Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Monday Mission: Introducing The Ginger Challenge Series

February 3rd, 2014 · 31 Comments · Monday Missions

The Ginger Challenge

Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to buy some fresh ginger this week.

Really.

That’s it.

We’re starting small here. A super duper Baby Step.

And maybe you already use fresh ginger, all the time, but for me, just buying some is a baby step I needed.

Impact Ratings: healthpositive

Level of Commitment: Teeny Tiny Baby Steps

You see, there was a time when I had never even purchased or used fresh garlic. And when I finally did, I didn’t know the difference between a head of garlic and a clove of garlic. Just think on how that applesauce pork chop bake that was supposed to have “one clove” of garlic turned out… I didn’t do fresh garlic for quite a while after that!

Fresh ginger has had a similar block. My husband claimed he didn’t like ginger at all (more on that developing story later in the series), I didn’t want one more thing I had to wash, peel, or grate when I could just measure a teaspoon of dried powdered ginger in all my recipes, and I just didn’t see the point.

Over time, as I read little bits here and there about the health benefits of ginger, I kept wondering if I shouldn’t give fresh ginger a try.

Now that I have, I’m excited to challenge you to do the same with a different use for it each Monday of February (and if fresh ginger is a no-brainer for you, it is my hope that you discover some new ways to use it this month).

This evening you can watch for a basic “how-to” post on how to store fresh ginger, and the rest of the month will include:

I can’t wait for what I’m sure will be a fun month (and I’ve got lots of other posts I can’t wait to share up my sleeve, too – did someone say there’s only 28 days in the month? Yikes! I need more!)

Do you already use and love fresh ginger? Are you like me and have never bought it? Do tell!

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If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

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31 Comments so far ↓

  • Juli

    I am so stoked about this post!!! And even more to hear your hubby didn’t like it but you use it because I thought I didn’t like it and I haven’t braved it yet but I will be soon!!!! Thanks!!!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Hooray! :) Katie

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  • BeccaM

    So funny you should post about this because I just started buying fresh ginger in the past couple of weeks. I remember using it occasionally growing up, but I have been making a lot of Asian meals lately, and fresh ginger makes a real difference. And it’s supposed to be really good for you, too!

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    Andi Reply:

    I thought the same thing, BeccaM! I actually just got my root out of the fridge and grated some into stir fry and then cut a piece for my green tea today! Sat down to check facebook, and voila! This post! Looking forward to it.

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  • Pat

    I Love Fresh Ginger! Sad to say I don’t use it enough. I keep a piece wrapped in foil in the freezer and then grate it when I go to use it. Just this past week I made a delicious curried red lentil dahl and it was devine. The ginger gave it that so fresh flavour.
    Can’t wait for the recipes and to read about others’adventures with Ginger!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    It’s hard to remember, isn’t it Pat?

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  • Kimberly

    I made Honey-Soy Ginger chicken wings yesterday with fresh ginger for the first time ever! They were awesome!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Sounds like a fantabulous Super Bowl treat, Kimberly!! :) Katie

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  • Nance

    Fresh ginger is easy to grow, too! I always wait too long to plant it to get its beautiful flowers, but the root is nice for cooking. You can buy it cheaply at Asian markets.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Nance,
    How cool! Can you just plant the root and grow it from there? :) Katie

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  • Ouida Lampert

    I keep fresh ginger all the time. And I have a tip for you. If you mostly use it grated, you can store it in the freezer and grate off whatever amount you need, still frozen (a microplane works best). Something about freezing it makes it grate without the fibrous mess that you get otherwise. If you mostly use it sliced, don’t freeze it – it gets too soft.

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  • Tiffany @ DontWastetheCrumbs

    Love ginger! I like to add it to smoothies for a fun, spicy kick. And there’s nothing like it in stir-frys. I like to chop up a whole knub (or whatever you call it, lol) and keep it in the fridge. Then I can scoop out 1 Tbsp as needed during the weeks.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Aw, only my son and I like it in smoothies, so I don’t really get to use that option…but I’m glad you said this, because I’m not sure I had the smoothie idea on my big list! :) Katie

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    Abi Craig Reply:

    The Pear Ginger Smoothie recipe from High Protein No Powder is why fresh ginger is on my grocery list this week! Sounds yummy.

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  • Sonja @ practical stewardship

    We are definitely incorporating more ginger especially since I found out it is cancer fighting! I LOVE to throw it in smoothies like an apple ginger smoothie because it’s such an easy way to have it and makes smoothies taste super fresh. Have a great week!

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  • Heather

    I was on a homemade stovetop masala chai tea kick for awhile (3-4 months). Lots of ginger in there. I often wonder if it kept me from getting sick.

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  • Pam

    My mom is Thai, so I grew up eating fresh ginger. I cook with it for my family too, so they are pretty accustomed to it. When I make stir-fry dishes, I cut the ginger into slivers, and it adds a nice bit of flavor that way. Last night, I made ginger ice cream with coconut milk and honey for hubby’s sore throat. Delicious! I also like it in hot water to drink. Great mission!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Oh my yumminess!!

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  • r

    I almost always have a pitcher of water in my fridge infused with fresh sliced ginger, lemon, and mint leaves. Delicious, alkalizing, detoxing, and the only way my SO will drink water!

    I also love hot lemon ginger honey tea in the winter, great for sore throats and other sickies!

    Thanks to an earlier commenter for the tip to freeze ginger for grating. When ever I used it grated for recipes, I wonder if there’s a way to avoid the stringy mess. I’ll have to try putting some in the freezer!

