.

Insulin secretion

In the December 2009 issue of the European Journal of Pharmacology, researchers reported that two different ginger extracts, spissum and an oily extract, interact with serotonin receptors to reveres their effect on insulin secretion.

Treatment with the extracts led to a 35 per cent drop in blood glucose levels and a 10 per cent increase in plasma insulin levels.

Cataract protection

A study published in the August 2010 edition of Molecular Vision revealed that a small daily dose of ginger helped delay the onset and progression of cataracts – one of the sight-related complications of long-term diabetes – in diabetic rats.

It’s also worth noting that ginger has a very low glycemic index (GI). Low GI foods break down slowly to form glucose and therefore do not trigger a spike in blood sugar levels as high GI foods do.

Other health benefits

Ginger has been used as an herbal therapy in Chinese, Indian, and Arabic medicine for centuries to aid digestion, combat the common cold and relieve pain.

Its powerful anti-inflammatory substances, gingerols, make it an effective pain reliever and it is commonly used to reduce pain and swelling in patients with arthritis and those suffering from other inflammation and muscle complaints.

In fact, ginger is said to be just as effective as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the gastro-intestinal side effects.

Other medical uses of ginger include treatment of:

  • Bronchitis

  • Heartburn

  • Menstrual pain

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Upset stomach

  • Diarrhoea

  • Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI)

Update a day later:

The patient announces she slept better and would like some chicken broth and two eggs scrambled on toast for lunch followed by another infusion of GINGER.

“With pleasure, Madam!”

Read Full Post »

Where am I?, I wondered, waking this morning.

Still in Corfu? It was hot enough at 7 am.

I quickly established that I was in France by looking out of the window.

No sign of the Albanian hills or the infinity pool.

Back to earth! But hot! hot! hot!

At the end of the garden though it was cool enough to tie up the tomato plants that had grown as much as the chickens in our week away.

The bees were still snoozing so it was safe to sit on a stool and talk to the plants!

Then off to Réalmont and its Wednesday market.

I’d missed the markets–they are rare in Corfu.

This is green bean time and here on the stalls they are piled high–picked last night I am assured.

a pile of beans

Joy!

Cooked enough to be tender,  yet still a vibrant green–but not too much so that they become flabby and dull in color. It’s hard to tire of them.

It’s always good to discover new ways to cook them.

I spotted this simple recipe in The New York Times a few weeks back. As I’d bought half a kilo of new season garlic and ginger this morning, Give it a go!, I thought.

My slightly adapted version

for 4

1lb green beans– topped, (no need to tail)

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cloves of new garlic-- (or the best looking you can find)

a large thumbnail size piece of ginger–peeled and chopped small

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • Have a bowl of cold water ready to plunge the cooked beans into.
  • Pound the garlic, ginger and a teaspoon of salt into a pulp.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
  • Add the beans and cook them until almost tender to the bite–(a pair of cooking tongs comes in handy here to whip a bean out for a bite test).
  • When you judge they’re ready, transfer them quickly into the bowl with the cold water–to stop them cooking further.
  • Drain them and leave to dry a little.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan.
  • Add the beans and the gorgeous garlic and ginger gunge.
  • Over a gentle heat turn the beans in the mixture until they are nicely heated through.
  • Taste them and add more salt if needed.

We had them for lunch today…

with a butterflied pork chop–of which more later….

Read Full Post »

Sam Talbot is a well known American chef in his thirties, working now in Montauk, Long Island.

He has Type 1 Diabetes and has written a delightful cookbook illustrating the way he lives, eats and cooks with a nicely ironic title–The Sweet Life.

We vied for numero uno position in the pre-publication list in our category on Amazon.

Well, I say vied– I made it once, I think!

He raves about the increasingly popular South American grain, quinoa, saying he eats it at least three times a week.

In a post in March last year I wrote this about Quinoa:

This seed, one of the oldest known grains, is a useful alternative to rice, takes less time to cook and is very easily digestible.

It is grown high up in the Andes–and no one seems to agree on how to pronounce it!

It serves as a plain canvas on which you can paint what you like. 

Here you can learn more about the benefits of Quinoa–perhaps more than you want to know!

This is Sam Talbot’s recipe–slightly adapted; it’s delicious.

The amount of liquid required is double the volume of the quinoa–easy to remember!

1 cup quinoa

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot–chopped small

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds–(he leaves the coriander and cumin seeds whole, which you’d think would be tiresome, but it works–giving a nice added crunchiness)

2 tablespoons of fresh ginger–chopped small

garlic cloves–pulped with some salt

zest and juice of a lemon

parsley–chopped

2 cups stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

  • Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the shallot and the spices (coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic) for about five minutes to soften them.
  • Add the quinoa to the pan and turn it over with the spice mix.
  • Add the stock,  the lemon  juice and zest and bring it up to a simmer.
  • Cover the pan and turn the heat down low.
  • Cook for about twenty minutes.
  • Check to see how it’s doing after 15 minutes and give it a stir.
  • The grain should absorb all the liquid by the end of cooking.
  • Sprinkle the parsley over and fork  it carefully into the  quinoa.

