Do you love the taste of ginger and have just harvested a bountiful crop from your garden? Lucky for you! But, have you decided on how to store your fresh ginger from the garden? If this question has been plaguing you, worry not. We’ll walk you through it in a while.
Let’s discuss a worrisome ginger problem first – A lot of people are unaware of the fact that fresh ginger can go bad. That’s why it is vital to store ginger properly if you wish to enjoy the taste without any qualms.
Experts say fresh ginger can easily last up to two or even three months if stored correctly. So, if you want to make sure your hard work is well-spent, you had better learn some techniques on how to store fresh garden ginger.
Before we learn how to store fresh ginger from the garden, let’s discuss some essential aspects.
Does Ginger Really Go Bad if Not Stored Properly?
Yes, ginger can go bad if not stored correctly. When exposed to air and light, the rhizome can become dry and shrivelled. This causes the ginger to become bitter and lose its flavour and aroma. To keep ginger fresh for as long as possible, it should be stored in a cool, dark, place away from direct sunlight and moisture.
The rhizome is the ginger’s root. It can be stored either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
How to Know if Ginger has Gone Bad or Lost its Freshness?
Fresh ginger will last for about a month or two in the refrigerator if stored properly. However, it may begin to show signs of spoilage before that (in rare cases). To tell if your ginger has gone bad or lost its freshness, there are several things to look for.
Fresh ginger will be a light tan colour with no blemishes. If you notice any brown spots on the skin, then it’s likely past its prime and should be tossed out.
Fresh ginger should feel slightly firm and springy when you squeeze it gently. In case it feels slimy or mushy, it’s probably past its prime.
Fresh ginger will have a sweet and spicy aroma that fades over time. However, if it’s giving off a foul odour, then toss it away.
When tasting fresh ginger, it should taste sweet and slightly spicy. If the flavour is dull or off, then your ginger has probably gone bad and lost its freshness.
If your ginger does not meet these criteria, then it’s best to discard it as soon as possible. You don’t want to risk any food-borne illnesses or spoilage of other ingredients in your recipes. It is much better to err on the side of caution and toss the ginger out.
On the other hand, if your ginger tastes fresh, you can feel confident in using it in your recipes. Just remember to use it soon after purchase or harvest, as ginger tends to lose its freshness over time.
15 Methods of Storing Ginger From the Garden
No more bad ginger! Here are 15 ways for how to store fresh ginger from the garden:
Freeze the fresh ginger
Cut it into thin slices and spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours, until frozen. Then transfer the slices into a freezer-safe container or bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Use a dehydrator
Place freshly washed and sliced ginger in the dehydrator on low settings. Leave until completely dry, which can take up to 12 hours or more, depending on the thickness of the slices. Let cool before transferring to an airtight container and store at room temperature for extended freshness.
Store in a jar
Take the fresh ginger, wash it and slice it nicely. Put them in an airtight glass container or mason jar filled with enough water to cover the piece. Close it tightly and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Use boiling water
Blanch fresh slices of the ginger root by placing them into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before storing in a sealed container or freezer-safe bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Make a ginger syrup
Cut fresh ginger into thin slices and add them to boiling water with sugar, stirring until the ingredients dissolve. Boil for 15 minutes, then strain and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Dry and store
Place freshly washed and sliced ginger onto a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Now, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and let it sit for 3 days or until completely dry. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for extended freshness.
Make ginger powder
Wash and slice ginger onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in an oven preheated to 250F for 1 hour or until completely dry. Let it cool before transferring it to a food processor and blending into a fine powder. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for extended freshness.
Make ginger oil
After washing and slicing the ginger, put it in a clean jar filled with enough oil to drown the pieces. Cover and place in a warm spot for 1-2 weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain off the oil and store it in airtight containers for up to 3 months at room temperature.
Put the freshly washed and sliced ginger into a jar filled with enough salt to cover it. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, shaking occasionally.
Make pickled ginger
Place freshly washed and thinly sliced ginger in a clean jar. Cover the ginger with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. To enhance the flavour, add some fresh dill, garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and/or red pepper flakes to taste. Close the jar tightly and store in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Enjoy pickled ginger on its own as a snack or use it to top salads, sandwiches, or sushi. You can also add a tablespoon to your favourite stir-fry recipe for extra flavour and zing. Pickled ginger is the perfect way to preserve your garden-fresh ginger and enjoy it all year long.
Here’s how to Make Ginger Syrup
Place freshly washed and thinly sliced ginger in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the ginger from the liquid and set aside.
Return the liquid to a clean pot and add 1 cup of sugar for every 4 cups of strained liquid. Boil gently until the syrup thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a clean mason jar or other airtight container, adding the reserved ginger slices for extra flavour. Refrigerate for up to one month and use to sweeten tea, yoghurt, and smoothies.
Store in the ground
Bury small pieces of freshly washed ginger root in clean soil, covering them with a thin layer of mulch and straw for protection. Place in a cool area until ready to use.
Make ginger beer
Slice ginger root and add it to a pot of boiling water with lemon juice, sugar and other spices. Let simmer for 15 minutes before transferring to bottles and sealing tightly. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Keep in alcohol
Peel the ginger after washing it. Stuff it into a clean jar filled with enough vodka or brandy to cover it. Seal the jar and store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
Make ginger tea
Boil freshly washed and sliced ginger root in water for 15 minutes before straining off the liquid. Let cool before transferring to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Freeze the root
Wash the ginger before transferring it to a freezer-safe bag or container. Store in the freezer for up to 4 months. Do not thaw before using.
These quick tips provide ideas to ensure you can store your ginger for longer! Research and experiment with different methods to find out which one works best for you. Enjoy your fresh ginger in all its deliciousness!
Should I Store Whole Pieces of Ginger or Slice it Up?
If you are only going to use a small amount of ginger for a short time, it is best to store the entire piece and slice off whatever you need. This will help keep your ginger fresher for longer. However, if you plan on storing ginger for an extended time, or if you want to grab a few slices for different recipes, consider slicing the ginger up.
To ensure your ginger stays fresh for as long as possible, slice it into small pieces and store them in an airtight container or bag. Remove any skin from the ginger before slicing, which can cause the pieces to dry out more quickly.
We hope our guide on how to store fresh ginger from the garden is a great way to preserve the flavour of your harvest and enjoy its delicious taste all year round. Whether you choose to store it in the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry, make sure that you keep it in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and follow any food-safe instructions you find.
Additionally, regular inspections should be made to ensure that the ginger is still in good condition. Following the above guide will ensure you can enjoy this fragrant root for months to come!