Ginger is a flowering plant with the scientific name “Zingiber officinale”; the plant has long narrow ribbed green leaves, with clusters of white and pink flower buds that blooms beautifully into a white or yellowish-green flower, it is mostly grown for its roots that is gnarled and knobby called the “rhizome” which has a brownish to tan skin color, it could be thin or thick, and the ginger inner flesh is yellow, red or ivory white, often used as spice for a variety of dishes for its amazing aromatic, pungent, and hot taste. Ginger root is so versatile for use in every recipe from juicing it, steeping in beverages, boiling, frying, drying and pickling, for all native meals to sweet flavorful homemade desserts in a variety of recipes like the the perfectly spiced, irresistible gingerbread. Ginger root can be used fresh in recipes or processed into various forms to preserve it for longer, such as dried ginger rhizomes often mill or ground into ginger powder; others includes pickled ginger, ginger candied or crystalized, ginger paste and the ginger shot to fire up the taste buds. Organic ginger root is the best for healthy meals, herbal remedies and an environment that is free of harm; northern part of Nigeria are known for cultivating the best organic ginger root popularly named “Citta” in Hausa, started way back in the twenties by small holder farmers of the southern Kaduna and some parts of plateau state but presently it is cultivated in different parts of Nigeria, growing just two out of the 25 varieties of ginger known worldwide which are the the reddish and yellow varieties locally referred to as “Taffin Giwa and Yatsun Biri” in Hausa of northern Nigeria.
The ginger root can be used fresh, dried, powder, juiced and as ginger oil; it is among the easiest spice to find around and the fresh ginger root is always abundantly available all year round in any market nearest the buyer all over Nigeria. Generally the Nigeria ginger root is one of the best in the world due to it’s unique and potential health benefits for It’s pungency in traditional cuisines, aroma and excellent high oil contents that can not be match by any other spice. Ginger production and uses in Nigeria are many; the dried ginger is used as spice in soups and spicy delicacies in home kitchens and the culinary industries. A favorite ingredients in the beverage industries to produce ginger tea, juices, and drinks. The ginger root is used in the various pharmaceutical industries in Nigeria to produce drugs and medicinal properties. The rhizome popularly called ginger is fermented for use in the brewery industries to produce ginger beer, carbonated ginger ale, and the mild alcoholic beer produce by the elderly women for the local beer parlors. The cosmetics industries are not left out in the production of creams, oils, and beauty products; a lot of at home do-it-yourself beauty remedy are prepared using the ginger root with amazing results especially for healthy scalps, hair growth and the stoppage of hair breakage by simply using the unadulterated ginger juice to message the scalp after mixing it with organic virgin olive oil, or the use of the ginger oil as hair oil for gloriously growing the hair with an awesome glow.
Ginger Spice Business In Northern Nigeria:- The mixed spices or ginger spices is known and called “yagi” all over the north and every part of Nigeria, a must serve with street foods such as fried or steamed bean cake called “kosai or alele”, dumplings known as “dan’wake” in Hausa, sprinkle all over the native salad, serve with cucumber slices, fried yam, or potatoes, fried fish popularly called “Kifi suya”. A favorite for many in Nigeria is the grilled smoky meat popularly referred to as “suya” that is never served without a sprinkle of ginger spices called “yaji” which makes all the difference by heating up the taste buds and slapping the inner cheeks with every chewy bite.
The ginger mixed spice is a huge business in Nigeria for men and women; for the men it is big business, with various recipes for the ginger spice; prepared specially according to market demands such as “Yaji maza”, “Yaji mata”, “Yaji mai’jego”, “Yaji Suya”, Yaji Abinci”, “Yaji Dam’bu”, the lists is endless; and then packaging in large bags for sale to retailers and street food vendors while for the women who are very well known for engaging in the ginger spice home business, it is a strenuous and spicy task often times start off with as little as just a dollar to buy the essential main ingredients for the ginger mixed spices. As a petty home business, most often these women generally cultivate the ginger root, process it at their home kitchen by drying it, adding in other spice varieties to make a mix blend which often depends on the request of customers. The use of a mortar and pestle, begins a tedious process that leaves one with red teary eyes and running nose due to irritation caused by the spices getting into the eyes and nostril for with every lifting of the pestle to hit the spices in the mortar, tiny bits of spice flakes float all around. Then the use of strength and stamina begins, as one stands up, positions over the mortar with legs slightly apart, focusing directly into the middle of the mortar, lift up and down the pestle to pound the spices; the pounding goes on for quite a while until the spices are powdered. It is scoop out into a dry bowl and sieve, then again repeat the pounding of the fiber left out, then sieve it again continuously until all the spices are completely pounded into a free flowing spice mix. The next stage is the measuring and packaging into cute little stainless bowls with it lid on, others are measured into cute little sachet for school pupils and students who enjoy licking the spices and at times keep it handy to eat with their meals.