Read Full Post »

We tasted this new soup for lunch.

When Dianne P. from New Hampshire posted her memorable photos taken 33 years ago, in autumn of 1978 on the set of The Europeans in New Ipswich, New Hampshire on Flikr last night, it put me in mind of the late Ismael Merchant’s cooking.

He was the producer half of  Merchant/Ivory productions–Jim Ivory is the director of their movies.

I played the frustratingly “unable to commit” Robert Acton, opposite the much lamented and talented Lee Remick, in their film of Henry James’ novella.

Ismael was a wonderful cook and would sometimes use his talent to smooth the ruffled feathers of nervous creditors when the film threatened to overrun.

One of his curry feasts, I remember, bought us enough time to finish the film!

There’s a soup in his book Indian Cuisine called “Claverack Carrot Soup“.

We used to have it often, but after I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it came “off the menu”, because of the potatoes and carrots in it.

I had some fennel and a sweet potato I wanted to use and a nobly piece of ginger–and autumn has  arrived with the clocks going back;  so I thought I’d experiment–with a nod to Ismael and thanks again to Dianne!

1 medium onion–chopped roughly

1 tablespoon of olive oil

12 oz of cleaned and chopped fennel

12 oz of peeled and chopped sweet potato

1 clove of garlic–chopped fine

a thumb-nail size piece of  fresh ginger–peeled and chopped fine

1.5 pints of stock–I use organic vegetable stock

a little single cream or yogurt to swirl on top in each bowl

Salt and pepper

for 4

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion.
  • Soften it for 10 minutes without browning it.
  • Add the fennel and the garlic, mix it in with the onion and gently sweat the mixture–covered–for 15 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potato and the ginger, mix it in and sweat–covered–for a further 15 minutes.
  • Season the mixture–keeping in mind that the stock will have salt in it.
  • Add the stock and cook it for another 10 minutes–uncovered.
  • Let the soup cool for a few minutes before liquidising it.
  • I use a hand-held liquidiser/blender.
  • Serve hot with a swirl of cream or yogurt on top.
  • Meredith thought a single piece of crispy bacon for each bowl would be good too–we’ll try that next time.

Read Full Post »

We had these last night with quinoa, plain green beans, and garlicky yogurt sauce.

It’s adapted from a recipe by Rick Stein–known as the uncrowned king of Cornwall.

When we were filming Poldark in Cornwall 35 years ago, eating out in the county was very different from what we experienced last weekend and Rick Stein has a lot to do with it.  His fish restaurants in Padstow have set a benchmark. Things have improved!

We tried to reserve a table at one of Rick’s places a couple of weeks before our trip but they were all booked–sad for us but “Hooray” for Cornwall!

for 2+

500gms/1lb aubergines–cut up into smallish pieces (quicker to sauté), lightly salted and left in a sieve or colander for an hour to drain off their liquid, then dried ready for the pan. (This seems tedious to do but they absorb less oil this way.)

4 tablespoons olive oil

1” square piece of fresh ginger--chopped fine

3 garlic cloves–pulped with half a teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of water

2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds

1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds–crushed

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

500gms/1lb tomatoes–chopped with their juice (or use tinned)

3 more tablespoons of water

  • whizz the ginger and garlic in a tablespoon of water to form a loose paste.
  • heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan that you can cover.
  • when hot, add a single layer of  the dry aubergine pieces.
  • turn them in the oil and sauté on all sides until nicely browned–a pair of cooking tongs comes in handy here–then set aside. (It’s worth taking your time to make sure the aubergine is cooked through.)
  • continue the process until all the aubergine pieces are cooked, adding more oil as needed.
  • let the pan cool a little before heating two tablespoons of oil and adding the fennel and cumin seeds.
  • let them colour for a few seconds before adding the ginger and garlic paste.
  • cook this gently for a minute or two before adding the coriander, turmeric and chili powder.
  • cook this gently for a minute before adding the tomatoes and the extra water.
  • turn the lovely looking mix over and cook on a low heat for ten minutes to form a sauce.
  • add the aubergine pieces turning everything over thoroughly before covering the pan and cooking for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
  • test the doneness of the aubergines, cooking them a little more if necessary, adding a little more water if  needed.
  • check the seasoning and sprinkle some chopped mint, fresh coriander, or parsley over the dish before serving.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,011 other followers