Fresh ginger is one of the best ingredients to have on hand for a range of dishes. However, keeping it fresh will mean it can be used for longer.
Ginger is often used to add a subtle yet tepid hint of spice to sweet and savory meals. While many of us will find the powdered variety stored in our cupboards or pantry, you simply can not beat the real deal.
In its purest form, ginger can be beneficial for our health in reducing nausea as well as including anti-inflammatory properties. But keeping ginger fresh is important if you don’t want it to go to waste.
Fortunately, keeping ginger as fresh as possible is pretty simple and we are going to show you just how easy it is. When you store ginger, you should leave the skin on, there is no need to peel the ginger off at all before you even add it to your food.
All you need to do is give it a wash and it’s ready to spice up your dish. This avoids food waste as well as time wasted on something that is completely unnecessary.
So, let’s explore the world of ginger and find out the best way to store it to keep this spicy plant fresher for longer.
Ginger can actually sit out for a day or two without succumbing to any decay. If you only need to use a little bit of ginger, the uncut portion of this ginger root can sit on your counter for a few days.
We recommend leaving it in an airy basket or on a plate to ensure it stays clean and fresh.
Sometimes, it can take a while to go through a whole piece of ginger. Not all dishes call for its spicy flavor. If you have cut a piece off but have no intention of using it for a few days or a week, store it in your refrigerator.
Again, the skin should be left on the ginger and if you want it to last even longer, store the ginger in a zip-top bag. This way, the ginger can be kept in your fridge for up to a month.
Just make sure you check on it periodically to ensure it still has a firm body and no mold has begun to sprout from its surface.
You can do the same for a piece you cut off but didn’t end up using. Just wrap the piece very tightly in a zip-top bag and refrigerate it for the next time you need ginger.
That’s right! You can store ginger in your freezer, almost indefinitely. If you frequently use ginger but you’re tired of constantly popping back and forth to the store, consider storing the root in your freezer. This way, it’s available at all times.
You can place the whole root in the freezer inside a freezer-safe bag or container. If this doesn’t quite fit, consider cutting the ginger into 1-inch pieces first.
When you’re in need of ginger for a recipe, simply grate the frozen ginger with a micro-plane until you have enough for your dish. Trust us, grating frozen ginger is far easier than grating fresh ginger. We’d say it’s probably the easiest method of mincing ginger altogether.
Of course, you may need sliced ginger for a recipe. If so, you can defrost it by removing the root from the freezer a few hours before you cook. You can also pop it in your microwave and use the defrost setting for a quicker process.
Preserve in spirits
This is a great tip if you have accidentally peeled off more ginger than you may have needed. If this has happened, don’t worry!
You can preserve it by placing the extra piece of ginger in a small glass jar. Then, submerge the ginger with vodka or sherry. As long as it’s completely covered, it should stay fresh for several weeks.
When you notice the alcohol turning slightly cloudy, take the ginger out. This is usually a sign that mold or bacteria have made your ginger their new home.
Planting in a pot
If you love ginger and can’t go a day without it, why not consider planting a ginger root in a small pot? By doing this and keeping it on your windowsill or somewhere with sunlight, you will always have a fresh supply of spicy ginger.
This method will see your ginger shoots and leaves grow quickly. When you need ginger for your recipe, simply lift the plant out of the pot, cut off a piece of the root, and then return it to the pot.
The plant will not be damaged and will continue to sprout new leaves and shoots for you. Just ensure you keep the plant watered and your ginger-free days will be over.
What to look for when buying ginger
Now you know the best ways of storing your ginger, let’s discuss what a ginger plant should look and feel like when you go shopping for it.
You should look for a firm piece of ginger root. Although firm, these should have a smooth and unwrinkled outer peel. If any wrinkles are present, the ginger is already past its best and starting to deteriorate.
Inspect the root for any signs of mold. Even if there are one or two spots, you can trim these away but it generally isn’t worth your money at this point as it will soon spoil.
The freshest ginger roots tend to be at international markets. This is because there is usually a higher turnover of vegetables and plants than in a grocery store where the vegetables may be quite old before they even hit the shelves.
Furthermore, you can regularly get better prices at these markets than at larger stores. Better quality and a cheaper price. That’s something we can support!
Store your ginger root properly and it will keep for a long time. The way in which you store it depends on how much you use but with careful storage, you can cut back on costs and food waste over time.