Making homemade crystallized ginger is incredibly easy and it’s much fresher and vibrant than store bought. It has so many great uses in baking and savory dishes and to top it off you get two delicious byproducts – ginger tea and ginger simple syrup!
There’s two main steps to crystallize ginger. First, lightly boil the ginger in water for 10 minutes. This step softens the tough texture and spicy flavor, making it more enjoyable to eat. If you’ve ever tried to eat raw ginger you know that it’s much too strong! Once you’ve boiled the ginger, the leftover liquid makes a wonderful ginger tea. Just add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a bit of sweetener of choice. This is my go-to drink on a cold day.
The second step is to boil the ginger in a mixture of sugar and water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes until about half of the liquid has evaporated and it has thickened into a syrup (picture on right). Strain the ginger pieces and lay them on a rack to drain. Pour the syrup into a glass jar and use it as a topping on vanilla ice cream or add it to cocktails, lemonade or a warm chai. It’s quite sweet with a mild ginger flavor. I have yet to try it in baked goods as a sweetener, but that’s next on my list!
Leave the ginger to dry on a rack for 1-2 hours. The pieces should be sticky but not dripping with syrup when coating them in sugar. They also shouldn’t be too dry or else the sugar won’t stick to them. Once they’re covered with sugar leave them to dry for another 1-2 hours just to make sure there’s no moisture before storing them. They can also be left out over night to completely dry.
There is also the option of not coating them in sugar, as they will still be sweet, leaving them with the taste and texture more like dried fruit.
Stored in a sealed container, they can last up to 2 months in the refrigerator. At room temperature they will last for 2-3 weeks and have a softer texture.
How To Use Crystallized Ginger
- Add it to homemade trail mix and granola bars
- Chopped and sprinkled on top of gingerbread cookies and all things pumpkin spice
- Dipped in dark chocolate
- Works beautifully added to apple, pear, pineapple and citrus desserts. Add it to apple pie filling or sprinkled on a pear galette, incorporate it into the crust of key lime tarts, add it to a pineapple upside down cake.
- Add it to savory dishes like mango salad, shredded carrot salad, coconut rice and fresh curries
- Save the ginger simple syrup and pour it on vanilla ice cream, add it to cocktails, lemonade, iced tea or use it to sweeten a warm chai or matcha latte
- And of course, enjoy it as is! Although the ginger has been candied, it still holds its healing properties that help to soothe digestion, reduce nausea, boost the immune system and stimulate circulation (just to name a few!)
Looking For More Ginger Recipes?
If there is such a thing as healthy candy, I think this would be it! I absolutely love ginger in all its many forms – as a tea, juiced, sauteed, pickled and candied. It’s full of healing properties and being able to eat it as a sweet candy is so enjoyable! I hope that you get to try this recipe and love it just as much as I do. Thank you so much for stopping by and happy eating always!
How To Make Crystallized Ginger
- 1 medium sized ginger
- 2 cups organic cane sugar
- Peel the ginger. If the skin of the ginger is thin and soft using a spoon to scrape it off works well. Cut the peeled ginger it into thin slices no larger than 1/8 inch (3mm) thick.
- Place the ginger slices into a medium sized pot (a wide pot is recommended) and generously cover the ginger with water. Bring to a low boil and simmer uncovered on low-medium heat for 10 minutes. The water should be lightly bubbling. This helps to soften the ginger before candying it.
- Drain the water. It can be saved and enjoyed as ginger tea. Remove the ginger from the pot and set aside.
- Using the same pot add 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water and stir. On medium heat bring to a boil. Add the ginger slices and let simmer for 15 minutes. The liquid should to be lightly bubbling, but not a ferocious boil. Make sure to keep and eye on the mixture and stir occasionally.
- After 15 minutes the liquid should have reduced to about half and thickened. Drain the liquid. It can be saved and used as a delicious ginger simple syrup. Remove the ginger slices and place on a cooling rack to drain. Let dry for 1-2 hours. The ginger should be sticky but not dripping wet when coating it in sugar.
- Fill a small bowl with sugar and toss the ginger pieces until they are covered. Leave them to dry for another 1-2 hours to make sure that there is no moisture. They can also be left out overnight to completely dry.
- Store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months or 1-2 weeks at room temperature. When left at room temperature they will have a soft, chewy texture. When left in the fridge they will be firm and slightly hard. They are delicious as is, dipped in chocolate, added in trail mix or chopped and used in baking. Enjoy!