Ginger: Winter Beauty Heats Up

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Imagine that it’s the dead of winter on the East Coast. The thermometer hasn’t risen above freezing in a week. You’re beyond chilled. Your skin is red and parched. Maybe this isn’t so hard to imagine at all? Right after you apply a rich, calming skin cream, there’s one beauty food I want you to reach for. It’s the one food that will both heat you up inside and cool down redness and inflammation in your skin. It’ll help you digest while satisfying your hearty winter appetite. It’s sweet or savory, and always delicious. It may even ward off that cold that your coworkers have been passing around for weeks.

It’s ginger.

Aphrodisiac foods get a lot of attention around Valentine’s Day, and ginger is usually overshadowed by oysters and chocolate. But is there anything sexier than a food that really gets your blood pumping? I think not. Ginger’s a proven reliever of muscular aches and pains brought on by exercise, and it quells nausea too.

But you want to know about beauty benefits. Ginger is a fabulous inflammation fighter, and that translates to less redness, and fewer breakouts. It increases circulation, bringing a fresh supply of nutrients, and a healthy glow, to your skin. It also aids in digestion, a healthy beauty essential.

Ginger has some indirect beauty benefits too, in its cold-fighting abilities. I steep fresh ginger in hot water at the slightest sniffle or throat tickle and it wards off illness, not to mention the accompanying red nose and undereye bags.

Confession: I never cared for ginger until I started cooking with the fresh root. Dried ginger powder just doesn’t do it. And for these cookies, only fresh, and very, very finely zested ginger will do. They’re warming and sweet, and easy to whip up in fifteen minutes on a cold night.

 

Gluten Free Ginger Coconut Cookies

Steep leftover ginger root in hot water to sip while you enjoy these circulation-boosting treats.

Makes about 15 1½-inch cookies

¼ cup butter, softened

½ cup organic coconut sugar

1 ½ tsp finely grated ginger root (use a citrus zester for grating)

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

¼ cup coconut flour

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and ginger and stir to incorporate. Add eggs and beat until fluffy with an electric mixer. In a separate bowl, combine coconut flour, shredded coconut and salt. Add dry mixture to wet and beat on low until combined. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Form dough into 1½ inch balls and position one inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake about 20 minutes, until slightly browned.