I always keep fresh ginger root on hand. It’s become a sort of salt-and-pepper staple for me over the past few years. Added to soups and stews, it provides subtle heat and Indian or Asian-inspired flavor. Grated into salad dressing, fresh ginger offers spicy zing to the most humble of vinaigrettes. I seem to find new uses for it every day.
Problem is, fresh ginger doesn’t have a very long shelf life when stored at room temperatre or even in the fridge. To squeeze every bit of life out of a root of ginger, I store mine in the freezer. Here’s how I prepare and store it.
Start by choosing a root that is as straight and rectangular as possible, with few knobs and off-shoots. Place the root on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, square off the knobby edges of the root so that you form a rectangular, brick-shaped piece of ginger. It should look something like this:
Peel off the skin of the root using a vegetable peeler. If you find stringy, fibrous portions of skin that don’t want to come off with a peeler, try scraping them off with a teaspoon. Your peeled root will look like this:
Place your peeled root in a plastic food storage bag and pop it in the freezer. It will last for months. When you’re ready to use it, simply grate it up using a handheld fine rasp grater, such as a Microplane. It will fall off the grater like fragrant snow.
If you really want to stretch your dollars, save the skins that you peeled off of the ginger and steep them in hot water with lemon, fennel, and honey for a refreshing homemade tea.
In the Kitchen with Fresh Ginger
Like I said, I’ve come to view fresh ginger as a kitchen staple. It offers a stellar health profile, helping to fight inflammation in the body, soothe upset stomachs, aid in motion sickness, and combat disease. When my stomach gives me fits from time to time, a cup of fresh ginger and fennel tea is the mother of all remedies for me, calming and soothing the discomfort with every sip.
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate fresh ginger root into your cooking, try these recipes:
- Curried Carrot Cauliflower Soup from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
- Skillet Glazed Corn with Ginger, Lime, & Coconut from Cara’s Cravings
- Ginger Jeweled Salad from 101 Cookbooks
- Ginger Almond Brownies from Daily Bites
Of course, there are plenty of ginger-licious recipes in my new cookbook, too. Speaking of the book, Wendy from Celiacs in the House posted a review of The Pure Kitchen earlier this week. Check it out here.