Sunday, 3 July 2011

Jungle Juice from freshly harvested Ginger - from our garden

Last year was the first time that I had harvested ginger from our garden. It was planted when Caspar and I had the great fortune of 'receiving' a perma-backyard blitz. A team of students studying permaculture transformed our backyard into an edible garden. Our aim for the garden was to be able to grow food for our catering company as well as for ourselves. We put in 3-4 ginger plants along with
about the same amount of tumeric plants. We watched them grow, producing beautiful flowers and eventually it came time for harvesting.

We removed the dying foliage above ground and began to dig gently with a pitch fork. Up came a huge 'bulbs' of ginger and that was only one plant! We had 8 month supply! Using them on retreats and in our cooking at home. It was so easy as mother nature does all the work! We replanted a few sprouted ginger and tumeric pieces and have just begun to harvest this years crop. See picture below, my harvesting from one plant! 

Ginger is so good for you. At this time of year in Australia (winter) it is great to keep colds and flus at bay.

To store the ginger, we keep the dirt on it and covered it with news paper and placed it in a box in a dark corner of our pantry.

Here is a couple of simple recipe using our fresh ginger.

Jungle Juice - Ginger, Lemon, Tumeric & Chilli tea
Warn off the winter bugs with this deliciously tasting infusion. It spicy and sweet and sour with the fragrant flavours of ginger and tumeric. Thanks to Sal, a Naturopath and dear friend, for introducing me to this potent concoction. I fill a large plunger (4 cup) of it and keep topping it up with hot water and more lemon juice and maple, as needed.

Four cup plunger:

1 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
1 inch fresh tumeric, finely grated
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
1-2 lemon, juiced
1 chilli's, de-seeded (vary the amount of chilli depending on the heat of the chilli)
1 tbs maple syrup or honey (for those who use it) per mug full

Add all the ingredients to your plunger, except the lemon juice and maple syrup. Then allow it to infused and 'brew' for approximately 3-5 minutes. Then plunge. Add the lemon juice freshly squeezed and maple syrup (to your taste) to your mug or thick glass and sip all through the winter!

The nicer tasting you make it, the more you'll want to drink it. You can omit the garlic if your not sick and if you simply want to boost your immune system through the winter but the garlic is the queen of  immune boosting so leave it in if you can bare it (and your friends and hubby can bear it too!).

Ginger, Tamari and Toasted Sesame Marinate

You can marinate tofu, tempeh, or use it in a stirfry of vegetables. For a raw stir-fry, simple 'massage' the marinate into the vegetables of your choice. Be sure to not 'drown' the vegetables in the marinate.

½ cup tamari (wheat free japanese soya sauce)
2 tbs toasted sesame oil
1 inch ginger, finely grated/minced
½ cup sesame oil
2 tbs maple syrup *optional
1 small clove garlic, finely diced/minced
1/4cup lemon juice
sesame seeds (black and/or white)

Combine the ingredients together (except seseame seeds) and blend. Stir in sesame seeds or scatter over whatever you are marinaing. Allow to marinate for approximately an hour or longer. Some people like to marianate over night. I'm not usually that organised unless I'm catering for a function or event.

Pan-fry on a hot searing heat in you wok, bake or BBQ your tofu, tempeh or vegetables. Baked Tofu or Tempeh takes approximately 20-30 minutes  (tempeh a little less time depending on how thick you have cut it) in a 190C oven. Bake roasted vegetables until soft and crunchy and golden.

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