Ginger is not only a taste enhancer but also used as a medicine for several ailments of the body like arthritis, indigestion, hypertension, diabetes, vomiting, cancer, etc. (1). It is beneficial for these diseases due to the presence of some of the potent bioactive compounds like gingerol, paradol, shogaol, etc. (2). Health and beauty benefits of ginger are numerous, and thus, you must include this in your diet. But, it is not used in a large quantity and often a lot is left over after use. Storing it is not a tedious task, and by using a few techniques, you can enjoy it for months. In this way, you can save money, and the food will also not get wasted.
Before coming to the methods of storing the roots, you must first choose the root that is fresh because the time for which it can stay fresh is affected by the freshness at the time of purchase. Select the pieces that have firm and smooth skin and are a bit heavier (3). If the piece is soft or looks moldy, then you should avoid buying it. Now, let’s discuss the methods to preserve ginger. There are several ways in which you can keep the root fresh for a longer duration. Let’s discuss them, one by one.
1. Store Peeled Ginger
If you have a peeled piece of the ginger left with you or you want to store it after peeling so that it can be used whenever required then, you will only need a zip lock bag. First of all, peel off all the skin from the ginger using a spoon or knife. When done, keep the content in a zip lock bag and press the bag to expel the remaining air. Keep this bag of ginger in the freezer. In this way, it remains fresh for around six months, and you can easily grate or cut the frozen piece when desired (4).
- Or, you can also keep it in the refrigerator, but it will last for a shorter duration.
2. Store Fresh Ginger Root
To store unpeeled ginger, just take a zip lock bag and keep the ginger in it. Remove the air of the bag by pressing it and place the bag in the vegetable compartment of your fridge. Your ginger will last up to three months with this method (5).
Note: If some part of the ginger is peeled, make sure to remove the excess moisture using a paper towel.
3. Store Chopped Ginger
If you are wondering about how to store ginger root after cutting? The airtight containers are already proven for keeping edibles safe (6) because the bacteria cannot thrive in that environment. It also prevents the smell or aroma of the food from spreading. To store the chopped ginger, place them in an airtight jar or a container with a lid, and put it in the refrigerator. This will keep them fresh and prevent contamination.
4. Store Grated Ginger
If you are always in a hurry and don’t have the time to mince ginger every time, consider storing the minced ginger and enjoy it for months. First of all, grate some ginger as per your requirement. Place it in a tray having parchment, and keep it in the refrigerator until completely frozen. Next, transfer the content to an airtight container and put it back in the freezer. It will prevent the growth of microorganisms, which may cause food poisoning (7).
5. Plant it in a Pot
To ensure a continuous supply and storage of ginger at the same time, dig it in a small pot containing mud and keep the pot in sunlight. Cut the piece whenever required and put the remaining in the pot again. Water it every day to keep it growing (8).
6. Store it in Spirit
This is another method to store peeled and leftover ginger. Just place the pieces in an airtight container. Pour some vodka or sherry wine and submerge the pieces, completely. If you notice any cloudy appearance, it means the growth of molds and bacteria have started, and it’s time to discard it as it may cause allergic reactions or other illness (9).
Note: This method may change the taste of the ginger.
7. Use Paper Towel to Store the Ginger
This method can be used for any type of ginger, whether whole or cut. First of all, cover the ginger in a paper towel and make sure that no part is left uncovered. After that, keep them in a zip lock bag and squeeze out the excess air. Bacteria, yeasts, and molds grow in the presence of air and moisture (10). Throw it into your freezer and use when needed.
8. Paper Bag Storage
For this method, all you need to do is to put the ginger in a paper bag, fold it, and keep it in the vegetable crisper of the fridge. It is a moisture-vapor resistant way to preserve food (11). This method is not as effective as others, but it can help you in the times when you don’t have re-sealable bags, or you plan to consume the ginger within a week or so.