ginger

Warming, Immune-Boosting Carrot Ginger Miso Soup

I’m not typically a big soup-loving kinda girl.  It’s good, but for some reason I prefer chewing my food (it’s important to ‘chew’ your soups and smoothies–but you know what I mean!).  Every once in a while, there do come those occasional instances when nothing sounds better than a warm bowl of soup.  Thanks to a good quality blender I can usually whip it up in a snap!  Soups are often on the ‘scary list’ when dining out if you have any kind of food intolerance or allergy (or are veg/vegan since there are often animal sources used in soups like chicken broth) which is why making them at home is even better.  You know everything that’s going in there and hand-picked the ingredients yourself.

Tonight the feeling struck and I remembered I had huge bag of carrots in the fridge.  Since I always have miso and ginger stocked, I decided to combine all three for one tasty, immune boosting, antioxidant-filled soup!

CARROT GINGER SOUP

I’m excited to fill you in on my recipe…but I’m really bad at measurements!!!  I tend to throw things in the blender and just add as I go for the right taste.  I will give approximates and add to your desire with ingredients like garlic, salt, ginger, water to consistency and miso to taste.

Ingredients (approx): 

  • 2 lbs carrots (I used organic baby carrots since it’s what I had!)
  • 1 TB red miso (organic and/or fermented is a must)
  • 2 TB white miso (same as above!)
  • 3-4 cups water OR some veggie broth, no sodium (the miso will compensate!)
  • 3 TB Ginger Juice or fresh grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 TB sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 TB onion powder (optional)
  • Extra optional add-ins: shiitake mushrooms, tofu, brown rice, green onions, sesame oil, dashi, and if you like some spice a dash of cayenne pepper.

Directions: 

  1. Steam the carrots until they have just a slight crispness left to them, about 15 minutes.
  2. Starting with the water, place all ingredients into a high performance blender (I used a Vitamix).  Start on a low speed and gradually work up.  If you have a Vitamix, no need to go higher than setting 8 on the regular setting.  You may need to stop the machine to stir the ingredients or add a little water if it gets stuck!
  3. Add or garnish with extra optional add-ins, warm if necessary, and ENJOY!!!

CARROT GINGER SOUP IN MASON JAR

*Store up to 5 days in a glass container in the refrigerator*

Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Juice

Dear Leah Renee, 

I have been on the verge of getting sick and need something to kick it!  Help! ~Allison, NY

There are so many powerful herbs and spices to help fight a cold.  One of the very best ways to help you kick that bug (and prevent it next time) is with fresh ginger root.  People have been using this common household item for thousands of years for a good reason. It contains medicinal properties which aids the immune system and warms you up inside.  Because of that, it’s a fantastic cold remedy and has a wide range of other uses for any day of the year.

ginger root to use

Here are some ways ginger aids the body:

  • Gastrointestinal relief.  Ginger is effective at relieving gas and soothe the digestive tract.  motion sickness, morning sickness, and more!
  • Anti-inflammatory. Ginger contains compounds called gingerols (that makes sense!) which can help those who suffer from arthritis.  We hear a lot these days about inflammation and the wreak it has on our body, so incorporating ginger in your diet will help combat it!
  • Joint pain reliever. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties ginger can help relieve joint pain in the body.
  • It tastes really good.  Yummy = Happy = Healthy 🙂
  • Immune booster. Ginger is naturally warming and can promote perspiration when ingested in larger amounts.  If you are fighting a fever, this can help you sweat it out!  You may need to use a little bit more than usual to heighten the effect.
  • Stimulates circulation.  Many people suffer from poor circulation.  Due to the warming effect of ginger it aids in amping up circulation and gets the blood flowing.
  • Metabolic function.   Who doesn’t like this one?!  Get it going (without even hopping on the treadmill!).  Like the last bullet point says, it gets the blood flowing and revs up your internal fire.  Woo!
  • Powerful anti-nausea. Ginger can help relieve symptoms of nausea for those suffering from motion sickness, post operative queasiness, and women suffering from morning sickness, and stomach flu cramps.

I find the best and tastiest way to add ginger to drinks (like ones to boost immunity) and meals is to make ginger juice.  Preparing ginger juice is easy and it keeps it in a mason jar in the fridge for weeks and weeks.  This makes it simple and easy to grab for when you need it.  I like it even more because at the health food store it’s pricey, so making it at home is that much more satisfying!  Please note: this drink is super concentrated so depending on the recipe/strength desired, you will only need 1 to 3 tablespoons at a time.Tools for ginger juice to use

Here’s what you need: 

  • Ginger Root
  • Filtered Water
  • Knife
  • Blender
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Cutting board
  • Mesh Strainer
  • Mason Jar (or another glass jar with air free lid)

ginger making process

Directions: 

  • Rinse off the ginger root under cold water.
  • Using your veggie peeler, peel the skin off the ginger (and discard).
  • Chop the ginger into pieces.
  • Add ginger pieces to blender.
  • Pour in filtered water until half of the ginger is covered. Blend.  If using a Vitamix, keep it on setting 5 (after starting at 1) and blend for about 40 seconds.  If you use a higher setting it spits the ginger all over the blender and it wastes a lot of it.
  • Using a mesh strainer and a bowl or large cup underneath, gently pour some of the mixture into the strainer and press down so all the ginger juice is extracted from the ginger fibers.  You could also use a cheese cloth for this process.
  • Get messy!  Using your (clean) fingers, press down on the rind to squeeze more juice into the bowl.  You’d be surprised how much more you get when you do this!!!  It’s like a sponge.
  • Poor into a mason jar or a re-used glass jar.

pouring ginger juice to use

 

ginger juice pic to use

There are endless ways to use ginger juice, but here are a few of my faves:

  • Health & Immunity Tonic: add 3 TBS ginger juice, the juice of one lemon, a couple dashes of turmeric, a pinch of cayenne pepper, & 1 TB manuka honey in warm water (not boiling as it destroys the beneficial nutrients).
  • Ginger Tea: 3 TBS ginger juice, warm water (or over ice), sweetener of choice (I use raw honey).
  • Carrot, Ginger, Miso Soup: recipe found here.
  • Chai Tea: Chai tea (loose leaf or bag), warm water, 2 TBS ginger juice, sweetener or choice, 1/4 cup almond milk (any milk will do, I like the unsweetened vanilla).
  • Digestive Tonic: Apple Cider Vinegar, ginger juice, squeeze of lemon, water, sweetener of choice.
  • Curb a Sweet Tooth: Try one of my favorite inflammation fighting, anti-oxidant packed drinks here.  You’ll love it and feel better for it!
  • Add to stir-fry’s and other recipes that may call for ginger.

What’s your favorite way to use ginger?