The ginger is very popular and versatile and has been used for its taste and health benefits for thousands of years. Prepared in a healthy ginger ale, it is rich in essential vitamins and minerals and is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving (analgesic) properties.
Ginger has found its way into many products. Ginger beer, or ginger ale for example, is a drink of choice for many. But why buy the commercial soda packed with unhealthy ingredients if you can make your own ginger ale or ginger ale at home? Read and learn how to make ginger beer to reduce pain and inflammation, and learn about its health benefits.
As mentioned above, ginger is rich in essential vitamins and minerals. It contains potassium and manganese, which makes it very good for the heart and preventing diseases. Vitamins A, C, E and the B complex are found in this great spice.
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, which is why it is often used to treat inflammation and help with pain. It is particularly effective on muscles and back pain, and also relieves period pain. This post will explain in detail how to make an anti-inflammatory ginger beer but you can also make the best homemade ginger tea to reduce inflammation.
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The benefits of ginger
Ginger has a wide range of health benefits such as:
- Helps with digestive health
- Relieves nausea
- Lowers bad cholesterol and blood sugar
- Can be used for respiratory conditions and coughs
- Reduces fever
- Stimulates blood circulation
How to make ginger ale or ginger ale to reduce inflammation
If you’re making ginger ale or ginger ale, you can go for a super-healthy fermented alternative or a simpler (and faster) version. It is more advisable to try the first one. Fermentation goes hand in hand with health. The benefits of consuming fermented foods are multiple and include digestive rebalancing and supporting the immune system.
Fermented Ginger Beer Recipe
- 1–2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced (you can use more or less depending on your taste)
- 1/2 cup muscovado sugar, preferably organic – you can use honey, only it will take a little longer to complete. But as a note, you should know that yeast eats a lot of the sugar.
- 1/2 cup of lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
- 8 cups of pure water
- 1/2 cup fermented ginger (this is what causes the drink to ferment – it’s a culture of beneficial bacteria, see recipe at the end).
- Put 3 cups of water, minced ginger, sugar and salt in a saucepan to boil.
- Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. The sugar should melt.
- Add the rest of the water and wait until the mixture cools to room temperature.
- Add lemon juice and ½ cup fermented ginger.
- Transfer this to a glass jar, mix well, and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
- Let it sit for 2 to 3 days, so it becomes fizzy (if you let it sit for longer than necessary, the drink will begin to become alcoholic).
- Strain and transfer to bottles to keep in the fridge.
To take into account
- It is difficult to predict exactly how long the fermentation process will take. It depends on the temperature, the sugar used and the strength of the culture. The final drink should smell like ginger and also have the aroma of the specific fermentation / yeast. Be careful not to let the beer sit too long as it can over-ferment – if the pressure builds up, this can even lead to a mini explosion.
- The crafting process is very about trial and error. If you are not completely satisfied with the end result the first time, you can learn from it and apply the changes the second time.
- Ginger ale has no alcohol content, and once you put it in the fridge it shouldn’t increase the alcohol content.
How to make fermented ginger for your homebrew
- This is the timely part of the process, but it is also very rewarding.
- First, you will need to mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated ginger with an equal amount of white sugar.
- Then add 2 cups of filtered or pure water. Stir well and leave the mixture in a glass jar that is lightly covered (it does not need to be in a dark place).
- For the next five days (it can take up to 8 days if room conditions are not optimal), we stir the mixture daily and add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger and 1 tablespoon of sugar to the mixture each time.
- The mixture is ready when bubbles form around the top, it is cloudy and opaque in appearance, and has a sweet, slightly yeasty smell.
- Once you do, the ferment can be kept indefinitely as long as you “feed” it regularly. You can keep it in the fridge, where it will become dormant and is only fed one tablespoon of ginger and one tablespoon of sugar weekly. Or, you can keep it by steeping and adding a tablespoon of minced ginger and sugar every day.
- Now, simply add the fermented ginger as an active ingredient to your homemade drink. You can make a root beer and other homemade fermented drinks. Just use ¼ cup of fermented ginger and add to a quart (4 cups) of any sweetened fruit or herb mix you use. At this point you can add ¼ cup of water to the ginger just to keep enough liquids in the ferment.
Note: If you notice a mold formed in the fermented ginger, carefully scrape it off. If it reappears, you have to throw out the mixture and start over. Also, if the mixture is not ready after 8 days, you need to start over.
If you are making other fermented foods, such as kombucha or sauerkraut, keep the cultures separate to avoid crossing over.
Simple ginger beer recipe
If you feel that the above procedure is too complex and lengthy, there is a shortcut. You can create a tasty ginger ale or ginger ale at home in a much shorter time, but it won’t be as healthy, potent, and relaxing as its fermented counterpart.
- 1 cup ginger, finely chopped
- 2 cups of filtered water
- Soda water
- Juice of 1 lime or lemon
- Pure, organic honey (you can also use stevia)
- Bring water to a boil. Add the ginger, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour it through a strainer, to obtain the ginger syrup.
- Mix 1 part ginger syrup with 3 parts sparkling water.
- Add some lemon juice and sweeten it with honey.
- Serve over ice.