You might be wondering how to preserve fresh ginger properly. Freezing, refrigeration, and room temperature are some of the numerous storage strategies. This article will review the advantages of using ginger in various methods. Here are the fundamental procedures for storing ginger at home.
Ginger can be used as a spice or delicacy to relieve stomach pain. Common uses for ginger include savory stir-fry dishes, baked goods like gingersnaps, and mixed drinks like the Moscow Mule. Ginger is a tasty root, but the difficulty in using all of the ginger from a single source creates a storage issue. You must understand how to store ginger in the freezer and refrigerator if you want it to last a few weeks or months. Follow these instructions if you want to learn how to keep ginger.
What is Ginger?
Although it is frequently called “ginger root,” ginger originates from the underground stem, or rhizome, of a tropical flowering plant called Zingiber officinale, which belongs to the same family as cardamom and turmeric. Gingerol, an aromatic molecule that changes into the sweeter zingerone when heated or dried and gives raw, fresh ginger its bite, is what gives ginger its harsh flavor. When buying, aim for the firm, not withered, ginger root.
How do You Store Fresh Ginger?
Choose a piece of ginger carefully before purchasing it from the grocery store. Look for ginger that is firm to the touch and has smooth skin; soft areas or slightly wrinkling skin indicate that it is past its prime.
You can keep fresh ginger root in various ways, depending on how and when you intend to use it. There are several methods for maintaining ginger, and they’re all relatively simple!
If you want to use the entire ginger root within a few days, you can store it there in an excellent, dark location that is out of the light, such as on your kitchen counter.
2. Refrigerating Ginger
If a piece of ginger takes you a little longer to consume, you should store it in the refrigerator with the skin on (it will keep even longer in a zip-top bag). As long as you periodically check on it to ensure it’s still firm and not developing mold, you may store it in the refrigerator for up to a month. The same applies if you’ve cut off a section of the root; just carefully wrap it in a zip-top bag and put it in the fridge.
3. Storing Ginger in the Freezer
The freezer is among the most incredible places to keep fresh ginger. Peeling ginger is required before freezing it. To achieve this, use a spoon or a knife. Vegetable peelers are an additional option. Slice the ginger after removing the skin. You can cut it into 1-inch pieces before putting it all in a freezer-safe bag or container. When you’re ready to use it in a dish, use a Microplane to grate frozen ginger until you have the right amount—it takes less effort to grate frozen ginger than fresh ginger! (Actually, this is the simplest method for mincing ginger.) However, you may deflect ginger slices if you need them for a dish by taking them out of the freezer a few hours beforehand or using the defrost setting on your microwave.
4. Storing Ginger at Room Temperature
How fresh ginger should be kept at room temperature may be on your mind. Unpeeled ginger can be kept at room temperature. Fresh ginger should have a smooth and firm skin. By scraping the skin with your fingernail, you can also test the skin. It is presumably new if it comes off easily. Scratch some ginger on it to see if you can tell if you’re unsure how. The ginger is okay to use unless it smells terrible. You can store the complete root knob in the refrigerator if you don’t intend to use it all within a week. But the average person won’t use the entire knob for more than a week. In the refrigerator, unpeeled ginger keeps for about a month.
Fresh ginger can be preserved by pickling. Slice thinly after using a peeler to remove the ginger’s skin. Put the chopped ginger in a glass jar with an equal ratio of vinegar, sugar, and water (you can adjust this mixture to suit your taste). For up to two months, keep pickled ginger in the fridge.
6. Storing Ginger Paste
Making a paste is an excellent technique to keep ginger for use in cooking. If I’m using organic ginger, I usually don’t peel it, but you’re welcome to do so if you’d like. Cut the ginger into small pieces for faster blending and remove any jagged or bruised areas.
Grind the ginger pieces into a paste using a blender or food processor. You are free to mill it into a coarse or fine paste. You don’t need to add water when grinding ginger because it also contains water. To combine the ginger, add a small amount, perhaps a teaspoon, if necessary. The ginger will rise during blending; keep pushing it down to facilitate blending.
