I remember when you couldn’t read any health-related media without being bombarded with the incredible benefits of a diet rich in garlic. If you believed everything you read at that time, it was good for anything up to and including spontaneous decapitation. Time – and the media frenzy – moves on … these days (apparently) you will die sickly and poor and alone if you are not munching on ginger-root every single day.
I am being sarcastic about the media … not about the health benefits! Ginger can improve circulation, absorption of nutrients and digestion in general. It fights inflammation (which can raise all sorts of ruckus in the body), it fights nausea, it fights colds, flus and respiratory problems. Ginger does all this at the same time as being one of the most versatile ingredients in the entire kitchen. I use ginger in beverages (smoothies, teas, punches, mulled drinks…), soups, stirfrys, meat marinades, salads, ice cream and baking … oooh, all sorts of baking! I have to be physically restrained from adding ginger to every single thing I bake! Here is one of our most popular desserts … that features a healthy dose of (you guessed it) ginger.
GINGER DATE CHEWS
Mix well …
3 c brown sugar
2 c chopped dates
1 c chopped candied ginger
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 T baking powder – sifted
½ t each of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon
½ t salt
2 c all purpose flour
Add and stir until well moistened …
8 eggs – beaten until light and strained
Bake in one 9 x 9 AND one 9 x 13 pan. Spray and line the bottom with parchment.
Bake about 25 minutes until just firm in the centre. Cool 10 minutes, loosen the sides with a knife and turn out onto a cooling rack. Let cool until almost room temperature then cut into bars and roll in icing sugar. Hide them well, from yourself as well as from others, in between serving times.
Easter brunch is now behind us. Thanks to everyone who helped and to everyone who came out. That was a splendid time! Let’s do it again next year!
Thanks to Roger M. who wrote on his Easter Retreat evaluation form that the Loyola House kitchen “puts the ‘treat’ in ‘retreat'”. <kitchen staff collectively blushes>
Welcome to Emily and Todd who have arrived to step into the steel-toed shoes left vacant by Ryan and Michele. We look forward to what they have to bring!
I predict that the next big health essential will be ashwagandha. It has not quite gotten into the mainstream media yet, but when it does … you read it here first!
Take care of yourself first … so you can take care of each other. ❤