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Can You Eat Ginger Peel?

Updated April 17, 2017

Ginger is a well-known root served fresh, dried, pickled, candied or powdered. It adds flavour to dishes such as stir-fry or fruit or vegetable entrées, is used in soups and salads, eaten as a palate cleanser or grated into a salad dressing. It may also be used in morning cereal, oatmeal or to flavour smoothies or muffins. It is readily available year round at most supermarkets. When selecting ginger, look for firm pieces that are free of mould. The ginger can last in the refrigerator up to three weeks unpeeled. The ginger peel is completely safe to eat and in many circumstances, the ginger peel may be left on and eaten.

Health Benefits

More than just a flavour additive, ginger has many positive health attributes. It has proven to help subdue nausea caused by pregnancy or seasickness and can help the body's response to inflammation and promote a healthy immune system. And according to the University of Minnesota Hormel, taking ginger may help fight colorectal cancer cells in the body.

Age

The ginger peel thickens over time. If ginger is picked early and eaten soon after purchasing, the peel is thin enough to eat. Young ginger isn't available at most supermarkets, but is readily available at Asian markets. Mature ginger may be edible as well, but you should try a small piece of the ginger with the peel attached to test the peel for bitterness before using it in a dish.

Purpose

The removal of the ginger peel often depends on the purpose or use of the ginger root. If the ginger is being used in a tea, to flavour drinks or tonics, added to a marinade, or in a smoothie, it doesn't need to be peeled. If the ginger is being eaten as an essential element of the dish, it should be peeled, especially if the peel is thick.

Peeling Shortcuts

Peeling ginger can remove more than just the outer skin. A large vegetable peeler will take much of the tender ginger flesh off with the skin. To peel more selectively, use a spoon to gently remove the peel. Scrape the skin lightly until it only the peel comes off. A spoon's rounded shape will get into the nooks and crannies better than a peeler and will preserve more of the flesh for cooking.

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About the Author

Veronica Maier has been an active online writer since 2010. She has been a contributing writer to eHow and Answerbag. Maier holds a Bachelor of Arts in art history and visual culture with an emphasis on the American modern from the University of California, Santa Cruz.