Many consumers love using ginger to bring spice to their stir-fry recipe and to make the perfect cup of ginger tea. Beyond these savory treats, ginger also works as an excellent palate cleanser when eating sushi and provides numerous health benefits, such as reduced inflammation and nausea relief. However, one question often lingers when trying using ginger in all its various mediums: does ginger go bad?
As part of a unique selection of superfoods, ginger has a reasonably long shelf life and easily extends past that with some helpful storage tips. Just how long is ginger good for depends on several factors, ranging from the type of ginger and how it’s stored. Another issue with determining whether ginger goes bad or not and how long it lasts revolves around knowing the warning signs.
While fruits and veggies like apples or potatoes show visible signs of decay and aging after bringing them home from the grocery store, it’s not always so easy to know when it’s time to toss out your ginger root. Luckily, this article will also help you learn how to tell if ginger is bad or not, and when it’s time to let it go.
Ginger Gone Bad: When to Toss It and How to Store It
Ginger is sold in powdered form, crystallized, and by the roots. The root is unusually shaped and comes in many sizes. When you need to use a piece of ginger, cut off an edge and store the rest for later.
There are several great ways to store a fresh ginger root, which vary based on long-term storage and short-term storage options. When preserving your rhizome for any length of time, an essential factor you want to take into account is, have you chosen the freshest ginger?
Fresh ginger root makes all the difference in the world and saves you from the heartache of a premature goodbye.
Does Ginger Go Bad?
Like anything, after enough time has passed, ginger will go bad, or at least lose its potency. This variation in the shelf life of your ginger root changes based on how you intend to store it.
Whether storing your fresh ginger at room temperature, in the fridge, or the freezer, the length of time you have before your ginger goes bad changes. The type of ginger you’re storing also hugely impacts the length of time you have.
Crystallized ginger lasts for up to three years and actually won’t spoil at all. It will begin to lose its flavor and potency after that amount of time has passed, though, so you’ll still want to discard it.
This same attribute applies to ground ginger. While it lasts up to four years when stored properly and tightly sealed, and is safe to eat even after the expiration date, it may not have that same delicious flavor you love.
When thinking about ginger, you may wonder about the shelf life of other produce, as well. How long are onions good for? What about bell peppers? Do you know how to tell if garlic is bad?
Again, it depends on the storage method you employ. All of this produce gets mushy, smelly, and moldy when it is past its prime so anything with these characteristics needs to go in the garbage.
How Long is Ginger Good for?
The answer to how long does fresh ginger last depends on how you store it and what type of ginger you’re putting away. The best way to store ginger, especially if you intend to use it soon, is by placing it in the refrigerator. Place the unpeeled, whole ginger in a sealable plastic bag and leave it in the crisper.
Whenever you need to use it, cut off a small piece of ginger root at a time, rather than unpeeling the entire thing and letting that go to waste. If you’ve already cut part of the ginger or peeled it, pat it down using a paper towel, which eliminates any extra moisture before placing it in the fridge.
The refrigerator is also the best place to store farm fresh eggs and most produce. The cold temperatures inhibit bacteria growth, at least for a time, before you are ready to use the product.
While storing ginger at room temperature is also excellent, you should use it within a couple of days, versus up to a month when stored properly in the fridge. If you need your ginger for longer-term storage, placing it in the freezer is your next best option.
Can you freeze ginger? If you haven’t peeled your ginger yet, set the whole rhizome in the freezer in a zipper bag or well-sealed container and peel pieces of ginger off of it whenever it’s needed. It’s quite easy to peel frozen ginger before using it.
If you’re storing cut ginger, create a ginger paste by placing it in the blender. Add individual portions to a zipper-seal bag for ease of use at a later date.
While this limits what you can use the ginger for, it makes an excellent addition to your next smoothie. When you freeze ginger, label the freezer bag or plastic wrap with the expiration date, which is generally six months after freezing it.
You can apply many of these same principles to other fruits and vegetables, as well. How long are cucumbers good for? Always look at your produce to see if there is visible mold, bruises, and other discolorations.
Feel and smell the cukes to see if they have an unpleasant odor or are rubbery. These are all indications that cucumbers and a variety of fruits and veggies are not good any longer. Cucumbers generally last for about two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
How to Tell if Ginger is Bad
Knowing how to make ginger last is essential, but so is knowing when to throw it away. Even if your ginger is nowhere near the expiration date, there are still some signs to look out for to ensure it hasn’t passed the threshold into rotten ginger. For fresh, unpeeled ginger, paying close attention to the exterior and weight are the best ways to test for freshness.
Ginger has light brown skin, so there shouldn’t be any bruising, dark spots, or white patches of mold. It also should be dry, dense, and firm. If the root feels soft, hollow, or moist without being peeled, then it’s time to toss it.
These same rules apply when wondering can sweet potatoes go bad. Look for dark or soft spots and moldy areas. If you see them, get rid of the potatoes.
If you’ve peeled the root, this also makes the ginger go bad much more quickly. One way to check is if there is any darkening around the edges or moldy growths on the outside. One of the signs of mold is a mildew smell or taste.
If you decided to store your peeled ginger in a small glass jar with dry sherry, another way to know it’s gone bad is if the liquid starts to look cloudy. This cloudiness indicates that it’s time to toss the drink.
Delicious and Refreshing Ginger Tea Recipe
We’ve gone over the basics of ginger storage and what signs tell us it’s gone bad. Now it’s time to put those ginger pieces to good use before they need tossing out forever.
One way to do use up that leftover ginger is by making a delicious ginger tea recipe that creates one serving. For larger amounts, multiply the quantities to satisfy the size you wish to make.
Start by grating your piece of ginger and placing the pieces in a small container lined with a filter for straining the tea. This filter prevents seeds and ginger pieces from getting into the drink itself.
Next, slice the lemon up and add it to the bowl. Add in the honey and pour in hot water. Leave it to steep for about five minutes before removing the filter and enjoying the tea. While this tea is delicious, it also has healing properties. Have a cup if you have an upset stomach or are feeling nauseated.
So now you know how long ginger is good for and when it’s time to toss in the towel. You’ve also got a few nifty new ways on how to store that peeled or unpeeled ginger root, as well as the best methods to use for spotting a bad piece of ginger.
All you have left to do now is make something delicious and use up that ginger before it goes bad.
We hope you found these methods for how to tell if ginger is expired or not helpful. If these ginger storage tips taught you something new, then please share the information about does ginger go bad with everyone you know on Facebook and Pinterest.