Fresh Culinary Certified Organic Baby Ginger
(our 10th year growing ginger!)
What is Windcrest Farm Fresh Baby Ginger and how is it different from the ginger I see in the store?
"Baby" ginger is harvested before the rhizomes form the tough brown skin of mature ginger (the ginger you find in the store). Baby ginger is pearl white and the freshest ginger still has the stalk and leaves attached. Many people don't recognize fresh baby ginger because it is a rare sight!
The taste of baby ginger is milder than mature ginger's aromatic, pungent and hot flavor. It is a unique local product. Windcrest Farm Baby Ginger is fresh, local and USDA Certified Organic and not shipped from overseas.
I bought the fresh ginger with the stalks and leaves still attached. Can I use them?
Yes, use the very aromatic leaves in tea (fresh or dried) and use the stalks to flavor the cooking liquid for rice, pasta, quinoa, and soups. Cut the stalks into 2" to 3" pieces and use fresh or freeze for later use. Be sure to remove the stalks before serving your dish (just as you would remove a bay leaf used for seasoning).
How long will baby ginger be available?
Our ginger harvest begins in late September. Historically, our harvest has continued through mid-November.
Do I have to peel my baby ginger before using it?
No need to peel your fresh ginger as you would mature ginger. Simply use a wet paper towel and gently wipe the rhizomes to remove any scales (shown on the left-hand side) or soil.
How do I store fresh ginger?
Fresh ginger can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks and in the crisper section of your refrigerator for up to three weeks. Storing it in a bag or container will keep the ginger from forming a slight skin. Once refrigerated, keep ginger in cold storage or it will become "limp". Even if it loses some crispness, it is still quite useable and delicious. We recommend freezing your ginger to preserve it for up to a year.
How do I freeze fresh ginger?
Fresh ginger can be frozen, stored for up to a year and used when needed, right from the freezer. Freeze minced or thinly sliced ginger in individual portions or in bulk. Freeze an entire rhizome, grate what you need and return the frozen piece to the freezer.
It is very important to return unused frozen ginger to the freezer immediately or it will become "mushy". If you forget to put it back in the freezer and end up with watery, mushy ginger rhizomes, place them in a food processor or blender and puree. Store the puree in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or dehydrate it to use as a ginger powder.
Can I plant the baby ginger rhizomes to grow my own ginger?
No, this ginger has been harvested before it has matured enough to be used as seed.
I would love to grow ginger myself.
Are "seeds" or plants available?
Seed rhizomes are available in later winter/early spring. Because ginger is a tropical plant with a long growing season, ginger seed rhizomes must be "pre-sprouted" in a very warm (70-80 degrees) greenhouse chamber in late February for harvest in late September/October. When the soil temperature reaches a constant 55 degrees, ginger is transplanted into the ground under a greenhouse covering. Ginger plants require frequent, high nutrient feeding, consistent watering and have little tolerance for weeds.
Windcrest Farm will have pre-sprouted ginger seed available for sale in late Spring 2015.
What are the health benefits of ginger?
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Gingerols, have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells as well as being an effective pain reliever for arthritis sufferers. Ginger has a long history of being very effective at alleviating gastrointestinal distress and motion sickness, especially seasickness. In one study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine, a commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness. Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating. Ginger's anti-vomiting action has been shown to be very useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Unlike anti-vomiting drugs, which can cause severe birth defects, ginger is extremely safe, and only a small dose is required. Ginger is so concentrated with active substances, you need very little to receive its beneficial effects.
For nausea, make a ginger tea by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices (one 1/2-inch slice equals 2/3 of an ounce) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water. For arthritis, some people have found relief consuming as little as a 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food.
What are some ways I can use fresh ginger?
We love to add ginger to green and fruit smoothies. Slice and freeze the rhizomes in smoothie sized pieces for use throughout the year.
Ginger Leaf Tea: To prepare leaves to store for tea, cut off the stalks approximately 2 inches above the ginger root. Pull off leaves and rinse, blot dry, then cut into small pieces. Place the cut leaf pieces on a paper towel to air dry on the counter. When thoroughly dried, store the ginger leaves in a glass jar or zip-lock bag.
Ginger Root Tea:Using a carrot peeler or knife, cut two slices of ginger root approximately 1 to 2 inches long. Boil four cups of water, add the ginger root slices and let simmer for 15 minutes.Strain out the ginger slices before drinking.