A Little About Ginger
Ginger is well known to many people as the king of herbs. It is commonly described as a root but in fact it is a rhizome, a stem that grows out from the plant underground, and from which small roots will sprout, as well as new green shoots. It is of the same family of herbs with turmeric, cardamom and galangal -the Zingiberaceae family.
Ginger is widely used as a digestive aid. It relieves abdominal wind, diarrhea, nausea, morning sickness, loss of appetite and motion sickness. Some people find ginger helps them with the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, menstrual cramps, arthritis muscle pain.
Ginger contains a high level of gingerol; a powerful component that gives it its natural zingy flavor. Gingerol acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body. Therefore, fermenting ginger with water kefir grains is highly desirable
The basic water kefir recipe is found on the ‘How To Make Kefir’ page. Below is a recipe of ginger kefir that I have found great tasting. A perfect alternative to ginger beer. Besides being great as a beverage to drink, ginger kefir can even use it in your cooking to enhance the flavor of your dish.
Ginger Kefir Recipe
Rock sugar 2 small pieces
Molasses or dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons
Young ginger juice 1-2 tablespoons
Sultana Few pieces
Water kefir grains 2 tablespoons
Optional - A slice of lemon
1. Pour 600ml water into glass jar.
2. Pound about 1 thumb-sized young ginger to obtain 1-2 tablespoon of ginger juice.
3. Add rock sugar, brown sugar/molass, ginger juice and sultana to the water.
4. Add the kefir grains.
5. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth held by an elastic band.
6. If in a tropical climate, ferment about 22 hours.
7. Remove culture, drink or store in fridge.
(Tip: Add ginger kefir to some stir-fry dishes for a more delicious dish. Goes well with many different dishes especially those that are usually stir-fried with a few strips of ginger, like stir-fry Chinese kale, better known as Kai Lan)
Of course, when you use kefir for cooking, heat will destroy the probiotics. However, all the antioxidant properties are still intact. Another option would be to add one or two tablespoons of ginger kefir to the dish after stir frying it.