Jamaican and African Ginger Beverage

Ginger beer is a very popular beverage in Jamaica and Africa. This zingy drink is very refreshing and has many health benefits. This recipe is a non-alcoholic version.

INGREDIENTS
– Gingerroot, chopped — 3/4 to 1 pound
– Water — 2 quarts
– Sugar — 2/3 to 3/4 cup
– Lemons or limes, juice only — 2 to 3

METHOD
1. Place the chopped ginger, 3 cups of the water and 2/3 cup sugar in a blender and puree well. Let set for at least 30 minutes or overnight to extract all the flavor.
2. Strain the liquid through a fine-meshed sieve and pour into a pitcher. Add enough water to make 2 quarts and stir in the the lemon or lime juice and additional sugar to taste. Chill well before serving.

VARIATIONS
– ADD MORE OR LESS GINGER TO YOUR TASTE.
– FOR A BUBBLY BEVERAGE, PUREE THE GINGER WITH 2-3 CUPS OF REGULAR WATER, THEN USE CLUB SODA TO BRING THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF LIQUID UP TO 2 QUARTS.

GINGER HEALTH FACTS

– known to boost bone health and relieve joint pains.
– Has been used since ancient times to cure diarrhea.
– Helps facilitate the digestive process.
– Is a known aphrodisiac, and has been used for years in arousing desire and enhancing sexual activity.
– Helps reduce the levels of prostaglandins in the body, hence relieving cramps and fighting inflammation.
– Other health benefits of ginger currently under research are: reducing heart diseases, arthritis, migraine, depression, and curing stress-related anxiety disorders.

Note: Ginger may, at times, have side effects for those suffering from gallstones since the herb incites the release of bile from the gallbladder. Therefore, it is advised if such a condition is suspected to consult a doctor before consuming ginger.