Ginger root are so versatile in drinks and dishes; so dip into the root of all Nigeria spicy deliciousness with the following recipes:-Ginger Mixed Spices:- Ginger powder is also a major ingredient in almost all blend of mixed spices in Nigeria cuisines; there is no home without the ginger root or ginger spice, prepared by a mix of garlic powder, onion powder and ginger powder. It is not only beneficial as a healthy remedy but gives any recipe a unique, and tasty twist. Ginger spices are so so versatile and any favorite spice of choice can be mix-in with the ginger powder for a personal secret ingredient mix.
Recipe Ingredients:- Ginger, onion, garlic powder; add-in includes clove, black pepper, chili, daddawa, seasoning cubes and salt.
Recipe Steps:- A very easy to make mixed spices, either pound, mill or ground all spices separately or together, season with salt and seasoning cubes according to personal choice of tasty, heat, spicy and aromatic.
Peel and slice onions, garlic bulb and ginger root separately.
Spread out to dry under the sun or use the dehydrator to dry it all up.
Combine all or separately mill or ground into a free flowing powder.
Sieve and store in an airtight jar, label with ingredients, and date.
Sprinkle over meals or use in recipes for its awesome healthy benefits.
A savory mixed spice of a delicious blends of tasty and aromatic flavor can be prepared using the onion, garlic, and ginger powder, more add-in spices such as ground chili powder, fermented locust beans called “daddawa” in Hausa, cloves, black pepper, all-spices, seasoning cubes and salt.
Combine all, mix in well and sieve into a free flowing powder.
Store in an air tight jar and use for recipes or serve with meals.
Ginger Paste:- Ginger paste is an excellent addition to various recipes in northern Nigeria that requires fresh ginger such as “kilishi” a dried and grilled meat, barbecue known as “Suya” in Northern Nigeria, smoked, fried or dried fish or meat. It is a must-have fast and handy spice in the kitchen, so flavorful and delicious for traditional homemade meals.
The fresh young ginger root.
Vegetable Oil of choice.
Rinse fresh ginger root, slice into chunks, put into the blender and add vegetable oil of choice.
Blend until pureed and creamy smooth; the fresher the ginger root the less stringy fibers in the paste because the matured older ginger root tends to be tough and fibrous taking longer to blend, patiently blend the mixture for longer, add more oil if needed.
Scoop out the creamy ginger paste into an air-tight jar, seal up, label with date and recipe.
Store in the refrigerator and simply reach for it for amazing, yummy delicacies.
Ginger Powder:- There is no home with a kitchen without ginger powder in the north-east Nigeria; perfect for adding into almost all recipes so so versatile, steeping into favorite recipes, from sweet, savory to spicy dishes. The pulp of ginger juice, ginger oil or other ginger recipes that leaves out the pulpy fiber, can be dehydrated and milled into ginger powder.
Recipe Ingredients is Organic fresh ginger, generally in the northern parts of Nigeria, dried ginger root are never peeled before sun drying. Ginger root are sold in every market dried, or fresh and will be provided on demand. Making the ginger powder so easy to make, just by using the grinder to make ginger powder anytime it is needed in recipes, others without the grinder pound the dried ginger with a mortar and pestle into a smooth free flowing powder. Sieve and store for use in recipes.
While, the homemade ginger powder using the fresh ginger root, is done by first scraping off the peels depending on the recipe to be used for; but generally there is absolutely no need to peel the ginger root.
Wash thoroughly, and slice the ginger root thinly, spread out all ginger slices separately on a tray.
Sun dry, oven dry on the lowest baking rack or dry up using the dehydrator.
A completely dried ginger is crispy and can snaps easily.
Homemade ginger powder is achieved by the use of blender grinder or coffee grinder. Place the dried crispy ginger slices into the grinder, grind few at a time to allow room for free flow and fast grinding. Another method is to take to the mill if quantity is large for a faster and super fine milled ginger powder.
Sieve the ginger powder with a fine mesh to remove all fiber and large pieces, repeat the process until all is done.
Scoop into dry airtight glass jar, label with ingredients and dates.
Store in a cool dry place for several months.
