Ginger is a spice that has become very popular lately. It’s often added to drinks or eaten raw. But did you know that ginger also has health benefits?
Ginger is a root vegetable native to India and Southeast Asia. It contains powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger is known for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. In addition, it helps relieve pain from arthritis, toothaches, migraines, and menstrual cramps.
But how do you store ginger? How long does it last in your pantry? What should you keep away from it? In this article, we’ll be giving you some tips for storing this great little ingredient safely and effectively.
Keep Your Ginger Fresh
When buying fresh ginger, look for firm, smooth skin without any soft spots. Avoid bruised or damaged pieces as they may have been exposed to air or moisture.
Store the ginger in an open container with plenty of room around the roots. If you buy whole ginger, wrap it loosely in plastic wrap before placing it into storage. This will help prevent oxidation.
Storing Ginger In Ice Cubes
If you’re looking for a way to preserve your ginger’s flavor, try freezing it in ice cubes. Just peel off the outer layer of the ginger, cut it up into small chunks, and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then transfer the frozen cubes to freezer bags when they’re ready to use.
Keeping Ginger In The Fridge
If you don’t want to bother with making ice cubes, you can simply place your ginger in the fridge. The cold temperature will slow down the rate at which oxygen penetrates the ginger, preventing it from oxidizing.
Freezing Ginger In Syrup
Another option is to freeze the ginger in syrup. Simply chop the ginger and add it to a pan with water and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until the liquid reduces by half.
Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool completely. Transfer the cooled syrup to a jar and cover tightly. Once it’s solidified, remove the lid and discard.
Storing Ginger With Alcohol
One way to preserve your fresh ginger is, surprisingly, to use alcohol. Peel the root off of your ginger and cut it into evenly sized slices.
Then, place the slices inside a mason jar or Tupperware container and fill it up with some alcohol like brandy or sherry.
The alcohol in these drinks works well to preserve the ginger, prevent it from acquiring bacteria, and it even adds an interesting flavor to your drinks!
Drying ginger is one of the best ways to preserve its nutrients. Chop the ginger into thin strips and spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 hours. They are now ready to use in recipes.
What To Do With Leftover Ginger
Instead of simply storing your leftover ginger away where it will eventually perish and be unusable, why not try out one of these methods for reusing it straight away?
Ginger Baking Powder
Another easy way to preserve ginger’s flavor is to make ginger baking powder! All you need is 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and 3 tablespoons white vinegar. Mix these ingredients together well and store them in an airtight container. Use it like regular baking powder.
Pickling is another way to preserve ginger’s flavors. You can pickle ginger just like you would other vegetables. Cut the ginger into slices, then combine it with salt, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and chili flakes. Cover the jars with lids and let them sit undisturbed for about two weeks.
Making Ginger Tea
Ginger tea has become increasingly popular over the years. It’s made by steeping chopped ginger in hot water for several minutes. Add honey if desired.
Using Ginger Root In Cooking
The root of the ginger plant contains volatile oils that give it both its pungent taste and medicinal properties. It also helps lower blood pressure and reduces inflammation.
How To Peel Ginger
Peeling ginger isn’t difficult, but there are a few things you should know beforehand. First, you’ll need to wash the ginger thoroughly under running water.
Next, dry it thoroughly with some kitchen paper. Finally, using a small knife, slice off the skin as close to the flesh as possible without cutting through it.
However, an even more effective and useful way to peel ginger is by using a spoon. Simply hold the ginger tightly with one hand and scratch the skin of the ginger with a small spoon.
You’ll find that the skin comes off very easily, and you’ll have much better control over how close to the flesh you go while peeling.
Can Ginger Be Stored At Room Temperature?
Yes, ginger can be stored at room temperature. However, it loses its potency after a couple of days. If you want to keep it longer than this, you may want to refrigerate it.
How Do You Defrost Ginger?
We mentioned earlier that one of the ways you can store ginger is by freezing it. However, once you’ve frozen it and are ready to use your ginger again, how do you go about defrosting it?
You can defrost frozen ginger by placing it in a pot filled with warm water. Let it thaw slowly so that it doesn’t get too mushy. It’s best to wrap the ginger in plastic wrap or an airtight bag to stop it from going soggy.
How Long Can I Keep Ginger In The Refrigerator?
Freshly cut ginger can last up to three months in the refrigerator. After that time, it starts losing its flavor. So, if you’re planning on making ginger soup or gingerbread cookies, you might want to buy fresh ginger instead.
Ginger is a versatile spice that goes well with many kinds of foods. Whether you’re cooking Indian dishes or preparing Asian cuisine, ginger will add a unique flavor to whatever dish you decide to prepare. So, next time you’re looking for something to add to your meal plan, try adding some ginger to your recipe!