I had last weekend off. This is a rare occurrence. I was not scheduled for Saturday and for some reason I asked for Sunday off. I have no clue why I asked for it off or if I was supposed to go somewhere. If I was, oh well.
Chaz decided he wanted to go Jungle Jim’s on Saturday. It is well established that we should never go to Jungle Jim’s together. I end up stocking up on Tinkyada brown rice pastas. Since we only use pasta every other week and we only go to Jungle Jim’s every few months, it’s usually necessary. I found some good French wines I wanted to try along with some green mango (to soak in gluten-free shoyu – soy sauce for you Mainlanders) and green papaya (Chicken Papaya anyone?), and I looked for So Delicious dairy-free Greek yogurts. I can’t even remember what Chaz got. Bad wife? No, I was on a mission after he told me where we were going.
Chaz found a jar of Ginger Spread while I was contemplating nut butters and deciding I just need to make my own. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, I posted a picture of it and sent it to Twitter and my personal Facebook. The spread is “for serious ginger lovers.” I’m a serious ginger lover. The majority of the Filipino dishes/soups I grew up loving contain ginger. Just one slice of ginger can put something over the top. Then there is the use of mostly just ginger when I get sick. I boil it in water and let it steep. I’ll then use that to make green tea or just drink it like that. Ginger is my best friend in the kitchen some days. I like to add it to juices and smoothies. One of our fellow Aikidoka and friends opened up a restaurant (Yang-Kee Noodle) with some partners when we were in Louisville and still active in Aikido (and I was still pre-diagnosis). They ran some tastings before opening to refine the recipes and we were lucky enough to be invited to one. My favorite was the Ginger Chicken. It was so full of ginger my mouth was on fire and I loved it. I may not like the heat of hot peppers a lot, but I do love the fire of ginger, Chinese hot mustard, and wasabi. They wound up reducing the amount of ginger in the final recipe because most of their customers would not be accustomed to that much ginger. It was still good, just not as good as that first time to me. I stopped eating there once I was gluten-free, but we always try to stop by when we are in town to see if our friend is working to say hi.
We looked all over that jar of Ginger Spread three to four times before we found the ingredient list. Small print on the lid. Seriously. Ingredient lists should be more prominent. I thought I was going crazy while I was looking for it. I decided I could make it easily (and for cheaper) once I saw the ingredients.
My first attempt at making this involved grating the ginger on my ginger grater. The result was good, but stringy. The second attempt is my favorite.
5/8 cup ginger juice (I ran one entire giant root through my juicer)
1/4 cup raw local honey (or sweetener of your choice)
Place juice and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Vent a cover over the saucepan and allow to come to a boil. Do not stir until the spread starts to thicken. If you stir too soon, you will end up with clumps. Take the pan off the heat once the spread is thick and reduced slightly. Allow it to cool.
Now that you have Ginger Spread, what do you use it on or in? I’ve been using it in my whole juices and just throwing some into the Vitamix along with the fruits and vegetables. I also forgot to add ginger to something I made the other night. How could I forget, right? I know, I was kicking myself, too. So, I used some of the spread. It wasn’t the same, but it was a good sub in a pinch. After taking the above picture and then pouring the spread into a container I was tempted to just pour some vodka or spiced rum in that martini glass. I refrained, but I have no doubt that just a little of the spread would make a great addition to a cocktail. I think it would make a great sauce for cocktail shrimp or Raw Veggie Spring Rolls.
I decided it would also make a great addition to chia pudding. I was inspired by my friend Johnna and her Chia Pudding in a Jar. I’ve only made my chia pudding in a jar since she posted that recipe. It’s just so flipping easy to do. You could make this in a bowl or something and just make sure you stir it up every once in a while as it sets. It’s not as fun as shaking the bejeebers out of a mason jar though.
Chocolate Ginger Chia Pudding
1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk
6 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
2 – 4 teaspoons Ginger Spread
sweetener of choice (optional)
Add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake vigorously. Give the jar a shake every time you open the fridge for something. It will be set in about 4 hours.