Pickled Ginger:- A chewy delight to clean the taste buds, and to enhance the flavors of dishes or recipes, a fantastic garnish for drinks, juices and beverages, a unique addition to cakes, bread and biscuits, added to dessert is simply yummy.
Recipe Ingredients:- Fresh ginger root, lemon juice or rice vinegar, salt, cloves, black pepper, sugar and coloring is optional.
Wash ginger thoroughly, peel and then rinse again after scraping off the peel with a knife or spoon.
Slice into very thin stripes. Then rinse lemon, slice into two and squeeze out the juice into a separate bowl.
Combine the fresh ginger slices and lemon into a jar, add salt, black pepper and cloves.
Mix in very well, add water into jar to the brim and mix again.
Cover jar with it seal, keep in a warm place, preferably under the sun for several days.
Then store in the refrigerator and use for needed recipes such as fresh fish pepper soup, offal or serve with other meals.
Second method:- The use of the rice vinegar in the recipe, changes the color of the ginger slices into light pink, but the use of lemon juice or white vinegar makes the color cream-like but if prefer add in food coloring of choice for appeal.
The very young and tender ginger is used and cut into thin slices, place into a jar, add salt.
Stir in and allow to stand or marinate for an hour.
Then place a saucepan on heat, add lemon juice or rice vinegar, stir in sugar.
Slowly bring to boil until dissolve.
Pour over the salted ginger cubes.
Allow to cool, cover with sealed lid.
Store in the refrigerator for a week.
Serve with dishes of choice.
Candied Ginger:- The very young and tender ginger root is best for this chewy sweetness; great substitute for cold drops, a delicious snack remedy for cough, cold and nasal congestion The cooking process, the sugar syrup and granules will serve as a natural preservative for the ginger candied for it to keep stored for several months without going bad.
Recipe Ingredients: Organic Ginger root, sugar or honey, water, flavor.
Wash thoroughly and peel ginger root.
Slice very thinly and evenly.
Place the thinly sliced ginger root into a sauce pan, add water to cover it, a pinch of salt, mix in and cover with lid.
Boil slowly on low heat for 30 minutes; then remove from heat.
Pour into a colander and collect the liquid; divide it into two equal parts. Then use half for the ginger candied and reserve the remaining half for use in other recipes.
Place the ginger water on heat, add sugar or honey, add in the boiled ginger.
Slowly cook on low heat for an hour, stirring continuously to avoid it sticking to the saucepan. As it thickens, it becomes a light gold ginger syrup to use in beverages, natural fresh juice, or any drink of choice.
Gently, pick out the candied ginger or turn over into a colander and collect the golden syrup. Store it separately for use accordingly or mix in with the reserve half liquid then store in the refrigerator.
Carefully spread out the candied ginger on a tray, a cooling rack, silicone or foil sheet. Keep all candied ginger separately to avoid sticking together as it dries up.
Air for several hours until crystallized and a bit sticky; then toss all the ginger candied into a bowl of granulated sugar to evenly coat all sides.
Spread out again for the second time to air dry overnight or dry it up using the oven or the dehydrator until crispy dry.
Store the crystallized ginger in an airtight jar, store in a cool dark place, or keep in the refrigerator.
Serve as garnishing for fresh fruit salad, smoothies, zobo hibiscus sorrel or tamarind drinks, perfect addition for spicy kunu or akamu beverages.
Ginger Juice Or Juicing Ginger:- Ginger juice extraction can be achieved in many ways depending on the kitchen tools available. Ginger juice is a healthy and delicious addition to smoothies, beverages or drinks, so spicy with a lot of zing to it. A wholesome detoxifying juice, healthy if organic honey is used for natural sweetness instead of the sugar, an all natural homemade juice free of additives, absolutely sweet, refreshingly tangy, minty and zesty.
Recipe Ingredients:- Organic fresh tender ginger and Water.
Wash ginger thoroughly, cut into chunks and place into the blender.
Add water, enough to make blending easy.
Puree into a smooth thick paste.
Turn over into a bowl and add in warm water, mix in well until combine.
Place a cheese cloth over a separate bowl, then turn the blended ginger juice into the cheese bag.
Strain into the bowl, and squeeze the bag to extract all the remaining juice from the pulp.
Turn out the chaff, fiber, or pulp and spread out to dry in the sun or the dehydrator. Store and use as ginger powder.
The easiest ginger juice extraction is with the electric juicer, Simply add the ginger chunks into the feed, run on high, and watch as the ginger juice beautifully flows out into the cup, while the second feed dispels the husk or fiber. Fast and so so easy.
Store juice in airtight sealed bottle and keep in the refrigerator. Use in smoothies or juices.
