Tips on using fresh ginger

fresh ginger root

Have you ever seen those weird brown knobby looking things at the grocery store?  Did you wonder who in the world would buy such an ugly root?  Well, I do and so should you!

Ginger root has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce your risk for cancer and even help you feel less sore after a workout (who doesn’t want that?).

Here are some tips on how to select, store and use fresh ginger:

  • Select ginger that has smooth skin and a strong spicy fragrance.  Avoid ginger that has wrinkly skin or grey spots.
  • Store fresh ginger wrapped in plastic or foil in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


  • Do what I do, and peel it, wrap it in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer.  When you need to use it, simply pull the ginger out of the freezer and grate it.  No need to thaw!
  • The easiest way to grate ginger is to use a microplane.  If you don’t have one, get one.  It’s one of my must-have kitchen tools.

So what do you do with all of this fresh root?  I use ginger the most in stir-fry dishes and this 5-minute creamy mushroom soup from Andy Bellatti (the recipe doesn’t call for ginger, but I always add a chunk to the mix).

For more ideas, check out 10 ways to enjoy ginger from the Fruits & Veggies More Matters campaign.


Do you use fresh ginger?  If so, what is your favorite dish to use it in?  If not, will you give it a try?

  • Rob January 17, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I was just thinking last night I need to pick up more ginger…
    Been using it the last two winters to fight off colds and keep hunger in check.

    I make a “tea” of it by putting a few slices of ginger, couple slices of lemon and a teaspoon or two of honey in a mug of hot/boiling water. Let it steep a couple minutes before drinking.

    If you’re going to do this, make sure you get organic ginger and lemons (which you probably should be doing anyways, right?) cause you don’t want all those pesticides steeping in that water you’re going to be drinking.

    • inspiredrd January 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      I don’t know if I’ve ever seen organic ginger at the store…

  • Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean January 17, 2012 at 7:52 am

    i grate it into hot water with lemon juice when i start to feel sick. it’s kept my sickness from going any farther the last two times! i’m a believer!!

    • inspiredrd January 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      My throat feels pretty scratchy tonight, I think I’m going to try some!

  • Kristina January 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I always have a piece of ginger at least that size in my fridge – I use it daily! I juice it each morning, I love to cook with it A LOT, and sometimes I will chop a sliver to add to my hot tea… so lovely.

    • inspiredrd January 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Everyone keeps talking about ginger in tea…I will have to try it!

  • Chelsey @ Chew With Your Mouth Open January 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Love me some ginger! I try to keep a little on hand at all times, but often forget to buy it. Adding it to my shopping list right now!

    • inspiredrd January 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Yay! Glad you were inspired.

  • theantijared January 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Not a huge fan of ginger, unless it is with carrots. I will say, you should try hummus and avocado, it is real good.

    • inspiredrd January 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

      What an amazing idea! (snark)

  • teri @ managed macros January 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I LOVE ginger! I love it crystallized and coated in chocolate! I like it in tea and pickled with my sushi! I cook with it often!! I always have a root in my freezer! FUN post!

  • Gina January 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    We usually always have ginger in the fridge and use it in marinades often. We also have several cookie recipes that use ginger, dry, candied, and fresh. We use a small microplane to “zest” the ginger. Love Ginger! Thx

    • inspiredrd January 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks for the comment! Although I’ve heard of and seen candied ginger a bunch of times, I have never tried it. I guess I need to!

  • Richard January 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Normally I like ginger but only am experienced with dried, ground ginger. I just cooked a chicken breast that I had seasoned in fresh ginger and a squeeze of lime juice overnight. The chicken tasted and smelled odd, almost a sweet, “gone bad” smell and taste. The chicken was fresh and safely refrigerated, that definitely wasn’t the problem. Did I use too much ginger or was it not fresh?

  • How to use fresh ginger September 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    […] Ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine in India as a natural anti-inflammatory food. Raw ginger root is used both in cooking and in herbal medicine. It is been used in all kind of dishes in South East Asia. Ginger has long been used as a remedy for nausea, but recent research has suggested it has other powerful properties such as for motion sickness and may help treat arthritis by decreasing inflammation. One lab study showed powdered ginger could kill ovarian cancer cells. Eating ginger would provide vitamin B-6 and vitamin C, as well as certain amounts of niacin, riboflavin, folate, thiamine and vitamin E. […]