Tasty, nutritious and attractive, ginger is a go-to source for healthy eating and fruitful gardening. Take the time to both grow the plant and enjoy the flowers, but also reap its culinary benefits as well after the floral show is over. Getting ginger to grow roots is very easy, provided you abide by a few crucial steps to keep them from rotting. The trick is to plant ginger roots in a warm environment, plant them in a breathable medium (such as a sand or perlite combo) and water sparingly until they form leaves.
1. Choose a health root mass at the grocery. The best choices are those with a green tinge forming at the end of the nubs. The more nubs that you have per piece the better.
2. You can soak the roots overnight or for at least 12 hours in a tepid mixture. This is to stimulate early growth and it may help to cleanse any chemicals that may have been on it prior to the grocery.
3. Place the roots in a well-drained soil mixture and leave the top of the root is slightly visible. Make sure that the green growing tips are pointing upward. Keep the mixture slightly moist, but allow to dry slightly. Make sure that the soil is decently warm though, not direct sunlight though.
4. You can transplant the root once growth begins. Place into a pot the same way that you did initially.
5. Your ginger plant will grow vivaciously if you provide warmth, humidity, moisture and excellent drainage year-round.
Natural Ginger Ale by Wellness Mama
2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced.
½ C of organic sugar or you can try stevia if using sugar, add 1 tablespoon honey for flavor and minerals.
½ C fresh lemon or lime juice
½ t sea salt or himalayan salt
8 C of filtered (chlorine free) water (Here is the water filter we use)
Make a "wort" for your ginger ale by placing 3 cups of the water, minced ginger root, sugar (and molasses if needed), and salt in a saucepan and bringing to a boil.
Simmer the mixture for about five minutes until sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to smell like ginger.
Remove from heat and add additional water. This should cool it but if not, allow to cool to room temperature before moving to the next step.
Add fresh lemon or lime juice and ginger bug (or whey).
Transfer to a 2 quart glass mason jar with a tight fitting (air-tight) lid. Stir well and put lid on.
Leave on the counter for 2-3 days until carbonated and transfer to the fridge where it will last indefinitely.
Watch this step carefully. Using whey will cause it to ferment more quickly and it will take less time. It should be bubble and should "hiss" like a soda when the lid is removed. This is very temperature dependent and the mixture may need to be burped or stirred during this fermentation time on the counter.
As with any traditional fermented drink, it is more of an art than a science as it depends on the strength of your culture, the temperature of your house and the sugar used. The final mixture should smell of ginger and slightly of yeast/fermentation and should be fizzy. Watch carefully that it doesn't become too carbonated as this will cause too much pressure and may result in an exploding jar!
The mixture can be strained and transferred to Grolsch style bottles before putting in the fridge (we like these bottles).
Strain before drinking.
You can also store ginger ale in Ball jars.