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The Benefits of Cooking with Ginger in the Summer

Our Dietitian Answers

August 2018

Ginger is known as a “warming spice”, which makes it perfect for rich curries, soothing chai teas and holiday baking. However, I personally find there to be nothing more refreshing than the spicy-sweet tang of ginger in the summer. The flavor intensity of ginger is incredibly strong, which brightens dishes and lessens the need for salty seasonings. Resulting meals are light and satisfying. During a season when many people are more focused on personal fitness, the properties of ginger aid in weight management through moderating appetite, controlling blood sugar and decreasing inflammation. (To read more about ginger for weight management see this article.)

My favorite summer ways to use ginger

I often advocate for the use of ginger in smoothies. It adds flavor without excessive sugar. I keep my smoothies simple, so to avoid tediously peeling ginger before each use, I have The Ginger People Minced Ginger and Ginger Juice on hand at all times. My basic smoothie recipe:

1. A base of greens (spinach or kale)
2. A hit of flavor (ginger, turmeric or lemon)
3. Anti-inflammatory fat (coconut, hemp seeds or chia seeds)
4. And just enough frozen berries to add subtle sweetness (blueberries or strawberries)

My latest favorite summer beverage trick: Freeze The Ginger People Wild Turmeric Ginger Rescue Shots in ice cube trays, and throw a few cubes into a big glass of cold sparkling water as an afternoon “pick-me-up”.

On summer evenings, my husband and I love to grill fish for a light and easy dinner. Lately, we’ve been experimenting with The Ginger People’s line of marinades. Ginger Lime Sauce has become a favorite for salmon, mahi mahi and shrimp, which we serve with simple grilled vegetables to create a dinner rich in omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Sushi is another warm-weather favorite, and The Ginger People Pickled Ginger is the only brand I’ve been able to find without the use of chemical sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners can be detrimental to health by altering gut bacteria, which can influence metabolic disease. I always advise clients to avoid chemical sweeteners in their food and drinks and stick to whole, unprocessed and recognizable ingredients.

By boat, car or airplane, many of us travel more in the summer. Unfortunately, for sufferers of motion sickness, these activities may be unpleasant. In research, ginger has demonstrated the ability to decrease nausea associated with motion. It’s wise to throw a bag of Gin Gins or Ginger Rescue chewable tablets in a carry-on bag for snacking en route to summer adventures.

For long weekends at the homes of friends or family, it’s always nice to bring a simple hostess gift, and mine are nearly always food related. The Ginger People’s Ginger Spread, Ginger Syrup and gift jars of Crystallized Ginger make a unique trio to pop into a basket for easy gift-giving.