What to do with Ginger? Homemade Ginger Tea

If you’re like me, you’ve often wondered just what all you could do with ginger root.ย  I had some leftover after making my Super Tonic, and there it sat on my kitchen counter until one fine–er, actually, brisk and chilly–day found me and my daughters at Farmer John’s place again. After spending a couple hours weighing and packaging broilers, we retreated indoors to warm up with hot tea. Mrs. Farmer John showed me how simple it is to make a cup of ginger tea! And is it ever tasty, or I wouldn’t be sharing it here!

She took a “hand” of ginger root and cut 5 small slices from it, peel included. These went into our mugs, followed by boiling water and a teaspoon of honey. Mmm. This tea has a spicy, fragrant taste, even my girls like it. As I was enjoying my tea, my hostess explained that these chunks of ginger are even good for another cup of tea–joy!

So today after an hour of being outdoors in 35 degree weather, we came indoors to ginger tea and cookies. We let our tea steep covered for ten minutes, and I had to test the recycling theory of reusing my ginger–yes, it worked! Now, don’t let the light color of this tea fool you, it’s rich and flavorful.

Here are some more *good things* to know about ginger:

  • Ginger can be found in the produce section of your grocery store, and you should consider checking out your health food store for the organic option. Look for smooth skins and buy the ones with the least amount of branches/knots. Your ginger root should feel heavy and firm.
  • Googling the storage of ginger gave me several options. Some sources say to store unpeeled ginger wrapped in a paper towel, and sealed in a baggie in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Others say it will be good for a week only, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. I kept mine on the kitchen counter for a week before discovering it made delicious tea…and it was a little wrinkled and less firm, but still worked just fine. I’ll probably store my future purchases in the refrigerator.
  • Ginger is said to be excellent for gastrointestinal upsets, such as morning sickness, motion sickness, and nausea. I even read at one site that Ginger tea is recommended for use in alleviating nausea in chemotherapy patients, because its natural properties don’t interfere in a negative way with other medications. And by the way, it’s safe for use with morning sickness, it won’t harm your unborn baby.
  • Farmer John and his wife, and even his apprentices (we were all “taking tea” together) overwhelmingly recommended chewing a sliver of ginger root to alleviate sore throat pain. It’s a bit spicy-hot, but not unbearable.

I just love learning new things, especially when they are simple to implement into my daily life and for the better health of my loved ones. I hope you’ll all chime in with how you use ginger, and if there is another easy-to-make, good-for-you tea, do tell in comments!

And if you want to know more, this article on how to use Ginger has some good info.

30 thoughts on “What to do with Ginger? Homemade Ginger Tea”

  1. Ginger is a semi-tropical plant, and a favorite among Asian cultures. It takes 3 years to grow to harvestable size generally, and can’t take a freeze. But, I was surprised to recently discover ginger being grown as an annual not more than 90 miles from here. An Asian farmer and his family were raising ginger in concrete block raised beds inside an unheated hoop house (greenhouse), and also in raised beds in the field. The ones raised in the hoop house did far better than the ones raised in the fields. I received specific instructions on how to raise this plant here in the Midwest. The single season roots are not as large as the standard supermarket roots, but the taste is quite good. We will try a small bed of ginger in our hoophouse next spring and see how it goes. Many Asian cultures prize the greens as well as the roots; using them in teas and cooking.

  2. Mmm! I was wanting to know more about your plans for planting ginger, John–so are you going to try the single season, or just harvest some of it and leave the rest for the full three years?

    Amy, I was just reading in my herb book about how many women find ginger the perfect antidote for morning sickness! I’m so glad that you benefited from it, too!

    I experimented with ginger tea today…I had some clean pear peels, so I put them in a saucepan with water and vanilla, and then several slices of ginger and simmered them for ten minutes (according to instructions in my herb book)…what a tasty treat, kind of like a mild pear cider, and no need for honey or sweetener. I liked it, but I like plain ginger with honey better! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I use a 1/2 inch of ginger in my juicer with greens, apples and lemons ( lemons peeled.) The ginger gives that warm spiciness that is very refreshing. I can’t wait to try the tea.

  4. Ginger won’t survive over winter here since the temperatures are regularly below freezing. Only in a heated greenhouse (24/7) could it survive for three full years. So it would be a one season plant here.

    You can take a ginger root from the store and plant it horizontally in some shallow soil in a good sized pot and place on top of the hot water heater or refrigerator – some place where it has bottom heat. One or more shoots will appear that grow 2-3 feet high eventually. You could raise a single plant indoors for the educational value I suppose. Place near a south facing window and water fairly often. It needs heat and humidity – i.e. tropical conditions to do well. You could also let it sprout before you plant it in the soil, if you like.

  5. Cena, that does sound good. I need to borrow my mom’s juicer and experiment. What kind of greens do you juice?

    John, I’d like to try growing it sometime. We don’t have any refrigerators near south facing windows, but we heat with “hot water heat” that flows through resinors under all our windows…so maybe that would be some warmth at least. Do you eventually want to have your greenhouse heated?

  6. I love ginger-anything. I will be sure to try the tea.
    RE:storing the ginger. I have stored peeled ginger in a jar of sherry and it lasts a long time. I’ve heard you can freeze it, too.
    I’ve always peeled it before using but I read somewhere that you don’t have to do so, especially if it is “young”. I tried this once and I couldn’t tell any differnce but I’m still a bit unsure.

  7. Thanks for the tips on storing the ginger, Lisa! I did read that you can freeze it also, somewhere online. As for peeling it, it’s not necessary. My “teacher” made my first cup peel and all, just nice little slices that included peel and root. I noticed no difference!

