Why Use Ground Ginger Instead of Fresh Ginger?

Author: Shelley Bennetts   Date Posted:26 August 2019 

There’s nothing quite like freshly dug whole ginger root for the spicy kick it adds to cooking. Living in the sub-tropics where fresh ginger is available year-round, I’ve rarely used ginger powder. So why would I use ground ginger instead of fresh ginger? Well, I’ve found some convincing reasons to stock it in my pantry. I won’t be substituting the fresh, fiery root with ground ginger in every instance, but I’m now more ground ginger-wise, as I think you will be.


How to Substitute Fresh Ginger with Ground Ginger

While you can substitute one for the other, the flavour of ground ginger will be less complex and the texture will be slightly different. Fresh ginger is fibrous and juicy, whereas ground ginger will blend with other ingredients to give a smoother, slightly drier texture. So, if your recipe calls for fresh ginger root and you only have ground ginger on hand, here’s a guide as to how much ground ginger to use as a substitute.

Some say ¼ teaspoon ground ginger = one tablespoon fresh ginger,

while others advise 1/8 teaspoon = one tablespoon of fresh. 

The difference will depend on the quality of the product you use. Pure Food Essentials spices are the best quality you’ll find. Organically grown, processed and sealed quickly after harvest, they are punchy and pure.


Uses of Ground Ginger in Cooking

Fresh and ground ginger tend to work better in different types of dishes. Ideally, ground ginger is preferred for baked goods and spiced drinks, while fresh ginger is used in savory dishes, especially in Asian cuisine. Some Asian recipes call for both fresh and ground, particularly Indian dishes.

Ground ginger can withstand higher temperatures than fresh ginger without losing essential oils, making it ideal for baking. You generally don’t want chunky, fibrous bits of ginger in your cakes or biscuits, nor do you want the extra bulk. Ground ginger adds the ginger flavour while maintaining the texture and consistency of your baked goods. Here’s a Gingernut Biscuit recipe and a Gingerbread recipe featuring ground ginger that everyone will love.

Having ground ginger on hand makes it easy to add to meat rubs, marinades and spice blends. Make enough of the blend so you can store it for next time you have a BBQ or tagine. Check out our spice blend recipes like Moroccan Ras el Hanout or Ethiopian Berbere, both using ground ginger and other heady spices from our organic range. 

Spiced drinks, like cordials and ginger beer and home-blended chai all work well with ground ginger. Now that I’m in the know, this mulled wine recipe could do with a couple of pinches too!


Ground Ginger, a Convenient Alternative to Fresh Ginger

So, even if you have a ready supply of fresh ginger, it’s worth having some ground ginger in the pantry too. For those of you who don’t have easy access to fresh ginger, ground ginger will provide enough of a spicy kick to whatever you’re making.  Be sure to buy the best quality, be sure it’s still in date and store it well! 



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