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  • Janie

    Oooh I love ginger… did you know a great way to preserve it is to peel it (or not) and keep it in a jar in the fridge with dry sherry over it. You can put whole knobs or slice it, or cut using sized pieces, whatever you want. Then you also have ginger flavored sherry to use in Asian (or other) recipes

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  • Dee

    Try this to keep in your fridge all winter – in a Mason jar, layer sliced lemon with peel, and sliced peeled fresh ginger, when the jar is completely filled, pour in raw honey, making sure you get in all areas of jar. Shake let set on counter for about an hour, til the honey and the juice from lemon mix then refrigerate. To use for any signs of a cold, put a few tablespoons of the liquid along with a lemon and ginger slice in a cup of warm water and drink. Don’t use hot water, you want to keep the healing benefits of the raw foods. Our family has gone through many jars this winter already.

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  • Emma

    Can’t get enough of ginger! My favorite uses for it?
    -Homemade Ice Cream
    -Fresh Juice (I juice it with carrots, lemons or limes, cucumber, and whatever else sounds good at the time)
    Definitely a favorite food!

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  • Karen

    I have never used fresh ginger :) This should be interesting.

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  • Abi Craig

    I really like the idea of highlight an ingredient. We love fresh ginger . . . I first started using it years ago in a Ginger Hoisin chicken recipe (which I need to rework, so I don’t have to buy hoisin sauce!) but we now love it for stir fry – using dried just isn’t the same, homemade elderberry syrup and various other things I can’t recall right now. I’m excited to see the forthcoming recipes.

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  • Jodi Marvel

    Before I saw this challenge post, I had on my meal plan to make my Grandma’s Norwegian meatballs ( a real generational recipe). I got the recipe out today and found that the secret ingredient is ginger! I called my Grandma to ask about the recipe to make sure the recipe I had was correct. Sure enough – ginger! I LOVE these meatballs – my favorite Christmas meal – but I have never made them. Easy and tasty. The recipe starts with 12 pounds of meat…so I had to scale them down a bit. They were delicious! Now if I could only make lefse like my Grandma….

    I did laugh when I mentioned that I might try to hide some veggies in the meatballs. My Grandma said, “Why? Norwegians don’t put veggies in their meatballs.” End of conversation. No veggies in my meatballs tonight…maybe when I make meatloaf. ;)

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    Jodi Marvel Reply:

    Oh…and the recipe starts with making sure you have the broth from cooking a roast and plenty of homemade bone broth. It’s good.

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  • Tracy Spangler

    I am so excited about The Ginger Challenge this month! I’ve only started using real ginger the past two weeks as my eldest daughter and I have had the flu. I discovered that I love ginger tea, but that was also after discovering that the ginger root I’ve had in the cabinet for I don’t know how long has taken off growing by itself and that the second one I bought and put in a plastic bag grew mildew by the next day. I always used the powdered version, like you, because I didn’t have enough time to deal with even more food prep, but ever since trying real cinnamon a month ago I’ve been much more open to trying real food instead the cheap alternatives I’ve been using for years! This is such good timing, and I’m thrilled to share and learn with others and yourself. Thank you!

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  • Jill

    I have used fresh ginger in a soup base with chicken, potatoes and savoy cabbage served over rice. The ginger is cut into chunks just to get the flavor and not eaten. We also enjoy a Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps recipe that uses fresh ginger in the sauce. I look forward to other recipe ideas. I also tried to grate fresh ginger before with no success and look forward to trying it frozen. Thanks for spurring us on to greater variety in our foods.

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  • Sheila

    I am so looking forward to this series! I’m pregnant and been feeling very yucky lately, so I thought maybe ginger would help …. but my husband somehow ran us completely out of it when he made dinner one night. They don’t sell it at Aldi and I don’t often go anywhere else, so I’ve been suffering without it for about a month.

    Well, yesterday I finally went to the regular grocery and got fresh ginger. I checked the price against ground and am shocked! I was so sure fresh would be more expensive, but I spent 85 cents for three roots, whereas the teeny jar of ground was over $3! I don’t know what the “exchange rate” is between fresh and ground, but I suspect what I got will last me a good while, and for under a dollar. I put it straight the freezer when I got home!

    Today I grated some to start a ginger bug, but the stuff smelled so good that now I am scouring the internet for a recipe I can make TONIGHT! I just have to have stir fry or something, I don’t want to go another day without it!

    ….and that is life when I’m pregnant. I hate food until I find ONE THING that I MUST HAVE or die. I understand now how the mother in Rapunzel traded her baby for a vegetable …. when you’re pregnant and gotta have something, you just gotta have it!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    LOL oh my goodness, Sheila, you’re cracking me up! I hope you found something good! Here’s my ginger pin board, a work in progress: http://www.pinterest.com/kitchenstew/the-ginger-challenge/
    :) Katie

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  • Saule

    I’ve loved fresh ginger for a long time. For a healthy seafood dish, take your fillet and put it in a heat-proof dish. Sprinkle with grated ginger, chopped green onion and and a little soy sauce. Put in a steamer basket and over a wok or other big pot and let steam until done – about ten minutes for most fillets.

    I love the ginger tea – tissane is more accurate. I make it with fresh ginger, but if I do not have that, I always have a package of crystallized ginger. It’s very inexpensive at my ethnic market. I just julienne or chop and fill glass with hot water – usually a little honey, too. After I’ve drunk the tea, I chew on the ginger – priceless if you’ve got an upset tummy.

    We were at a Chinese restaurant once after a wedding, and one of our party was a bit hungover. The waitress brought him two slices of fresh ginger on a cleaver and told him to put the slices over his temples. He said it eased the discomfort. I’ve not had to try this myself, but it’s worth remembering.

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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