Fresh Ginger & Turmeric

IMG_3868Ginger                          Turmeric

Six months back, when I was asked to test recipes for Candle Cafe’s new Vegan Holiday Cooking cookbook, I was super excited! What an honor and a challenge. My job was to give honest feedback on each recipe from whether it worked according to the directions to how it tasted. I tested almost 30 recipes!

The best part about the process was that I was forced (in the best way possible) to work with ingredients that I would normally avoid. Ginger being my #1 most avoided ingredient. However, several of the recipes called for fresh ginger so I had to embrace it.

It turns out I like cooking with fresh ginger. In the past when I have made marinades for Asian dishes, I would use ground ginger. Well, folks, it is not the same. Fresh is, well, fresher! And not only that but it is way easier to work with than I thought. All you have to do is break a piece off the ginger, peel it, grate it on a microplane and add to your favorite dish (like Broccoli: Asian Style.)

And right next to the fresh ginger, they sell fresh turmeric. I feel way more confident in my cooking, especially with ingredients that I used to think of as “out there” and now I am hooked on fresh turmeric too. It looks just like ginger but can you see the gorgeous orange inside?

IMG_3869

Fresh turmeric beats the powdered stuff a million times over. Now my tofu scrambles and rice pilafs taste fresher and look brighter. Break a piece off the turmeric, peel it, grate it on a microplane and add to your favorite dish.

Both ginger and turmeric have significant immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. I got hit hard this winter with the flu and I am not going down again. So, not only am I cooking a lot with both, I have been stopping at Organic Avenue a couple of times a week to do ginger and turmeric shots. The Turmeric shot is doable but the ginger shot is super intense. It burns like crazy, my eyes tear, and it is hard to breath for a few minutes after. But, it is totally worth it. You should try it!

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