You might need to use more ginger to make a ginger paste in a blender. If you only blend a small amount, you can require additional water or a very gritty blend.
Once the ginger paste is prepared, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3–4 days in an airtight container.
Put the paste in the freezer to extend its shelf life. I freeze the ginger using ice cube trays with lids. Each cube in the tray contains around a tablespoon of ginger. Additionally, you can fill up the remaining half of the cube to get 12 tbsp, which can be used in most recipes.
If you don’t have ice-cube trays, you can store the paste in Ziploc bags. Flatten the pouch as indicated below after adding the ginger paste. You may easily divide the quantity you need for cooking in this method.
This method allows you to freeze ginger paste for up to 5 months.
Tips to Remember
- The ginger cannot be kept at room temperature once peeled or sliced, and you’ll need to freeze or chill it to extend its shelf life.
- Ginger can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks if it hasn’t been exposed to air or moisture.
- Large chunks of ginger can be frozen; store them in an airtight container.
Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a spice with numerous health and medical benefits:
- It is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
- It aids in the relief of morning sickness and nausea.
- Ginger aids digestion and prevents gas accumulation.
- It is a common cold and flu treatment all around the world.
- It has a lot of antioxidants.
How Long does Ginger Last in the Fridge?
Fresh ginger can be kept in the refrigerator for over a month when adequately preserved. The easiest way to protect ginger in the fridge is to keep it unpeeled because it only lasts two to three weeks after it is peeled.
Is it Possible to Freeze Fresh Ginger?
You can freeze fresh ginger for later use. Place the ginger in a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container after peeling it. When ready, use a Microplane or grater to mince the frozen ginger.
Before freezing, purée the ginger in a food processor to form a ginger paste. To avoid freezer burn, freeze the puree in an ice cube tray before transferring the ginger blocks to a freezer bag. Frozen ginger can be added directly to a soup or stir-fry. Before adding it to a baked recipe, allow the ginger to come to room temperature. Use frozen ginger within six months of freezing.
How to Store Peeled or Minced Ginger?
Perhaps you went overboard and peeled more ginger root than you required. Don’t be concerned! Wrap the peeled root in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Some swear by storing peeled ginger root in a jar of vodka in the fridge; it will last up to 8 weeks if you do this.
Leftover minced ginger can be stored in a firmly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
How to Buy Ginger?
Ginger is one of our favorite ingredients for adding flavor and heat to a meal, but before adding it to your favorite recipe, you’ll need to select the proper hand or knob. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
1. To Choose the Best Ginger, Use Your Senses
Picking a fresh hand of ginger necessitates the application of a few sensory signals. Look for ginger with taut, glossy skin. The skin of the ginger should be thin, never thick and fibrous. You should be able to nick the skin easily with your nail. Then, take a smell. Is it sour and spicy? If the response is yes, your ginger is ready. Avoid ginger with soft areas, which indicates that it has been on the show for too long.
2. Go Ahead and Snap Off Only What You Need
Just because ginger is offered in larger hands (with a few smaller knobs usually mixed in) doesn’t imply you have to buy the entire hand. Take only what you need. And the ginger should snap readily. If it does not, it is most likely not fresh.
3. Store Ginger by How Frequently You Use it
If you use ginger frequently (two to three times per week), keep it in the crisper drawer of your fridge in a resealable bag (with all the air removed). If you don’t use ginger often in your cooking, keep it in the freezer and grate it as needed.
Ginger is an ingredient that gives food flavor and zing and has a wide range of nutritional and health advantages. Ginger should not be peeled until it is time to utilize it. Also, do not use a peeler or knife; the skin is easily removed with a spoon.
Ginger is a powerhouse of nutrients and bioactive substances that are great for your body and brain. Fresh, dried, powdered, oil, juice, and other forms of ginger can all be employed. It appears in recipes quite frequently and is occasionally included in cosmetics and processed meals.