If you like cooking, you must know some of the most common spices you will use in almost every meal. Ginger is one such spice that you’ll use in the different meals. Notice that ginger comes in different forms.
Now, although most of us believe that ginger will only work for you when you use it fresh, it’s perfect too when its ground, minced or made to paste.
You still will receive a pack of nutrients. With this then we seek to discuss the difference between fresh and ground ginger. We will also show you whether the fresh ginger is better than the ground one.
But before we go deep into it, we want you to know that ginger goes beyond flavor spice for your food.
For ages, regions in China, Africa, India, and the Caribbean regions have used it as a medicinal herb. With this then they made sure it would help to prevent and cure more diseases.
Let’s make it clear here that ginger is not a root; it’s a rhizome. It’s more like a stem that grows underground, and it will then put out the shoots and the roots from the nodes.
Generally, you will have the ginger having the brown skin and then yellow or creams white interior.
What is fresh ginger?
I mean, this is self-explanatory. But if you’re going to understand these two, you will need to know them by definition. The fresh ginger comes to you as either young or mature ginger.
They call the young ginger spring ginger too sometimes. You will not need to peel the skin in most cases. It has pale skin, and the flesh inside is milder just because it hasn’t fully developed.
Depending on where it’s from, it can be a yellow or off-white color. Notice that it’s also going to be tender. If you want you could grate, chop or julienne it in the food.
We also have mature fresh ginger. This one has the stricter skin, and for it to work right, you will need to peel it off. It has the fibrous flesh that they will mostly grind, mince, chop or grate before you use it in the food.
Some of them even have a blue ring when you cut them. And they are from Hawaii and China, but they are known to be even bolder in flavor and juicy too.
What is ground ginger?
When you are talking of ground ginger, you are simply referring to the powder type, which you will often find in the grocery store.
It features the same ginger too that you will dry and then grind, or at least that’s what the manufacturers do.
In most cases, you will have the people using it in the sweets and curries too.
When you want the sweet and savory zing, you want to use the authentic ginger style that hasn’t dried yet.
Fresh ginger vs. ground ginger
Here’s the point you should never forget, though, the companies make the ground ginger from the fresh ginger. This is why the ground ginger will make the perfect substitute for your fresh ginger at some times.
Regardless it’s important to mention that you will have the savory flavor when you are using the ground ginger. And, of course, the flavor it delivers is different from the fresh one.
In most cases, when you are making baked goods and other savory drinks, then you will use ground ginger.
But whenever you are making the savory dishes, then you will use fresh ginger. You can use fresh ginger with your Asian cuisine mainly.
But do they taste the same?
I know this is the one question anyone wants to know before they start to use it. Of course, they will never have the same flavor, and the taste may vary slightly but let’s see.
When you’re using fresh ginger, then you can expect a more pungent taste. You can expect it to have a peppery taste like the cloves, and the scent will often take the camphor taste.
You will like it because when you’re cooking it, you’ll have it tenderize faster, and then it can quickly spread to other parts of the meal parts it touches.
So let me say that the fresh ginger has a more complex taste. However, if you want, you can dilute it because this one has moisture, and it will blend in perfectly.
Note too that the fresh ginger oil will disappear if you set it under very high temperatures. In most cases then this will affect the flavors.
When you use the ground one, you will have the strong kink still and the spiciness, but it’s slightly less in flavor than the regular fresh and ground ginger.
You will like it, though, that you can be sure it will have the same flavors when you use it even if you decide to cook it at a higher temperature, then it will remain tasty.
Regardless of the temperature you use it on, this one will be safe to use.
Check the nutrients
When we talk about the amount of spice you will use in the food, it’s vital to mention that the nutrients will be minimal and close to none. Remember the amount of ginger you will add to your food is minimal.
Generally, though, if you’re going to use ground ginger, you can expect to have more manganese.
To say it is the fact that it contains minimal vitamins and minerals. Remember, regardless of the type of ginger you are using; you probably eat the ginger in small quantities. You may receive more nutrients when you’re using ginger water instead.
The components of the ginger
You know ginger has several health benefits and that we mostly attribute to the compounds in the ginger. So the fresh ginger will have the gingerol. However, the problem is that when you subject it to heat, it changes its structure.