  8. Our swiss chard (in rainbow colors of neon gold, red, pink, white, and magenta) and kale are still going strong in the field, but tonight’s bitter temps below 20 degrees may put a bite on the chard. We’ll see how long the kale lasts – it’s usually good even into deep snow. I cut several bunches of kale today for customers. Both chard and kale are “under cover” currently – under plastic sheeting that is draped over pvc hoops.

  9. Finally got some ginger yesterday. Yummy tea. I’ll never have ginger go bad because I forgot to freeze it, my kids love the tea.

  10. Hee hee! Great! Mine like it as long as I go light on the ginger…

    Farmer John introduced us to apple-mint yesterday…he sent us home with some from his patch and we made the tastiest tea from it. The girls all loved it–I’m trying to wean them off of hot chocolate as their hot drink of choice! ๐Ÿ˜‰ What kind of mint do you grow in your half-barrels?

  11. Once established, mints of all kinds grow well throughout most of the U.S., and can become invasive (i.e. “take over”). They are best planted around the base of trees or edges of porches or foundations of buildings – or in a half barrel. Starts are easy – just dig up a shovel full and transplant it in early spring when the mint is just starting up out of the ground. We have apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, lemon balm, and horehound here (all are mints). There are wild mints that grow in the nearby pastures. Look for the “square” stems and minty aroma – for proof of identification.

  12. Great info, I’d already forgotten about the square stems, glad you reminded me here! I’ll have to be thinking over where to put my future mint patch! The sprigs you gave me are drying, what we didn’t drink up the other day, anyway! I think I’ll have to have another cup tonight…

    Mary’s last blog post..Thankful thoughts…

  13. The economics of herb growing works out to be pretty smart compared to buying herb teas by the box of individual tea bags from the health food store at about $3.00-$5.00/oz. (about 18-25 cents/cup). You can order a case of tea at a time and save some money. You could order dried herbs in bulk at $10-20.00/lb. to save even more money. Or you can grow your own mint or other perennial herbs and have herb teas, enough for you and your whole family, every day for a lifetime, for free – a savings of literally thousands of dollars. And if you compare the price for coffee, weโ€™re now talking BIG BUCKS! You could even grow enough to sell to make a profit on top. And the concept applies to fruits and vegetables as well. Letโ€™s get growing!

  14. I grow peppermint and chocolate mint. You could definitely get your girls to like chocolate mint tea!

    We have a long skinny strip of unfarmed land (3 acres) that is bordered by a “creek” that is fed on one end by icky irrigation water overflow and the other end gets water from a tile lined underground creek. The tile water has tested as good as our well water. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to grow berries back there, because they could go wild, but I’d have to drive back there and water them by hand for a couple years to get them started. But I purchase red raspberry leaf tea in bulk all the time and I think I want to grow my own. Maybe it’s because I’m not pregnant or nursing for the first time in 20 years, but I’m ready to take on the berry patch. I think I should plant berries out here in Feb or something. I’ll look it up. And I guess the next batch of horse and sheep manure should go back there.

    Thank you Farmer John for the encouragement.

  15. Isn’t Farmer John the best, Cena? I’m so inspired to copycat everything he brings up! As for the economics of tea making…I’m finally enjoying tea! Those packages of tea at the grocery store hold no appeal for me, but the ginger tea, and recently pine needle tea (another tea John intro’d to my family) and several that I ordered in bulk–peppermint, comfrey–they’ve all been so good! I’m turning a whole new “leaf” in my hot drink repertoire!

    I never thought of starting a tea business! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wow. The possibili-teas!

    Chocolate mint?!? Can’t imagine! If I ever get to CA I’m going to look you up, Cena, have the choc. mint ready for me? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love your idea of starting a raspberry patch. I have the best memories of blackberries and raspberries in our back yard growing up there on the West Coast. I really miss the abundance of big juicy berries, and numerous berry stands dotting the highways and byways.

    Let’s get growing, indeed!

  16. Just a side note about berries: Whenever I make apple cobbler, I throw a handful of frozen berries in before I add the topping. The berry juice bubbles up through the topping! Oh my, it’s pretty and the tastiest thing ever. Of course even better with vanilla ice cream.

  17. Ooohh…I think I will try Farmer John’s idea for planting it. What a neat idea! I just hope it works here where it is really cold for winter, but I wonder if indoors it will work.

  18. Cena, that sounds like the perfect way to liven up apple cobbler! I know I’ve made a blackberry apple cobbler before, with a recipe, and I remember how pretty it was, the purple peeking up through the streusel topping! Yum!

    I hope it works for you too, Geri, maybe you could ask at your local extension office, assuming you have those in Canada!

  19. That’s good to know, Joe…I’ve taken to chewing on a little bit for a sore throat or headache…it’s versatile stuff, ginger! We love our ginger tea…

  20. I’ve never heard of jaggery! And I’ve really been looking into all the options for natural sugars. Thanks for this, Jenni! I’ll have to branch out and try some of those other spices you hinted at, I hope you share them at your blog! Thanks for the link!

  21. Hi, just thought i would add to the big up the ginger, i have had unbearab;e nausea for the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy and started drinking ginger tea, home made ofcourse, it works instantlym its fab

  22. Have just read your whole comment section for ginger. Can’t wait to go make ginger tea. Am wondering if white furry stuff on ginger branches means it is spoiled.

  23. Well, I just threw the rest of my ginger root away b/c of the white furry stuff. It wasn’t bad, and I thought about trying to cut away and salvage, but I was in clean-out mode preparing for Thanksgiving guests and didn’t bother. All that to say, I’m not sure. Maybe someone else will be able to answer this?

  24. Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice.[5] Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can also be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into candy, or ginger wine which has been made commercially since 1740.,

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