Ginger Smoothies And Fruit Juices:- Ginger juice can be easily mix in with veggies or fruits to make smoothies for a healthy and highly cleansing beverage. Ginger smoothies or mixed ginger fruits juices are great immune booster and are loaded with essential nutrients for the overall body health. The combination of ginger spice in juice, powder or pulp with a burst of sweetness from the fruit juice of choice is sweet deliciousness.
Aids in boosting circulation to help give the body immune system a kick, helps to relieve stress, clears phlegm in nasal congestions and clear also the vocal air ways.
The health benefits of beetroot are immense; helps to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. The nitrates in beetroot helps to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, also boosts physical performance during exercises. Superb antioxidants and anti-cancerous properties which assist in destroying harmful free radicals from the body.
Fresh ginger root, juice or powder.
Fruit juice of choice.
Smoothies or Juice Add-In; The added fruits or veggies of choice are as follows, pineapples, apples, tomatoes, beetroot, cucumber, carrots with any of the following coconut water, apple juice, carrot juice, or lemon juice.
Recipe Steps:- Smoothies of choice is prepared by washing, slicing or dicing the fruits or veggies of choice into chunks. Then place into the blender, add the ginger juice, coconut water, apple juice, carrot juice or lemon juice. Add sweetener of choice. Then blend all into a smoothie and serve immediately.
Wash thoroughly the beetroot and ginger root. Peel the beetroot, then cut into cubes. Peel ginger but it is not necessary to peel organic ginger. Slice ginger into pieces.
Blend the ginger and beetroot, with splash of water; then strain with a cheese cloth. Do not strain if recipe is for smoothies.
But if using a juicer, simply feed in the ginger and beet pieces.
Add in the juice of choice as mentioned above. Mix in well and serve immediately with iced cubes or serve it chilled.
Ginger Lemon And Honey Juice:- A refreshingly cool juice for summer when the season gets so hot, and an soothing drink for winter to relieve cold best to be taken spicy hot.
The fresh ginger root.
Fresh mints, Fresh lemon juice and lemon rind.
Water and Iced cubes.
Honey to give a sweet natural flavor.
Peel the ginger root using a knife or scrape the peel with a spoon; slice into chunks.
Blend ginger slices with water until smooth paste, then turn pureed ginger into a mixing bowl, add in crushed mint or lemon rind, pour over it boiled hot water. Mix in thoroughly.
Strain juice with a fine mesh or cheese cloth
Add the squeezed lemon juice, sweeten with honey for a natural taste, stir all until well combine.
Adjust sweetness or thickness with added water according to choice and taste.
Garnish with mint leaf or lemon rind.
Serve Hot or Chilled.
Ginger Oil:- The best homemade oil to relieving joint pain and painful body aches; reduce knee pain, chronic lower back pain, arthritis and excellent for healthy hair growth.
As a massage oil, gently wash all affected body parts or use after a warm bath, by a gentle massaging with the ginger oil; as an essential oil it will quickly absorb in going into the bloodstream to act, giving a fast pain relief within some minutes.
As recipe oil, simply drizzle over stir-fries, grilled, or baked goodies.
Organic Fresh ginger root as much as needed.
Organic olive oil.
Wash all ginger root, towel dry or air dry.
Grate the ginger root with a grater or grind into shreds.
Place all the grated ginger into an oven-safe bowl and pour on it the olive oil, gently mix in.
Place in the oven if using, or place over a saucepan and place on low heat, stirring constantly.
After some few hours, remove the mix from heat and strain using a cheese bag into a clean bowl to remove the fibers.
Transfer the ginger oil into a bottle, label with recipe and date.
Store in a cool dry place and use accordingly when required.
Ginger Root Health Benefits:- The ginger root has been used in traditional herbal medicines all across Nigeria for its powerful medicinal properties called “Gingerol”; it is a major spice in almost all Nigeria dishes for it’s unique aroma, tasty flavor that sizzle out from it’s natural oils. Ginger contains essential oil, macronutrients like carbohydrates, fiber, protein such as amino acids, lipids including omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids. Micronutrients, like calcium, zinc, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C and other very important components.
COVID-19:- Ginger powerful load of “Gingerol” help fight various harmful bacteria and viruses; reducing the risk of Covid-19 infections. Homemade natural spices with notable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and high analgesic are beneficial as home remedies for Covid-19 infection, viral flu, human respiratory virus with an amazing effect that could prevent severe damage to the lungs due to inflammation such as found in Covid-19. It is advisable to consider the use of ginger, garlic, onion, lemon, and other organic plants as remedies.
