Ginger is the root of the plant Zingiber officinale, which is native to South Asia but is now also cultivated in East Africa and the Caribbean.
The root has long been used in Indian, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine; for drinks in Jamaica, Greece, and the Caribbean; and in traditional Burmese medicine.
The Burmese just might be onto something! Recent research has found that compounds found in ginger root may improve digestion, protect against free radicals, reduce inflammation in the colon, and ease post-exercise muscle pain.
In Western cooking and baking, ginger is perhaps best known for its role in treats like gingersnaps and gingerbread. But this anti-inflammatory spice is as versatile as it is healthy.
Although it tastes amazing in cookies, cakes, and breads, ginger also makes an excellent addition to juices, smoothies, stir-fries, dressings, and marinades. We've put together five of our favorite ginger recipes, ranging from salads and smoothies to cookies and pies. Be sure to check them out in the slideshow.
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