Fresh ginger can bring an aromatic flavor to a cozy, warm mug of tea or a delicious stir-fry. But sometimes it feels like preparing it is too much of a hassle, and it often goes bad faster than you’d expect. Not to worry! We’ve got two simple hacks that will not only make ginger easier to cook with and longer-lasting, but also more flavorful.
Next time you plan to add ginger to a recipe, try drying it or freezing it first. Drying out a knob of ginger will deepen its flavor, similar to how dried apples or other fruit have a very concentrated taste. It also stops it from spoiling quickly by preventing bacteria and mold from developing. Freezing ginger will also make it easier to grate. Most importantly, neither hack will take away any of the health benefits, like its ability to burn belly fat and nourish your liver.
How To Dry Ginger
Luckily, there’s no need to buy a fancy dehydrating machine to dry ginger. Wikihow explains that you can let your oven do all of the work. First, make sure to wash your desired amount of ginger in cold water. It’s up to you whether or not you want to peel it before you dry it, but the skin doesn’t really affect the taste too much and it’s very soft so it will dissolve easily in most dishes. However, you can use a vegetable peeler or a spoon to scrap off the skin first if you prefer.
Slice your ginger into thin ⅛-inch pieces (make sure they are all about the same size) and evenly spread them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then bake in the oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 ½ to 2 hours, checking every half hour to make sure the pieces don’t burn.
You can test if your ginger slices are done by seeing if they snap easily and look much smaller in size after baking them. Once they’re all dried out, store them in an airtight container or plastic bag and they’ll last for five to six months in a cool, dry place.
These dried ginger slices will work great along with honey and lemon the next time you’re brewing a mug of tea. All you have to do is drop a couple of the slices in and let them rehydrate in the hot liquid to unlock the wonderful fragrance and flavor.
You can also add a few slices to a bottle of olive oil and let the gingery flavor infuse the oil. This works well for cooking and mixing with balsamic or red wine vinegar for a salad dressing with a twist.
If you want to actually cook with the ginger slices, you can crush them in a food processor or blender until they resemble a fine powder. Then sprinkle a teaspoon (or more depending on your taste) into soups and sauces for some added kick.
How To Freeze Ginger
If you have a hard time grating fresh ginger, then just try freezing it first! Lifehacker explains that all you have to do is place your chunk of ginger in a plastic bag and store it in the freezer. It will last in there for up to six months and always be ready to use at a moment’s notice.
When you’re ready to cook with it, you can grate it on a microplane zester. You’ll probably notice it’s actually easier to grate when frozen because the fibers are more firm — producing tiny flakes of ginger in seconds.
If you plan on chopping or mincing it, allow it to come to room temperature first so that you don’t ruin your handy chef’s knife. Either way, it will be a breeze to add to recipes, like a healthy stir-fry dish that will be even yummier the next day for a leftover lunch.
A knob of fresh ginger goes a long way, but you can make it go even further with these two hacks that will boost its flavor and make it easier to cook with.
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