As for the ground ginger, the component will break down and convert to another active ingredient called shaogaol. Now gingerol is the one that’s responsible for pain relief.
It’s also the component that will reduce nausea. Although shaogaol is equally great, the richness of gingerol is explicit.
How to use them
Contrary to what you would think fresh and ground ginger are two different styles of ginger.
So depending on the recipe you have, you will decide which one works where but let’s check how you can use either of them.
Using the fresh ginger
Here you have the description of the sweet, spicy, and fragrant ginger type. Now dried ginger is not even the best substitute for fresh ginger.
This is because fresh ginger will consistently deliver a unique dimension to your food. Okay, you can use it in some foods but not others.
It will deliver a different spice that you won’t get when you use the pepper or any other spice. It’s no wonder we like it so much here. You can be sure to have a level of acidity and sweetness in your food when you use it.
Now, unless you like to cook with your ginger, and therefore you have it a lot more often in your recipes, you don’t need a lot of it.
Remember you will be cooking it in very minimal amounts. So you can break the knob of the ginger amount you want. Next, store the rest safely as you don’t want to have it get spoilt.
So when you’re going to use it, you should peel it, or if it’s the young one, you can use the spoon to remove the thin skin. Next, you can either decide to grate or mince it before you add it to your food.
Most people will use it when adding it to the tangy masala, spicy masalas, curries, among other meals. Have you tried setting the ginger in the Chinese stir-fries? You really should do it.
How to use ground ginger?
You see, this is already powdered, so you need to take a tablespoon or a teaspoon and then add it to your desired food.
I like to use it in tea, but you can also add it to your sweets and baked goods. You will have it working for your other meals too.
The uses vary, but you have to know that you will deliver different flavors when you are using ground ginger and fresh ginger.
So the fresh ginger will deliver a more complex and spicy flavor. This is often more than the ground ginger flavor. For this reason, you should never substitute it for another.
When you’re making your favorite gingerbread, for example, you should consider using ground ginger, not fresh ginger. You may add the fresh gingers to the cakes you have or would like to have in some cases.
Just remember, if you are going to use fresh ginger, you should know that it will serve you best. It often has essential oils and resin too.
Such is necessary when you want it to have a strong odor and a rich spice. This is also the reason why most people like it in the stir-fries.
Flavor disbursement is essential. You see, if you’re using the ground ginger spice, then you are sure it’s going to disburse in the food efficiently.
Notice that the ground spice doesn’t lose its value when you subject it to a high temperature, and it retains the temperature.
Though equally significant, the fresh ginger will release into the food, yes, but it does so slowly. So, of course, it will have the perfect flavor, too, in the end.
How much should you use?
I want you to know that whichever you decide to use is excellent, but if you’re using the ground ginger, then you need a dash. So you shouldn’t have to use it a lot as it can be overpowering. For the fresh ginger, you may also serve a tablespoon of minced ginger.
You can have health benefits from ginger, but only if you use fresh ginger. Is this true?
Nop. Whether you are using fresh or ground ginger, you have some nutritional benefits. Of course, if you’re using the ground one, you will have it dried. In the process, it’s going to have lost its nutrients, but not all of it.
You will notice that it’s still a great piece. Remember, we already said that it has the shaogaol, and this is just as enriching.
Can you use ground ginger as a substitute for fresh?
Notice that they will deliver different flavors, but if you find that you don’t have fresh ginger, you can comfortably use the ground ginger.
The ginger will then provide the right kick for your meal. So don’t expect it to deliver the same flavor, but you can be sure to have something close to the ginger flavor.
Is fresh ginger better than the ground one?
I would say this depends on the flavor your food is calling for. If you need to use fresh ginger in the food, then confirmed it’s going to be a better choice. But also, the fresh ginger has enriched nutrients.
It’s hard to give a clear-cut answer as to which one is better because they will serve you in different aspects.
Ground ginger is as good in some instances as the fresh one is great in some others.
The only problem with the ground ginger is that you dried it, and in the process, it loses some of its nutrients.
So which one should you use? Fresh or ground ginger?
Use either of the two. It all depends on which meal you are prepping, as earlier said. I must say I like ginger water and of course that you can only use fresh ginger.
Some other instances call for fresh ginger; other instances call for ground one. So you should know where to use either of them.
Now you know everything but which one do you like to use? Comment below to let us know why you like it.