Have you ever planted ginger? According to Medical News Today dot com, it benefits health by
- Reducing gas and improving digestion.
- Relieving nausea.
- Easing a cold or the flu.
- Relieving pain.
- Reducing inflammation.
- Supporting cardiovascular health.
- Lowering cancer risk.
Once you get it going, you will have ginger year round. Why would you not plant some??
Ginger is a tropical plant and grows best above zone 7, losing its leaves in the winter below zone 10, but you can grow it in zone 6 and below if you bring it inside when it’s cold.
I’m in zone 7, and here’s what I do…
You can purchase ginger rhizomes or tubers from the store, but be warned most root veggie and herbs at the store have been sprayed with a chemical to keep them from sprouting. You can try it, though. I purchase my organic unsprayed ginger from Etsy. Either way, what you want to look for is eyes on the tubers. They’ll look like little bumps, like a potato eye but not as big. The eyes on this tuber are the three bumps on the very bottom of the photo.
Soak your tubers in water overnight, then place them in a pot of fluffy potting soil, and cover with an inch of soil. Pat the soil gently to remove any air pockets, but don’t compact the soil. The ginger tuber will expand as it grows new tubers, and it needs fluffy soil to be able to spread out. Place your pot on a heat mat, as the plant is tropical and loves heat.
Only water the pot when it dries out. It does not like to sit in a bog of swampy mud.
In 6-8 weeks, your ginger plant will begin to emerge. You can keep it in the pot as long as it has room to spread out, or if it’s warm enough, you can move it to your green house or transplant it into your garden.
You can harvest parts of the tubers at any time, but it’s best to wait until they are fully grown at 8-10 months. When you harvest, keep out the parts of the tubers with the most eyes so you can replant, and cut off the remaining tubers to use in your kitchen. Plant your new tubers indoors right away (just as above). You don’t have to wait or let them dry or let them sit through a cold winter. If you’d like to use them fresh, you can use them with the tough outer skin attached or you can peel them with a vegetable peeler. For later use as fresh, store in a Ziploc bag in the fridge with all the air squeezed out. That will stay fresh for about a month. You can also cut into 1-2 long pieces and store in the freezer for 6 months. When ready to use, let thaw at room temperature and slice as if fresh, or you can grate it without thawing.
DRYING YOUR HARVEST
Slice your harvested ginger all in the same size pieces and place them either in the sun or in your dehydrator for 4-5 hours. You can store them in jars or bags as dried slices, or you can place them in a food processor or mill to turn them into powder. Slices can be used in any recipe, but powder can be used in tea and soup and stir fry recipes without big chunks of ginger in your product, leaving only amazing ginger flavor.
QUICK AND EASY RECIPES
Broccoli with ground Ginger
Mix the following in a bowl and pour over 2 cups diced broccoli in a fry pan. Stir fry for about 3-5 minutes and serve.
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c honey
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground ginger
I also use a small pinch of red pepper flakes for a nice blast of heat.
Fresh Ginger Tea
Add a couple slices of fresh ginger to a cup of water in a pot. Bring to boil for 5 minutes.
Strain into a tea cup.
If desired, add a slice of orange or lemon, and/or add a teaspoon of honey.
EASY CANDIED GINGER
Slice up to 1 pound of pealed ginger and place in a pot with enough water to cover. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Drain ginger and reserve 3/4 c of liquid.
Add reserved liquid back to pot and add 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Simmer on medium until sugar is dissolved.
Add the ginger slices back into the pot and simmer until sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.
Drain ginger again, placing ginger slices on a cooling rack, separating slices with two forks (they’re hot).
After ginger slices have cooled (about 30 minutes), toss them in a bowl of sugar to coat and place back on cooling rack in a single layer.
Let dry overnight. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Will keep for 2 weeks.