Do you always find yourself buying more ginger than you need? Then within a couple of days, your ginger starts to wrinkle making you go back to the grocery store to get fresh ones? Knowing how to keep your ginger fresh for long will save you the trips to the grocery store every time you need to use it.
Ginger can remain fresh at room temperature for a week. In order to prolong its life, refrigerating and freezing is ideal to keep it fresh for months. However, planting it in a pot of soil will give you an unending supply of fresh ginger throughout the year.
Best ways to store fresh ginger
Storing fresh ginger in open air makes is to wrinkle due to dehydration. While refrigeration is ideal to prolong its shelf life, you should always put ginger in a plastic bag to retain the moisture keeping fresh for long.
To keep cut ginger hydrated, store it in vodka then refrigerate. When freezing ginger make sure to put it in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burns and maintain its quality for long.
Ginger is an ingredient that everyone should have in their kitchen due to its wide use in so many recipes both in baking and cooking. It is also known for its medicinal ability to help in digestion, reduce nausea and fight flu and common cold.
Here are methods on how best you can store ginger for long:
You can store fresh ginger in the fridge with its skin on or peeled for 4-6 weeks. However unpeeled ginger will stay longer compared to peeled one. Here are two different ways of storing ginger in the fridge:
Storing in a plastic bag.
Without peeling the ginger, put it in a plastic bag, remove the excess air then store it in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. You should never store your ginger in a paper towel as it makes it moldy after a few days.
Storing cut ginger in vodka
In case you peeled more ginger than you intended to use this method would work best for you. In a jar of vodka, soak the peeled ginger and put it in the fridge. Always check and change the alcohol if it starts to get cloudy.
When freezing ginger always make sure to use freezing bags or a container to prevent it from getting crystalized and freezer burns. Frozen ginger can stay fresh for up to 6 months. Ginger can be frozen whole or minced.
Freezing whole ginger.
Put fresh unpeeled ginger in a zipper bag, remove air then put it in the freezer. If you don’t intend to use the whole ginger from your freezer you can just grate it as it is easy to grate frozen ginger then put the rest back in the freezer.
Freezing minced/grated ginger.
- Clean the ginger
- Peel and mince/grate
- Portion the minced/grated ginger and line it on a tray
- Freeze the ginger until it is solid
- Transfer the frozen ginger in an airtight container
- Put it in the freezer
3. Plant it in a pot
Ginger being a living rhizome, planting it in a pot is a sure way of having unending supply of fresh ginger. For you to get the best results from this method of storage, choose the ginger with tight skin and several eye buds as it will sprout faster.
After purchasing your ginger from the grocery store, you need to soak it in water overnight to remove the growth inhibitor which is usually sprayed to keep it from sprouting before it’s purchased.
- Choose a wide pot as the roots grow horizontally
- Fill the pot with soil
- Place the ginger in the soil with the eye bud pointing up
- Cover with one-inch soil then water.
- Put the pot in a warm area and water regularly.
Be sure to do your first harvest in 4 months after planting.
How to know when ginger is going bad.
If your ginger starts to have the following signs then you should plan to use it in the near future.
- Ginger that has wrinkled skin. If your ginger starts to get wrinkled at room temperature you can still use it as it still has its flavor intact. Alternatively, you can peel the ginger and soak it in a jar of vodka in the fridge or put it in a freezing bag in the freezer to prolong its life.
- Ginger that has mold. If your ginger starts to get moldy, just cut off the moldy part and use the rest of the ginger as soon as possible.
- Ginger that feels soft and slimy. If the stored ginger gets to this point, all you need to do is discard it immediately as it is unfit to consume.
How to choose ginger root
It’s easy to choose fresh ginger since it’s a matter of seeing, touching and smelling.
- Ginger with smooth skin.
- One that is firm to touch.
- Ginger that is heavy for its size.
- Ginger with a spicy fragrance.