How the Heck Do You Use... Fresh Ginger?

Fresh ginger can be found at most large grocery stores but how the heck do you use it? Fear not! Once you learn a few tricks, you will be putting fresh ginger in everything- it’s so easy and delicious.

What is ginger?

Ginger is the rhizome (underground stem) part of a flowering plant that originated in China. The biologically active (or bioactive) component of ginger is called gingerol- this is where ginger gets many of its medicinal qualities and health benefits, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

What are the benefits?

Ginger has been used for many centuries to treat a long list of ailments including nausea, indigestion, muscle pain, and infections. The soothing effects of ginger can be helpful for calming digestive upset that can occur as a side effect from some medications, such as the diabetes drug metformin. Recently, many of the benefits of ginger have been backed by science. A small study in 2015 founds that daily ginger supplementation had a positive effect on people’s fasting blood sugar and A1c levels.

Why fresh ginger?

Fresh ginger has a different flavor profile than powdered ginger, just like fresh garlic versus powdered garlic. Both are delicious and can be used in cooking, but fresh ginger imparts a crisp and herbaceousness that you just can’t get from powdered.

Buying fresh ginger

Make sure when you buy fresh ginger at the store that it is very firm and the skin is not wrinkly. Spongy or wrinkly ginger has dried out- probably because it is older. This is where it comes in handy to have an Asian or Indian market nearby, they will typically have fresher ginger in stock.

Preparing fresh ginger

Alright, the ginger is in your fridge, waiting to be made into something delicious. What do you do? First, you’re going to need to peel it. How? Watch this one-minute video for the easiest ways to get the job done fast:

Next you will need slice, dice, or mince up your ginger to use in various recipes. Here’s a tip – to easily mince ginger use a microplane or cheese grater with very small holes. 

Ready to check out other new foods? Chat with a Health Coach, available every day of the year in your Brook app!