Harvest of the Month – GINGER

Subject: Harvest of the Month – Ginger
Teaser: Gratifying Ginger

Harvest of the Month
Amanda Goldman, MS, RD, LD, FAND
Quality and Wellness Director, CHI Food and Nutrition Services
Director of Diabetes and Nutrition Care, CHI Saint Joseph Health

Our “Harvest of the Month” comes from the root of a plant and is well known for its herbal properties that have been utilized in medicine and folklore. It is also known for its enchanting flavor and has been used in different cultures for thousands of years. We are excited to announce that ginger is our featured harvest and its name and unique flavoring come from its natural oil called gingerol. It can be used in a variety of dishes to really spice up the flavor of your meal.

How to Buy, Store and Prepare

How to Buy and Store: It can be tricky when it comes to picking out ginger and storing it at home. The skin of the ginger root should be thin enough to peel and have a shiny tint to it. You should also smell the ginger when picking it out at the grocery store or market. It should have a spicy and bold scent. Also, try to pick ginger that is free of any soft spots. After purchasing, store it in an air-tight sealable bag. It can be kept in the refrigerator for some time until use. Ginger may also be stored in the freezer if you are not going to be using it right away.
How to Prepare: Ginger is a wonderful addition to any stir-fry recipe and really enhances the flavor of that dish. You can also add ground ginger, lemon & honey to hot tea if you are wanting to relieve cold and flu symptoms for your child when he or she is not feeling well.
Making it Kid-Friendly
Ginger may not be the most popular item with children, but it can certainly be used in a lot of different recipes that the whole family will enjoy! Try chopping up ginger and putting it in a smoothie or in spiced cookies.

Nutrition and Health Benefits
Ginger root has numerous health benefits. It contains phenolic compounds that aid with digestive health, as well as compounds that relieve nausea. Ginger has been used to relieve cold & flu symptoms as well. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to decrease symptoms such as joint pain in those with arthritis. Gingerol, the oil that ginger root contains, has also been shown to reduce risks of cancer and help fight infections.

Serving size: 5 slices of ginger root
Calories: 9 Saturated Fat: 0g
Total Fat: 0g Monounsaturated Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrate: 2g Vitamin C: 1 %
Fiber: 0.2g Potassium: 1%
Protein: 0.2g Magnesium: 1%
Fun Facts
Check out these fun facts about ginger provided by Kristin Pennington, MS, RDN, LD, Clinical Nutrition Manager at CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial Lufkin:
• Ginger is actually a rhizome (underground stem), not a root
• Ginger is a flowering plant that grows up to about two feet tall, but can get as tall as four feet
• In ancient Rome, the price for one pound of ginger was equivalent to the price of one sheep
• Queen Elizabeth I has been credited with the invention of the gingerbread man
*Special thanks to Hannah Hickey for assisting with writing this month’s article.