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Grow with Nutrition

Mrs. Merrick’s Ginger Cookies (and other Ginger Tidbits)

Last Christmas, Sue, my good friend and neighbour served the most delicious ginger cookies. I had to have this recipe! When I asked for the it, a hand written recipe card Mrs. Merrick’s Ginger Cookies appeared.

The recipe has been in Sue's family for three generations. Mrs Merrick was a close friend of Sue's Grandmother and her cookies were a sought after staple at the annual Trinity United Christmas Bazaar. Now you can make and share the Mrs. Merrick's Ginger Cookies recipe (it is at the end of the post) with your family and friends (and let me know if you think the cookies are delish too).

Ginger is one of my favourite spices to use all year round. I buy it fresh, dried and candied. I use it for both savoury and sweet recipes. And I always have Canada Dry Gingerale in my cold cellar for the 'under the weather' or the upset stomach times.

Did you know?

  • Ginger is a spice which comes from the underground rhizome of the ginger plant.
  • Ginger root is not actually a root; it is a rhizome – a mass or cluster of roots.
  • Ginger has been used as a culinary spice for over 4000 years; however its medicinal properties have been recognized in just the last 2000 years.
  • Ginger originally evolved in the tropical regions of Asia and is now grown in tropical areas of the world such as Jamaica, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
  • During large feasts in ancient Greece, ginger root was wrapped in bread and eaten to avoid nausea. Eventually ginger was added to the dough of bread and created what we now know as ginger bread.

Fresh Ginger – buying and storing

When buying fresh ginger look for firm tubes which have are very aromatic and slightly heavy. Once  at home, the ginger can be refrigerated for up three weeks or frozen for up to two months if wrapped tightly in paper towel and stored in a plastic bag.

Ginger and Health

Motion sickness and nausea

  • Ginger has long been used to curb feelings of motion sickness and nausea; however, actual intervention trials looking at its effects have had conflicting results.  A meta-analysis concluded that the use of ginger does not prevent symptoms of motion sickness but rather attenuates the feelings associated with it (1).
  • A review article explored gingers effects on pregnancy induced vomiting and nausea (2). After inspecting six double-blind randomized controlled trials it was concluded that ginger is likely an effective and safe treatment for nausea during pregnancy (2).  Two of the six studies compared ginger to a vitamin B6 (a commonly used treatment for nausea during pregnancy) and found that ginger was as effective in relieving symptoms of nausea.

Anti-inflammatory and pain relief

  • Some research shows ginger may affect certain inflammatory processes and reduce pain.  However, further human clinical trials are necessary to confirm this mechanism.

 

Recipe for Ginger Cookies (Thank you Mrs. Merrick!)

Ingredients:

2 cups – all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon – salt

2 teaspoons – baking soda

1 ½  teaspoons – ginger

½  teaspoon – cinnamon

dash of black pepper

¼ cup – molasses

¾ cup – Crisco shortening

1 egg (beaten)

1 cup – white sugar

keep out some extra white sugar for rolling the individual cookie balls prior to baking

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper in a bowl. Mix the molasses, shortening, beaten egg and sugar together well in another bowl. Add sifted ingredients to mixed ingredients and blend well. Roll mixture into small balls, then into white sugar. Place cookie balls on baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes.

Enjoy the cookies and let me know what you think!

 

References

  1. Louis, B. Rayani, S. Ginger as an antiemetic: CPJRPC. Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal. 2000;133(7).
  2. Borrelli, F. et al. Effectiveness and Safety of Ginger in Treatment of Pregnancy-Induced Nausea. Obstetrics and Gynecologists. 2005;105(4):849-856.
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