After talking about freezing homemade beans, cilantro basil pesto, tomato paste, creamy cauliflower queso, cashew cheese, and injera, you may think that my freezer is bulging at the seams. But there’s actually one more thing to add! I save money and minimize food waste when I freeze ginger.
I’m the only one in our house who is a fan of its floral flavor. So having frozen ginger at the ready means I can just add ginger to my dish without worrying about it going bad before I can finish it.
In the produce section of the grocery store, I look for ginger root that is fresh, vibrant, and not wrinkly.
After buying, if there’s any that I need right away, I simply break off a piece to use immediately. I then wash and completely dry the rest, put it in a freezer bag, and pop it into the freezer.
When I freeze ginger, not only does it extend the life to 6 months (it lasts about 3 weeks in the refrigerator), it also makes it much easier to grate.
When I’m ready to use the ginger, I simply remove it from the freezer and grate it with a Microplane zester while it is still frozen.
I grate as much as I need. Then I put the remaining ginger root back into its bag, and return it to the freezer.
Frozen ginger grates like a dream. That’s different than fresh ginger, which can be a little more of a hassle as the tiny “hairs” that make up the ginger root get stuck in the grater.
Since the ginger is frozen solid, it grates beautifully and has the texture of snow.
As for peeling, I don’t do it. The skin of ginger is so thin and the zester grates it so finely, I don’t see a lot of reason to do it. If I happen to see a bit of peel in the mound of ginger that I grated, I might remove it from the pile. But then again, I might not. I doubt anyone would notice it once it’s in a curry or Indian fried rice.
If the thought of eating ginger peel is off putting to you, though, it’s easy to remove the skin by using a spoon. Simply scrape it off before grating.
Thank you all for chiming in on this ongoing discussion about how to minimize food waste and lower costs by maximizing storage and using the freezer to extend a food’s life.
I have appreciated hearing your ideas about what you freeze. (And I’m definitely adding chipotles in adobo to my eclectic freezer collection the next time I open a can thanks to the suggestion by several of you! I always have some left over after I make sweet potato tacos.)