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Warming Winter Recipes: Ginger and Turmeric

Ginger-and-Turmeric1

Ginger and Turmeric are a powerful pair.  Numerous studies highlight their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.  They are also believed by some to help treat diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, among other diseases.  Equally important, they taste good together and are wonderfully warming on cold winter days.  I especially enjoy the combination of ginger and turmeric in Golden Milk Tea, Curried Broth, and Miso Squash Bisque.

Turmeric’s beneficial compounds are better absorbed by your body when eaten with fat and black pepper, so all of these recipes include both.

 

Golden-Milk-TeaGolden Milk Tea: A warming and nourishing drink, golden milk is tea made with grated ginger, grated turmeric, and coconut milk.  I start by bringing 1/3 can coconut milk and 1/2 cup water to a simmer.  I then grate in about 1/2 teaspoon of both ginger and turmeric roots and a dash of black pepper.  Feel free to add more to taste!  For those of you who prefer sweetened tea, this is delicious with honey.

Curried Broth:  I love featuring broth in our meals, but I sometimes get tired of the flavor of standard chicken or beef broth.  Curry spices, lemongrass, grated garlic, grated ginger, grated turmeric, and coconut milk make this soup base taste totally different.

Curried-Broth

1) When making my broth, I add lemongrass, garlic and onion to the pot instead of the standard chicken broth veggies and herbs.   If you’re not making your own broth, simmer store bought broth with lemongrass for 15 minutes before starting step #2.

-1 quart chicken bone broth
-one large cooking onion, chopped
-1 tablespoon ghee
-2-3 cloves garlic, diced
-1 teaspoon each cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds
-2 teaspoons each grated turmeric and grated ginger roots
-curry powder or paste to taste
-cayenne pepper, black pepper, and fish sauce (or salt) to taste
-1 can coconut milk (full fat)
-2 tablespoons lime juice

2) In a two quart (or larger) pot, sauté one chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of ghee (coconut oil works well too).
3) When onions are transparent, add garlic and seeds and stir.  When seeds are toasted, add curry and stir.
4) Immediately add coconut milk and broth.  Bring to boil and turn down to simmer.
5) Add remaining ingredients.  After simmering for 10 minutes, taste and add any additional seasonings to achieve your desired spiciness and saltiness.
6) Enjoy as a broth or add your choice of meat, legumes, or veggies to make a delicious soup.

Miso Squash Bisque:  A favorite way to enjoy butternut squash.

Miso-Squash-Bisque1-1 quart chicken bone broth
-one large cooking onion, chopped
-1 tablespoon ghee
-2-3 cloves garlic, diced
-1 butternut squash, chunked and seeded (can leave skin on)
-2 teaspoons grated turmeric and grated ginger roots
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-2 tablespoons sesame oil and rice vinegar
-1/4 cup miso paste

Miso-Squash-Bisque21) Sauté one chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of ghee (avocado or another mild cooking oil works well too).
2) Add broth, squash, and garlic.  Bring to boil, and then simmer covered until squash is tender (you can check using a fork).
3) Add turmeric, ginger, sesame oil, vinegar, and pepper.  Blend with an immersion blender until very smooth.  Simmer for a few minutes more and then remove pot from heat.
4) In a separate bowl, mix miso with a ladle-full of soup until the miso is evenly distributed.  Stir mixture into soup.
5) Season to taste.
6) Serve with your choice of garnish.  You can see I got carried away with my toppings!  I love using chopped parsley, scallions or cilantro, kimchi, toasted crumbled nori, toasted squash seeds, and/or toasted sesame seeds.

Miso-Squash-Bisque3

Fresh ginger and turmeric roots are best stored in the freezer.  They stay fresh this way and stay hard and easy to grate using a cheese grater with small holes or a micro-plane grater.

Ginger-and-Turmeric2

 

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Personal Sustainability: How-To Recipes

Get Well Soon: Chicken Soup and Elderberry Syrup

It’s that time of year when many people are wondering: is that achy throat, dripping nose or sneeze a sign of sickness to come?  Whenever I feel like I might be getting sick, I turn to Chicken Soup and Elderberry Syrup.  Both have long histories of promoting wellness, with more and more rigorous studies proving their immune boosting and nutritious qualities.  Chicken broth freezes well and elderberry syrup can be kept in the fridge for months.  Keep some on hand all fall and winter to keep everyone in your household healthy!

Chicken Broth: Bone broths are healing and nutritious, and they’re very simple to make.  Making broth does take a while – it’s the perfect activity for a cozy day at home.  The warm steam will make your whole house smell delicious.  You can use a chicken carcass or parts of the chicken that your local butcher would otherwise throw away.  Feet are especially great for making sure your broth has plenty of gelatin!  The pictures below show a broth I made with chicken necks and feet.

chicken-stock-Chicken bones with some meat and skin
-Onion, garlic, carrots and/or celery
-Sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley and any other favorite green herbs
-4 quarts of water
-Sea salt and pepper to taste
-Optional: 2 T. vinegar

This works great in a crock pot or on the stove.  If you want to get even more minerals out of the bones, soak chicken parts, water, and vinegar for 30 minutes before cooking.  Next, bring all ingredients – excluding the green herbs and seasoning – to a boil.  I use the old limp veggies from the back of my refrigerator to flavor the broth, so the exact amounts and ingredients change every time.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3 to 6 hours.  Strain to remove solids.  I compost the veggies because they loose most their flavor.  Pick the meat off the bones.  Put the broth back into your pot and add picked meat, green herbs, and any additional vegetables you want.  Bring back to a boil and season to taste.

Elderberry Ginger Syrup:  Elderberry season is over, so you may have to save this one for next year.  It’s great to have in the back of the fridge at this time of year to help keep your family from getting sick.

elderberry-syrup-2 c. Elderberries
-3 ½ c. Water
-2 T. Ginger Root
-1 t. Cinnamon Powder
-½ c.+ Honey (to taste and preserve)

Bring all ingredients but honey to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered to reduce  for about ½ hour. Cool slightly, smash, and strain.  Add honey while warm.  Refrigerate to store.