When you’re looking to add that special zing to your entrées, sides, or even desserts, try adding a bit of Ginger Paste, which is easily prepared in the Vitamix blender. Ginger has a venerable history as both a spice and a medicine, and was first referenced in Chinese herbals some five thousand years ago. Perhaps more widely known in the Western world as the yellow powder that we add to quick breads and cookies, ginger paste is made from fresh ginger root.
Start by selecting a piece of ginger that is heavy and firm to the touch, not moist, but not dry or wrinkled, and blemish-free. You can cut off the dried ends, but otherwise leave the skin intact. Fresh ginger is fibrous and is normally peeled, but the Vitamix will blend the whole ginger root into a smooth paste.
Ginger makes an especially good pairing with anything fruity, and in any Asian dish that features garlic. Try adding a teaspoon or two of ginger paste to:
- A coleslaw or salad dressing (especially one intended for or containing fruit)
- A mild dip that features feta or cream cheese
- Any curry
- Fruit juice and carbonated water (blend for your own version of ginger ale)
- Fruit salsa
- Dessert sauces and syrups, especially fruit sauces, although ginger is also good with chocolate
- Asian dipping sauce (delicious with shrimp, but also good with raw or grilled vegetables and grilled meats)
You can also use ginger paste to replace powdered ginger in any recipe, but use just half as much, since fresh ginger is more potent. Ginger paste will keep for several weeks stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Keep it on hand, so it’s always available to give a simple dish that added sparkle that elevates it to company fare.