Tuesday 6 December 2016

Healthy eating: Susan Jane White says ginger helps fight colds, indigestion and hangovers

It can improve your skin, says Susan Jane White, and ginger also helps fight colds, indigestion and hangovers

Published 06/02/2012 | 06:00

Ginger and I have a love affair going on. Every night, I go to bed with it. It's always on my mind. And I just can't get enough of it.

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Once you experience ginger's whopping medicinal power, you'll be smitten too. Scratchy throat? Mouth ulcers? Dodgy tummy? Crush a hunk of fresh ginger into a glass of water, add one lime, and sip your symptoms away.



According to the British Journal of Pharmacology, ginger has potent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds that can help soothe anything from swollen tonsils to achy limbs. Did you know that most common skin complaints involve inflammation? Dandruff, psoriasis, acne and eczema should all benefit from a good frolic with ginger. Besides, it's outrageously tasty, dead cheap, and will vastly improve a dull evening meal. Widely celebrated for banishing nausea, it proves an awesome antidote to hangovers. Try it freshly pressed with carrot or grapefruit, and feel your toes fizz.



FRUIT PIES



Makes 24. There's no baking involved — just pure unadulterated goodness. Best served with thick Greek yoghurt. Each one of these virtuous pies will arm your body with alarming amounts of anti-ageing artillery. This is because almonds are rich in vitamin E, the undisputed beauty vitamin, and raisins are pumped with resveratrol, aka free-radical assassins. Free radicals cause damage to our skin and to our bodies. Nasty things.



For the filling, you will need:

About 3 cups raisins and cranberries, mixed

1 tea bag

2 tablespoons molasses or date syrup

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, skin

removed

Zest of 1 unwaxed orange

2 apples, grated

2 tablespoons ground linseed (optional)

Walnuts (optional decoration)

For the crust, you will need:

¾ cup whole, unsalted cashew nuts

½ cup whole, unsalted almonds

4 tablespoons golden sultanas or chopped

apricots

2 tablespoons runny honey, raw agave or

maple syrup

Juice of ½ lemon

To make the filling, marinade one cup of the raisin-and-cranberry mixture in a good splash of tea along with the molasses or date syrup, whichever you are using, the mixed spice, the cinnamon, the grated fresh ginger and Wham!'s greatest hits. Leave overnight.



In the morning, blitz with a hand-held blender. Stir through the orange zest, the grated apples, the ground linseed, if you are using it, and the remaining two cups of raisins and cranberries. Allow the flavours to disport among themselves for several hours before tasting.



Meanwhile, get going on the fruit-pie crust. Using an electric food processor, pulse all the crust ingredients until they start clumping together. Sprinkle this sticky dough over a pre-lined tin, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon or your damp fingers. I use a tin that measures 20cm x 12cm (8in x 5in), which I line with non-stick baking parchment.



Freeze for about 45 minutes. Once the crust has solidified, remove from the tin and cut into mini squares using a very sharp knife. If you have a circular cookie cutter, go wild. My lazy side prefers the squares as there's no leftover dough. Return the pie crusts to the freezer to re-harden. As soon as you fancy a nibble, remove the pie crusts from the freezer. Tickle with the filling, some walnuts, if you are using them, and giddiness. Be careful not to adorn all the pie crusts — only the ones destined for your tummy.



The crusts can be stored for up to two months in the freezer. Don't forget to put them in a freezer bag.



www.susanjanewhite.com



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