Confession time… I have one of those tubes of pureed ginger in my fridge. I definitely advocate home made when ever possible, and acknowledge that sometimes that just takes a little more forethought and preparation than is available. As a working mom, convenience is also a pretty big factor in cooking and home keeping, and I try to cut myself some slack when convenience wins out.
But the little tube was still bugging me. Now granted – I’m not going to throw it away; I’ll certainly use the last of it. But it’s the last tube of pureed ginger I’ll buy, because I finally figured out how easy it is to prep a convenience version of my own – and it takes less than five minutes!
If you like using fresh ginger, you’re probably wondering why this is such an relevant question. Why not just buy a knob and stick it in the fridge? For us, I cook with ginger a couple of times per month, so often enough the ginger ends up moldy before I can use it, which is a total waste. And I detest working with fresh ginger – it’s so fibrous it’s not easy to work with, and unless diced fine it can be tough and stringy to eat. I can never seem to get it diced finely enough.
That’s how the ubiquitous tube entered our lives in the first place. But it’s so easy to make pureed ginger portions, so why not skip the preservatives and the questionable shelf life and make your own?
- Take a big knob of ginger and peel the skin from it using the back of a spoon (much easier than trying to cut it off with a knife).
- Cut it into pieces an inch or two big and drop them into a food processor or blender. Add a tablespoon or two of water and puree until smooth – you want just enough water to form a paste that holds together and isn’t soupy.
- Once the ginger is pureed to the consistency you like, portion it for the freezer. You can use either an ice cube tray or mini muffin tin, but don’t fill them up completely (unless that’s the average amount you use in your recipes). I fill the tray about a third full, which is roughly a tablespoon. That’s usually the amount I use in most of the recipes I cook with.
- Put the tray in the freezer for a few hours until the portions are frozen solid, then pop the ginger cubes out of the tray and store them in an air-tight container, like a mason jar, back in the freezer.
- Whenever you need a portion of pureed ginger, take it out the jar and add it to your dish.
How easy is that? Sometimes it’s the little things that really do make a difference in enabling us to be able to eat more home made and whole foods, which is always a goal we’re working toward at our house.