7 Creative Ways to Eat Ginger

Person with red fingernails cutting fresh ginger root on cutting board.

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Including new foods and spices is an excellent way to stay creative in the kitchen. Doing so helps you create interesting flavor profiles as well as provide variety to your meals. One way to change the flavor profile of some of your favorite dishes is to try incorporating ginger into the recipe.

Ginger is a strong flavor containing lots of spice, with undertones of sweetness. It is often used in tea, soda, soups, dips, rice, and more. Plus, ginger is high in gingerol, which gives it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Ginger also does not contain fat, cholesterol, or much in the way of calories or sugars, but it does contain some vitamins and minerals. For instance, 1 teaspoon of ginger contains 8.3 milligrams of potassium as well as 0.2% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C and 0.1% of iron.

Health Benefits of Ginger

Here are some of the proven benefits of ginger:

  • Enhances digestion
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Improves metabolic function

For more information on the health benefits of ginger, please refer to Ginger Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.

How to Use Ginger

Because ginger has a strong flavor, many recipes call for only small amounts. Here are some suggestions about how to use ginger in your kitchen.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is often used to settle your stomach. While there is little research to support this claim, many people feel it really has an impact. Tea also is a great way to experience the full flavor profile of ginger. 

Ginger Tea

Wash and finely slice about an inch of ginger root (about 3 teaspoons). Combine with one cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil in high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for five minutes. Pour the tea through a fine strainer. If you want, you can add lemon or honey. Let cool before drinking.

Nutrition per serving: 4.8 calories, total fat 0.1g, saturated fat 0g, sugar 0.1g, potassium 24.9mg, vitamin C 0.5%, iron 0.2%

Ginger Paste

Ginger paste is an easy way to add ginger to your recipes. It is simply made with ginger and water, and allows you to add ginger by the teaspoon into your recipes. Try adding it to coleslaw, salad dressings, curry, dips, and even fruit salsa.

Ginger Paste

Wash, peel, and chop 1 cup of ginger. Blend chopped ginger and 1/8 cup of water. Add more water if necessary, up to another 1/8 of a cup. Add to a jar and store in the fridge. 

Nutrition per serving: 1.6 calories, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, sugar 0g, potassium 8.3mg, vitamin C 0.2%, iron 0.1%

Ginger Rice

Rice is often flavored with other things, such as soy sauce or furikake, but for a change, try adding ginger. Ginger is a great addition and offers an underlying sweet and spicy flavor that can accentuate the meat or vegetables you are serving with the rice.

Ginger Rice

Peel and grate 2 tablespoons of ginger and put in a saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then add 1 cup of jasmine rice. Reduce to low heat. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until rice absorbs most of the liquid. 

Nutrition per serving (1/2 cup): 120.1 calories, total fat 0.2g, saturated fat 0.1g, sugar 4.2g, carbohydrates 49.2g, protein 2.1g, potassium 8.3mg, vitamin C 0.2%, iron 5.6%, calcium 0.6g

Pickled Ginger

Pickled ginger is made exactly how it sounds—by pickling ginger in vinegar. Pickled ginger tastes like both ginger and vinegar and is a great addition to a sushi dinner. It also can be used as an acidic component in salad dressings or to add a little acid to your meal.

Pickled Ginger

Add 1 cup chopped ginger to a bowl and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Mix to coat. Scrape into a glass jar. Add 1 cup rice vinegar and 1/3 cup sugar to a saucepan. Mix until sugar dissolves and bring to a boil. Pour over the ginger. Allow to cool before covering with the jar lid. Store in fridge. Please note that it may turn pink. 

Nutrition per serving (3 teaspoons): 20.8 calories, total fat 0.1g, sodium 581mg, saturated fat 0g, carbohydrates 4.2g, sugar 4.3g, potassium 24.9mg, vitamin C 0.5%, iron 0.2%, calcium 0.1%. (Please note that the sodium is based on the amount of salt in the pickling liquid.)

Ginger Ale

Ginger ale is a type of soda that focuses on the sweetness of ginger. Bought from the store, it has a lot of added sugars and preservatives, but you can make it at home with a few simple ingredients. 

Ginger Ale

Grate 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger in a tall glass. Add 1 cup of soda water. Cut a lime in half and juice into the glass. You can also strain the grated ginger. 

Nutrition per serving: 5.4 calories, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, sugar 0.3g, potassium 25.8mg, vitamin C 7.7%, iron 0.2%

Ginger Candy

Another way to focus on the sweetness of ginger is to make it into candy. This involves a lot of added sugar, but it may be nice for an occasional treat.

Ginger Candy

Peel and slice 6 ounces of ginger into 1/2 inch pieces. Boil 2 cups of water and the ginger for 1 hour. Drain the water. Add 2 more cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. Boil for 1 hour. Drain the liquid and place ginger on a large plate. Coat both sides with sugar. Let sit for another hour. 

Nutrition per serving (1 ounce): 51.2 calories, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, sugar 12.7g, potassium 16.8mg, vitamin C 0.3%, iron 0.1%

Ginger Lemonade

Try adding ginger to your lemonade—especially in hot weather. Ginger and honey add sweetness and flavor, while ginger also works with the lemon to pack a flavorful punch. 

Ginger Lemonade

Chop about 1/2 cup of ginger into 1-inch pieces. Add ginger pieces and 5 cups of water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool until warm, then mix in 1/2 cup of honey and 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice. Store in a container in the fridge. Makes about 6 servings. 

Nutrition per serving: 272.6 calories, total fat 0.1g, saturated fat 0g, sugar 0.1g, potassium 143.2mg, sodium 22.2mg,  vitamin C 15.8%, iron 2.5%, calcium 0.9%

A Word From Verywell

Ginger is a strong flavor containing a lot of spice, with undertones of sweetness. This makes it an excellent complementary flavor for savory, spicy, or salty dishes. Ginger is high in gingerol, which gives it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

You can use it in many dishes, such as dumplings, sushi, soup, and salad dressing. Ginger is also often used in tea. Ginger can be eaten cooked or raw. There is almost no risk in trying ginger unless you are allergic. Always be careful trying new foods.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it OK to eat raw ginger?

    Raw ginger is safe to eat. Raw ginger can be used in tea and salad dressing and is safe to consume in a reasonable quantity. Avoid large quantities as it can cause mouth and throat irritation.

  • Do you need to peel ginger?

    Ginger peel is safe to eat and has health benefits. One study found eating the skin on ginger root is associated with preventing colon cancer.

  • Does ginger need to be refrigerated?

    For ginger to last long, refrigerate for up to 2 months. It is best to put ginger into a storage bag or in plastic wrap before storing it.

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Ginger.

  2. Nutritionix. Ginger.

  3. Marrelli M, Menichini F, Conforti F. A comparative study of Zingiber officinale Roscoe pulp and peel: phytochemical composition and evaluation of antitumour activity. Natural Product Research. 2015;29(21):2045-2049. doi:10.1080/14786419.2015.1020491

  4. Produce for Better Health Foundation. Ginger root.

By Nicole M. LaMarco
Nicole M. LaMarco has 19 years of experience freelance writing for various publications. She researches and reads the latest peer-reviewed scientific studies and interviews subject matter experts. Her goal is to present that data to readers in an interesting and easy-to-understand way so they can make informed decisions about their health.