Sunday, August 29, 2010

Homemade Ginger Ale

There are several things I love about this recipie: I can tinker with the sweetness, I can tinker with the ginger strength and there is NO high fructose corn syrup!! Yeah!! I've adapted it from Mark Bittman's Best Recipies in the World cookbook. I love his cookbooks. They have lots of delicious easy to make recipies with many variations that appeal to my experimental nature. Anyway, back to the ginger ale. Here is the original recipie:

2c water
3/4c sliced ginger (skin on is fine)
1c sugar

Combine in saucepan and boil for ten minutes. Let cool and strain. Can be stored in fridge for up to 2 weeks (I've gone longer).

To Use:
Mix 2T with a glass of fizzy water. Adjust mixture to taste.

Personally I use less sugar and use organic Sucanat instead of white sugar. It is dried sugar cane juice. The particular brand I buy is green; self sustaining processing plant, fair trade, sustainable farms. It is a one to one substitute for sugar.

You could easily substitute honey, agave nectar or stevia into the syrup. The substitution ratios are as follows:
While honey is roughly a one to one substitiution, I hesitate to recomend it for several reasons. It can NOT be given to infants. Honey often contains botulism spores (these are like bacteria seeds that haven't blossomed yet). Infants' digestive systems can not kill the spores so they can develope botulism poisoning which is potentially fatal. While honey is touted for its health benefits, there is evidence that our stomachs and digestive tracts are compromised when we have CFIDS. I have no idea if our systems can kill these spores even though we are adults. Personally I am no longer using honey just to be on the safe side.

Agave Nectar is slightly sweeter than sugar so use 2/3c of agave instead of 1c of sugar.

Stevia can be up to 300x sweeter than sugar so follow substitution directions for the particular brand that you purchase. I have to post another warning here. While stevia is touted for its health benefits there has been some controversy as to whether it is genotoxic or not. At present the FDA has it in the catagory of 'generally regarded as safe'. A catagory I myself don't have much faith in. Since my body isn't reacting to anything normally I am avoiding stevia as well.

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