Despite it’s humble appearance, the root of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale) has many marvelous properties and has been used for thousands of years as a medicine and food spice. Ginger has some healthful relatives in turmeric, cardamom and galangal. They all belong to the plant family Zingiberaceae.
We’ve written before about the benefits and uses of ginger; this Amazing medicinal ginger tea for nausea, stuffy sinuses and sore throats; a Ginger tummy compress to soothe pain and cramps; Ginger foot soak for relief of aching joints, stiff muscles, arthritis and varicose veins.
I’ve been fond of ginger since childhood. Yes, I know it may sound unusual for a young child to love something as pungent as ginger, but then, I was the kid who chose the spearmint milkshake (rather than strawberry or chocolate) and gleefully sucked on a super hot peppermint lolly whenever Nanna offered one from her handbag. It must be in the genes. Dad used to make bottles of homemade ginger beer (and jars of spicy pickled onions). Mum too was a fan of ginger and always kept a bottle of ginger ale in the fridge to use as a pick-me-up whenever we felt ill. A memory I have from primary school is the end of year school parties in December, marking the beginning of the summer holidays, the refreshment offered was (you probably guessed it) ginger beer from a large wooden keg!
My ginger obsession was given a boost, while on holiday with my parents. We had a fascinating tour of the Buderim Ginger Factory in Queensland, Australia. I did a google search and found that they’re still operating. Naturally they now have many more activities and goodies on offer than when we were there decades ago. My favourite was the crystallised ginger, which I haven’t had for such a long time because it’s normally made with refined sugar, something I try to avoid nowadays. BUT…where there’s a will there’s always a way and I found a method of making it with honey. I am so thrilled with the results and now I have hubby and kids hooked too. Just sharing the love.
Here’s the recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much we do.