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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Get your Ginger on

My wonderful lately has been found in making my own as opposed to buying it. In the last few weeks my focus has been on my homemade ginger ale. Oh so refreshing and so good for you.  It's really very simple to make. It costs less and it's much better for you.  Plus, I don't count regular ginger ale soda as real food. It's stuffed full of unrecognizable ingredients and packed with preservatives. There is one ginger ale on the market that's pretty good - Reeds. But it's so dang sweet it makes me feel ill after just a couple of swigs.  And before we get started, let me just give an BIG thank you to my sister Barb for getting me hooked on this one!

To make my ginger ale, you only need one ingredient - Ginger and of course, access to fresh filtered water. Plus, if you make it yourself, you can control the sugar content, or lack there of.  And you don't have to use this just for ginger ale. It's great to keep in the freezer and pull out when you need a bit of hot tea to settle an upset stomach or nausea. It will also stimulate your digestive system, if you know what I mean and helps alleviate arthritis pain.  Of course, the concentrate could also make a mean martini!  

Here's the simplest recipe of your entire life:

2 large Ginger Roots
8 cups filtered water
1 lemon (optional)

To make the ginger concentrate:
Remove the skin, use a knife to cut off the pointed edges then peel the skin off.
Grate the peeled ginger
Put the peeled ginger into a sauce pan and add 8 cups filtered water.
Bring the water to a boil, then immediately turn down to a nice simmer.
Simmer for 1 hour and stir occasionally.
Add the juice of one lemon when done simmering.

Pour through a strainer and press on pulp to get remaining liquid out.
Strain one more time.

Put in glass or plastic jars, label and freeze.

To make a ginger ale:
You'll need to experiment here to find your preferred taste for this drink.

Add 2-6 TBSP of ginger concentrate to a tall glass. Like I said before, it's all in the taste preferences of the beholder. Start conservative then add more to taste.

Add 4-6 drops liquid Stevia (be sure you buy real Stevia and not the chemically manufactured version of it)
OR you can add a bit of sugar water but the whole point is to get away from the sugar right? In fact, I'm at the point now, where I don't even like an sweetener in mine.

Add ice and fill the rest of the glass with your favorite selzter/soda water.

Stir and then sit back and start sipping. You'll be amazed at how refreshing it is, not to mention addicting. But at least it's good for you, right?