Ginger is not just an amazing spice but an absolutely healthy root herb, that is so effective in the treatment of various forms of gut problems, nauseas, pregnancy, motion-sickness, assist in preventing clogged arteries and improves general heart health. Ginger is high in anti-cancerous properties; may also aid in destroying cancer cells and may assist to lower and regulate blood sugar. Ginger antioxidants aids brain function; can inhibit inflammatory responses in the human brain, helping to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Aids digestive upset; bloat, gas, indigestion, pains and helping to speed up the emptying of the stomach.
A great home remedy for treating colds and sore throats due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidative properties. A great help in reducing chronic and menstrual pains; also aids in weight loss and control.
Unhealthy food choices can lead to high levels of the LDL (bad) cholesterol that is often linked to increase risk of heart diseases; ginger root can significantly reduce the LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels.
Ginger is good for joint pain, aching muscles, nose and throat congestion especially added to beverages like tea for a soothing relief of cough, cold and nose to throat congestions.
An amazing pain reliever, with its anti-inflammatory loads that helps to relieve back to joint pains. A fast acting remedy for toothache; chew a chunk of the fresh ginger root, push it between the cheek and the painful tooth, it slowly works it magic to ease the pain. As a remedy for back pain; mix together olive oil and fresh ginger juice and massage the lower back spot and other body parts to relieve pain. Improves digestion, stimulates saliva secretion to aid in moistening and breaking down food intake.
Controls high blood pressure; the chemical compound in ginger root is a great help in reducing the bad cholesterols in the blood that may lead to hypertension and other heart diseases.
Ginger Root Adverse Effects:- Food is medicine and the use of food as medicine must be with the doctors advice:
The side effects most often occurs due to the excessive intake of ginger, which tends to cause more harm than good.
The excessive intake of ginger may cause bleeding due to blood thinning and a tendency for increased bleeding in some situations; which also makes ginger consumption during pregnancy unsafe, that may increase the risk of miscarriage, so it is best to avoid it.
It is best for patients on blood pressure medications to avoid ginger intake, and its excessive intake by such patients is risky.
Abdominal discomfort may occur due to high intake of ginger which may lead to bloating and gas for people with sensitive digestive system, it is best to avoid its consumption on an empty stomach; May also lead to diarrhea.
Ginger may cause hypersensitivity and gall bladder disease; whereas over consumption of ginger may lead belching and heartburn. While in some individuals it may cause mouth tingling, swelling or throat irritation. Always remember to gingerly use ginger root for best result.
Economic Potentials And Sustainability Of The Nigeria Ginger Root:- The ginger root has a great potential as an export crop which is valued world wide for its powder, oil and oleoresin; ginger has a great economic importance for Nigeria. The Nigerian ginger which is rated as one of the best in the International market for it’s aromatic pungency and it’s amazing high level oleoresin oil, is a sought after ingredient all around the world. Ginger is now the most important commodity in the world market, for its culinary, beverage, pharmaceutical, brewery, cosmetic industries; globally the demands for Nigeria organic ginger is growing by the day, because it is safer, healthier and tastier; but ginger cultivation is yet to be taken as a serious business because most of the ginger farmers are individual smallholder who cultivate the plant using the traditional method of farm to food for household uses and selling excess to the local markets. The ginger root farming has high returns on investments, with a large ready made market; the plant is least affected by disease and pest with a short life cycle, the plant is adaptable to variety of soil types and it is best not to treat rhizomes with any chemical. Ginger is a highly lucrative business, there is an urgent need in accelerating the potential of the ginger market for high quality, sustainable ginger production and refined processing for more added value of the organic ginger root which is vital to diversifying it’s market and making sure that ginger meets international quality standards for the export markets. The mechanization of ginger cultivation and processing is vital in order to increase yield and to solve all the limiting factors of the Nigerian ginger; there is the need for production development, markets and processing facilities, provision of more varieties and solving the challenges of irregular weather conditions. A sustainable ginger agriculture all year round is crucial to export promotion, generating employment in ensuring poverty reduction by employing the populace especially the youth into the agricultural sector for economic growth. Growth in the export of ginger will significantly increase, and the importation of spices into the country will reduce; creating jobs for the millions of jobless youths and consequently cutting down on crimes and criminality in Nigeria.
Ginger root contains powerful loads of beneficial nutrients and bioactive compounds that is amazingly effective for the “Brain and Body”, use as a “Meal or Medicine”. Ginger up your recipes with spicy super food; fire up your health and taste buds with the Nigerian organic ginger root!