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Ginger is a flowering plant that originated in China but is commonly produced today in countries like India, Jamaica, Fiji, Indonesia, and Australia. Ginger is a spice that has similar qualities to other spices such as turmeric and cardamom. The underground part of the stem of the plant is called the rhizome, which is the part often used as a spice, but it is most commonly called ginger root or ginger. The ginger plant can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form, or as juice. Ginger can be used in a variety of ways. In fact, our executive Chef Dewey McMurrey uses ginger most often in Asian stir fry and fried rice.

Benefits of Ginger

Ginger has been used throughout history in both traditional and alternative medicine because of some of its health benefits. Some studies have shown ginger to help with digestion, muscle pain, and soreness, reduce nausea, and fight the common flu and cold. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound found in fresh ginger and ginger oil that is found to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.

Ginger and the Holidays

This time of year it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing gingersnap cookies and gingerbread house making kits. My husband’s favorite holiday treat is a glass of egg nog and gingerbread cookies. There are lots of different ways to enjoy ginger, but this season gingerbread beats the rest! Here is a simple recipe so you can make your own gingerbread cookies this year.

Gingerbread Cookies

Adapted From: delish


  • ¾ c butter, softened
  • ¾ c packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 c molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ¼ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg


In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and molasses until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, spices, baking soda, and salt until combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until dough comes together. (Do not overmix!) Divide dough in half and create two discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 to 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place one disc of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll until 1/4″ thick. Cut out preferred shape with a 3″ wide cutter and transfer to baking sheets. Bake until slightly puffed and set, 9 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your cookie cutters. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining disc of dough. Decorate with icing and sprinkles as desired.


1. 11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger. (2017, June 4). Retrieved from 2. Megan Ware, R. D. N. (2017, September 11). Ginger: Health benefits and dietary tips. Retrieved from

Provided by: Katelyn Holston, Graduate Student, TTU Dietetic Intern

For questions contact, Mindy Diller, MS, RDN, LD Registered Dietitian


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